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NITDA kicks off Program for National Privacy Week 2021

Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has unveiled a week long programme to mark the start of the National Privacy Week 2021.

The DG in a virtual conference with members of the press explained that the purpose of the virtual press conference for the National Privacy Week is to give Nigerians an update on where NITDA is in terms of the Data Protection Regulation implementation and its projections for 2021.

Mallam Inuwa Abdullahi further gave insights into NITDA’s quest to advance Data Protection Guideline since 2013, with the sole objective of providing a basic law to guide the use of data in the digital space.

According to him,”NITDA had issued a draft Data Protection Guideline since 2013, with the objective of providing a basic law to guide the use of data in the digital space.

“However, when the EU GDPR was issued in 2016, the then Director General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, constituted a team to review the draft guideline in the light of global developments and also to provide Nigerians with a practicable law for its implementation.

“The team made a couple of brilliant recommendations and got necessary assistance from law firms, GDPR consultants and some multinationals that made inputs through the NITDA Rule Making process.

“After exhausting the consultative process, the Agency issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) on 25th January, 2019.

“The NDPR, is designed to meet the global, especially GDPR principles on data protection, and also provides unique and innovative implementation frameworks that has made it a point of reference in Africa and beyond.

“Following the issuance of the Regulation, NITDA has taken a number of steps in line with its implementation strategy”.

While giving those insights, he also reeled out NITDA’s plans to continuously lay necessary structures to deepen data protection implementation in Nigeria come 2021 and beyond.

Development of sectorial implementation toolkits- The objective here is to get sector stakeholders to agree on a single, workable template for compliance in their sector.

Standardization of NDPR courses and trainings – We shall engage vigorous and experienced Nigerian based institutions that would help us standardize and accredit data protection and information security training and certification. We hope to develop a multi-billion naira sector that would create thousands of jobs for trainers, content providers and other professionals.

We are also going to rejig our enforcement mechanism to improve compliance. COVID-19 slowed down our enforcement vision in 2020, but we are going to redouble our efforts in this direction as data protection has become a pivot for the continued growth of the digital economy.

Speaking on the activities lined up for this Special Privacy Week, Mallam Inuwa Abdullahi, said that on Tuesday 26th January 2021, NITDA will host Privacy Tech Expo.

This first of its kind program, according to him, “is conceptualized to promote Nigerian innovations around privacy and data protection.

“NITDA as an information technology regulator has a duty to ensure all regulatory efforts are infused with requisite technological support.

“We will have pitch sessions and our selected panel of experts will provide guidance on how to improve on the solutions provided.

“Privacy and Public Health Management – Lessons from COVID-19 –This webinar is crafted to discuss the privacy issues arising from COVID-19 induced processes such as contact tracing, temperature capturing, vaccine trials etc.

“The webinar is expected to dissect the issues and proffer solutions for the consideration of government and other stakeholders.

He further noted that on Wednesday 27th January 2021, NITDA will hold webinar on “NIN: Preserving Privacy; Promoting the Digital Economy.”

The webinar, according to him is designed to discuss the issues around the issuance of the National Identity Number (NIN) and its implications on privacy and the digital economy.

“The panelists are expected to draw out lessons learned and what we as a nation can do better to achieve our objectives.

While on Thursday 28th January 2021, the agency will center its discussions around the Global Privacy Day.

“This will be the grand finale of the week’s activities, and the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami would be the Chief Host and Special Guest of Honour to give a keynote address on government’s vision on data protection and the digital economy.

“The National Quiz Competition final would also hold and the students will be assessed on data protection, digital economy, information technology and general knowledge. We are hoping to showcase Africa’s next data privacy champions,” he added.

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