By Etuka Sunday
The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA says it has issued 11 licenses to data protection companies, with target to create 300, 000 jobs in the country.
This was disclosed at a one day Media Executives’ MasterClass on Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 organised by the agency in Abuja.
The Director General of the agency, Kashifu Inuwa, who was represented a Director at NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji said the agency took the initiative to ensure maximum protection of Nigerians from possible breach and to ensure that Nigeria is not blacklisted from the rest of the world in doing genuine business.
He also stated that out of the 11 licensees, 6 had started recruiting staff for the commencement of work in line with the government policy of building capacity and job creation.
In addition, Olatunji said additional 16 licenses had been approved by the agency and would be soon made public.
As part of the efforts to ensure strict compliance, he said the agency recently signed MoU with the European Union data Protection agency, making Nigeria the first African nation to take such a bold step.
‘‘NITDA is embarking on data protection to make sure that our country is not blacklisted. 11 companies have been licensed for this purpose and additional 16 licenses have been approved.
‘‘Nigeria signed MoU recently with the EU Union data Protection Council to give it international outlook. Data is our oil and by next 10 years, everything about oil will be obsolete.
‘‘For this reason, NITDA is putting in place an administrative Redress Panel to handle all issues that will arise from the practitioner going forward. NITDA has also set up a legal Team to take up any legal issue that may arise. We are also going to have a National Advisory Council to offer advice from time to time where necessary. The data protection advocacy is going to be a continuous thing. All we want to do is to ensure all we do in Nigeria is in line with the world best practice.’’
Earlier, NITDA Desk Officer, Mr. Olufemi Daniel said NITDA a lot of data controllers and hosts had been found guilty of breaching peoples’ right.
This he said made it imperative for Nigerians to put their feet on ground to protect themselves from possible data breach considering its damaging effects.
It was for this reason he said |NITDA decided to investigate Truecaller, banks and telecom service providers to ensure total compliance with extant laws.
He said, though the contemporary IT Policy is obsolete, NITDA is taking a proactive step to bring in a new pushing for a new IT Policy.
This it is doing by pushing for a new policy and establishment of a Data Protection Commission.
‘‘In a bid to ensure adequate data protection in Nigeria NITDA has studied 187 countries. What is unique about Nigeria is how we are implementing our policy. We are driving another law for establishment of data Protection Commission. We expect every data Controller to file annual data control audit. It is time for data security and it is time we begin talks about data economy,’’ he added.
A data Protection Consultant, Tokumbo Smith said the National Data Protection Regulation is expected to exceed the 300,000 job target because of the ripple effects it would have from all the licensees and companies that would operate under the policy.
He said the MasterClass is expected to expose media practitioners on the rudiments and basic skills needed in the reportage of data protection.