The Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting on Wednesday approved the Nigeria Data Protection Bill.
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 Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the establishment of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau on the 4th of February 2022.
The Bureau was mandated to, inter alia, implement the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and to coordinate the passage of an enabling Act for data protection.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo presided at the FEC meeting. The pioneer Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami presented the Bill to the Federal Executive Council.
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, 1999, by —providing for the regulation of processing of personal data;promoting data processing practices that safeguard the security of personal data and privacy of data subjects;ensuring that personal data is processed in a fair, lawful and accountable manner;protecting data subjects’ rights, and providing means of recourse and remedies, in the event of the breach of the data subject’s rights; 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; and strengthen the legal foundations of the national digital economy and guarantee the participation of Nigeria in the regional and global economies through the beneficial trusted use of personal data.
The National Commissioner and CEO, NDPB, Dr. Vincent Olatunji who accompanied the Minister to the FEC calls on all stakeholders to cooperate with the Federal 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.