The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the Nigeria Data Protection Bill for further ratification and endorsement by the National Assembly.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by Nigeria Data Protection Bureau’s Head, Legal, Enforcement & Regulations, Babatunde Bamigboye, on Wednesday in Abuja.
“…By virtue of this historic approval, the Bill will now be transmitted to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill through the office of the Hon. Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation,” the statement said.
President Muhammadu Buhari approvedthe establishment of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau last February to ensure compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation.
The approval of the bill was made following a request by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
According to the statement, the Bureau was mandated to, inter alia, implement the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and coordinate the passage of an enabling act for data protection.
The statement noted that the central objective of the bill is to safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms and the interests of data subjects, as guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It said some of the key provisions of the bill include the regulation and processing of personal data; promoting data processing practices that safeguard the security of personal data and privacy of data subjects; and ensuring that personal data is processed in a fair, lawful and accountable manner.
Other core functions are protecting data subjects’ rights as well as providing means of recourse and remedies in the event of breaches; ensuring that data controllers and data processors fulfil their obligations to data subjects; establishing an impartial, independent and effective regulatory Commission to superintend over data protection and privacy issues and supervise data controllers and data processors; strengthening the legal foundations of the national digital economy to guarantee the participation of Nigeria in the regional and global economies through the beneficial trusted use of personal data.
Commenting on the bill, NDPB’s National Commissioner and CEO, Vincent Olatunji, urged all stakeholders to cooperate with the government in ensuring the sustainability of the abundant opportunities in Nigeria’s digital economy.
“With the full support demonstrated by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, a clear signal has been sent to the global data processing ecosystem that Nigeria is committed to safeguarding fundamental rights and freedoms of Nigerian citizens which may be impacted one way or the other by the activities of data controllers and data processors,” he added.