One year after its establishment, Data Protection Compliance Organizations (DPCOs) have reportedly earned around N2 billion.
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Issa Ali-Pantami revealed this while presenting the official Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) performance report for 2019/2020.
Although it’s still a short period, the establishment has proven to be very valuable.
Diversifying the economy to be digitally compliant is one of the goals of the establishment.
In that regard, the honourable minister echoed that this effort has started paying off.
Among other desired results, the establishment has provided over 2,600 direct jobs.
Also, DPCOs have recorded approximately N2 billion in total annual earnings.
Out of excitement, Dr. Ali-Pantami acknowledged the effort of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He commended the president for approving the initiative, subsequently leading to the apparent success.
Dr. Ali-Pantami went ahead to describe Data as the “oil of the digital economy.”
Additionally, he reiterated the importance of data protection in achieving a truly digital economy.
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In his words: “The integrity of the digital economy relies, to a large extent, on the integrity and protection of data.”
Having monitored the implementation of the “regulatory policies,” the minister added that:
“I was clear of what the government wanted to achieve with the NDPR.”
Job creation and revenue
There is no doubt that the initiative has provided job opportunities for young Nigerians.
According to him, the NDPR initiative has added 2,686 job roles. As such, more Nigerian have been onboarded into new roles like:
- Data Protection Officers
- Data Compliance Organisations
- Compliance officers, among several other roles.
Similarly, the initiative has been a profitable one so far. Just in the first year of implementation, the DPCOs have earned over NGN2 billion.
He maintained that profitability is one of the “intent” of the digital economy.
According to Dr. Ali-Pantami, this will ensure global competitiveness.
He also extended his commendation to the newly appointed Nigerian VC of the African Union’s Data Protection Harmonisation Working Group.
According to him, the appointment recognises the nations’ effort in this aspect.
Not wanting to drop the bars, he assured of more room for enforcement.
He said that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), being the data protection authority, has his full support.
That said, he will ensure that entities involved in data breaching are brought to book.
Quick loan services attract NITDA’s attention
It is no longer news that fintech services are some of the highest consumers of data.
While the minister is not unaware of this, he has decided to pay close attention moving forward.
One of the worrisome comments on this note includes the defamation of customers using accessible personal data.
“Some quick loan service providers use personal data to defame and threaten their customers.
“Such issues should be looked into in line with the NDPR.
“I also want to state that the non-filling of data protection audit is a violation of the law.
“Enforcement of this provision would be more vigorously pursued going forward,” he added.
Dr. Ali-Pantami also wants NITDA to optimise its regulatory oversight over current DPCOs.
More so, he wants the regulatory authority to attend to pending applications.
While at that, they should do so by strictly following the set guidelines.
Speaking for the Agency, Director-General of NITDA, Malam Kashifu Abdullahi said that:
“NDPR was launched not only as a regulatory policy by NITDA, but also to leverage the digital economy.
“NDPR will ensure economy diversification, and create an industry on how to harness data,” he added.
For record purposes, NITDA DG said that the agency has, in one year, licensed 70 DPCOs as well as ensured the issuance of more than 750 compliance notices
These it has done in partnership with the Nigeria Police, investigating possible data breaches.
Abdullahi also believes the new initiative, beyond data protection, is diversifying the digital economy.
He likewise stated that NDPR supports the president’s agenda to elevate Nigerians out of poverty.
What Techuncode thinks about the initiative
We believe having a regulatory body like NDPR is a prerequisite for optimising the potentials of a digital economy.
Nigeria is, undoubtedly, heavily loaded with barely explored digital opportunities.
With that said, data management is also an important and unavoidable subject of matter.
The nation’s state of digitization is still very much in its cultivation stage.
It is, however, important to ensure a proper regulatory procedure/process for data management.
Also, this is coming at a time when the rate of cybercrime is on the rise.
There is no better time to safeguard the digital right and activities of Nigerians.
The 2019/2020 official NDPR performance report has further reiterated the importance of data protection.
Beyond profitability, and security, the initiative is highly important in diversifying the digital economy.
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