President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr Vincent Olatunji, as the National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB).
The approval by the president followed a request made by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami.
According to NAN, this disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Spokesperson to the Minister, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, on Friday, February 4, 2022, in Abuja.
Suleiman said that the NDPB was established in line with global best practice and would focus on data protection and privacy for the country, among others.
She said, “The successful implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria has significantly increased the adoption of data platforms and accelerated the datafication of our society.
“This has increased the importance of having an institution that focuses on data protection and privacy.’’
Suleiman in her statement further explained that the issuance of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), a subsidiary legislation to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Act 2007, increased awareness about the need for data protection and privacy.
She said that the NDPB would be responsible for consolidating the gains of NDPR and supporting the process for the development of a primary legislation for data protection and privacy.
The NDPR was established to regulate those who have access to and control people’s data.
Prior to the establishment of NDPR, there existed provisions in a few laws which protected certain information or data from unlawful use.
However, unlike the NDPR, these provisions were ambiguous, inadequate, and ineffective in imposing sanctions and ensuring compliance in the event of a data breach.
In a related development, recall that earlier in January 2022, the NITDA said that it was partnering with relevant stakeholders to come up with a code of conduct for social media activities in Nigeria as part of effort to protect Nigerians from data privacy intrusion.
The agency was putting measures in place to impose more sanctions on data privacy violators such as Loan Applications’ platforms breaching its users’ privacy.
The newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of NDPB, Olatunji, holds a PhD in Geography and Planning from the University of Lagos and an Advance Diploma in Computer Science.