The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the Nigerian Data Protection Bill for further ratification and approval by the National Assembly.
This was revealed in a statement issued by the Nigerian Data Protection Bureau’s Head of Legal, Compliance and Regulations, Babatunde Bamigboye, on Wednesday in Abuja.
“…By virtue of this historic approval, the Bill will now pass to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill through the office of the Hon. Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation”, says the statement.
President Muhammadu Buhari passed the establishment of the Nigerian Data Protection Office last February to ensure compliance with the Nigerian Data Protection Regulations.
The approval of the bill was made at the request of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
According to the statement, the Office was mandated to, among other things, implement the Nigerian Data Protection Regulations (NDPR) and coordinate the passage of a law enabling data protection.
The statement noted that the central objective of the bill is to safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms and the interests of the data subjects, as guaranteed in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said that some of the key provisions of the bill include the regulation and processing of personal data; promote data processing practices that safeguard the security of personal data and the privacy of data subjects; and ensure that personal data is processed in a fair, lawful and responsible manner.
Other basic functions are the protection of the rights of the data subjects and the provision of remedies and resources in case of non-compliance; ensure that data controllers and data processors fulfill their obligations to data subjects; establish an impartial, independent and effective regulatory commission to oversee privacy and data protection issues and supervise data controllers and processors; strengthen the legal foundations of the national digital economy to ensure Nigeria’s participation in regional and global economies through the beneficial and trustworthy use of personal data.
Commenting on the bill, National Commissioner and NDPB CEO Vincent Olatunji urged all stakeholders to cooperate with the government to ensure the sustainability of the abundant opportunities in Nigeria’s digital economy.
“With the full support shown 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 the fundamental rights and freedoms of Nigerian citizens who may be affected in any way or another due to the activities of data controllers and data processors”, he added.
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