NASS Promises Speedy Passage of National Data Processing Bill

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The Chairman Senate Committee on Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Cybercrime, Yakubu Useni, says the Upper Legislative chamber is committed and ready to grant accelerated passage of the National Data Processing Bill into law.

Sen. Useni made the pledge on Monday during the one-day workshop preparatory to the passing of the National data Processing Bill for the country by National Assembly held in Abuja.

The law maker, who regretted the failure of the President to sign the bill into law in 2019 said the red chamber was anxiously waiting for the bill to be represented by the executive to be given a speedy passage into law.

“I want to assure that as National Assembly members, we will make sure, we do justice to the bill. We need to give legal backing to the agency.

“We are waiting for them to bring the bill and we will ensure it gets to the president within One month.”

“This is a legislation that is supposed to have seen the light of the day since 2019. But unfortunately when the bill was sent to the president it was not assented to by the president.

“Now that it’s coming from the executive side; I believe that it will see the light of the day.

“As an individual you have right to say no that someone shouldn’t use your data,

It should be a law for somebody to say you consent before using your data.

“Your data is your property, your data is your life, your data is you, and before somebody have access to your data in any form then they have to seek your consent.”

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On his part, the Chairman House Committee on Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Cybercrime, Abubakar Lado also expressed the willingness of the Lower chamber to give the bill a speedy passage.

“As National Assembly, we are committed to the wellbeing of Nigerians. We want to assure the agency that anytime the bill comes to us we will ensure its speedy passage.’’

In his keynote speech delivered at the event, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Pro. Isa Ali Ibrahim, who spoke via recorded speech, said: “The event is to sensitise our National Assembly members before the executive bill is presented to the National Assembly so that you (legislators) can block all the gaps.

“This bill will ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the data of our citizens.”

Fielding questions from journalists, the National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of NDPB, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, said the bill would be ready for Federal Executive Council, FEC approval by October for onward transmission to the National Assembly.

“By October we will send the bill to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy who will forward it to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for it to be sent as an Executive bill to the National Assembly.”

Earlier in his welcome address, NDPB Commissioner said, the agency has created over 8000 jobs by certifying over 5000 data protection experts. “Our believe is that the bill will be passed before the end of this year”.

Project Coordinator, Nigeria Digital Identification for Development (ID4D)

Solomon Odole, said, ‘’as partners we need to carry all relevant stakeholders along to avoid what happened the last time the bill failed to get presidential assent.

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‘We need to carry all relevant stakeholders along, such as NIMC, Legislators and all other relevant stakeholders. Because we know that if they’re not carried along the bill may suffer same faith with the previous one.’’
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Justice Ministry critical to enactment of Data Protection Law – NDID4D Coordinator
By Emmanuel Elebeke

The Coordinator of the Nigeria Digital Identification for development Project, Mr Solomon Musa Odole has described the Federal Ministry of Justice as a very critical stakeholder in the enactment of the National Data Protection bill by the national assembly.

Odole stated this on Wednesday to a group of lawyers from the ministry at a workshop the project convened “Setting the Parameters for Data Privacy and Protection, and data privacy and information society,’’ held at Fraser Suites hotel, Abuja.

He said the workshop was convened to apprise them of what needed to be done to passing the bill, because carrying along all stakeholders was essential to achieving results.

The NDID4D Coordinator reiterated the project’s collaboration with the National Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) since it was created in February 2022 and that it would facilitate the enactment of the bill before the end of the year.“

“We believe that our stakeholders should be carried along because we need results in everything we do. This is what we have been doing since we began this process,” Odole said.

In his welcome address, the National Commissioner of the NDPB, Dr. Vincent Olatunji noted that the issue of data privacy was now receiving global attention as it was central to all digital transactions.

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He said: “We all give our data willingly and thus require protection. Your consent is important as a data subject”.

Olatunji added that while Nigeria had several regulations on data protection, we needed to have a principal law to align with global best practice and improve our global competitiveness as ‘’investors would like to do business with us once we have a law in place’’.

While the law had been passed by an Act of the parliament in 2019, it was not assented to by Mr President. The Bureau had begun the process again with awareness creation, capacity building and shared knowledge on protection, privacy, and information society’’, he explained.

He commended the cooperation of the legal services department of the justice Ministry with the NDPB and would want them to be involved in the process of passing the data protection law, including a validation workshop on the bill planned for next week.

In her goodwill message, Mrs Ifunanya Nwajagu, the Director of the legal drafting department of the FMOJ, commended the working relationship established between the Department with the NDID4D and the NDPB.

She noted the imperatives of data to sustainable development and thus the significance of data protection to the nation, while calling on her colleagues to participate fully in the workshop to gather knowledge on what was required of them in the passage of the bill.

Nwajagu added that the workshop was important to ensure that they were trained on what was expected of them towards the passage of the data protection and privacy bill.

Vanguard

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