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Data Protection Bill has reached advanced stage, will address privacy concerns – Pantami

Prof. Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE) has stated that the proposed Data Protection Bill has reached an advanced stage and concerns are being addressed through the newly established Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB). 

This was disclosed in a statement on Thursday by Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE). 

Legal foundation of digital economy: The bill is expected to contribute to the legal foundations of the digital economy of Nigeria and its participation in the regional and global economies through the beneficial, trusted use of personal data. 

Pantami, in his statement, revealed that the I.T Ministry has created a pool of Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDEs) to accelerate the development of Nigeria’s digital economy, citing that it has created  355,610 direct and indirect jobs. 

  • He revealed that “Privacy concerns are also being addressed through the newly established Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB). 
  • “The drafting of the data protection bill has reached an advanced stage and the Digital Identity enrolments have also been very successful, with NINs rising from less than 40 million to over 90 million. 
  • “We have been very active in the emerging technology space and even established the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), the first of such centers in Africa.” 

Broadband penetration: On Nigeria’s broadband penetration, the minister noted that as of August 2019, the official broadband penetration figures stood at 33.72 percent, stating that today, it is 44.65 percent, representing close to 13 million new broadband users. 

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  • “Similarly, there were 13,823 4G base stations but we now have 36,751, representing 165.86 percent increase. The percentage of 4G coverage across the country also increased from 23 percent to 77.52 percent. 
  • “The cost of data has crashed from N1,200 per Gigabyte to about N350, making it easier for Nigerians to connect to the Internet,” he said.

He added that the ministry developed a policy for promoting indigenous content in the telecom sector to complement similar efforts that focus on the information technology sector, which stems the tide of capital flight, amongst other things, and will continue playing a critical role in the development of the different sectors of the economy. 

For catchup: Recall Nairametrics reported earlier that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said Nigeria’s proposed data protection laws will enable the country to secure ownership of its data and bring additional value to Nigeria’s ICT value chain. 

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Pantami disclosed this during the Cross Border Data Protection workshop organized by the American Business Council in conjunction with Microsoft and attended by Nairametrics. 

He noted that the Data Protection Bill will enable data processors and data controllers to have significant clarification of duties. 

  • “This makes it easy to administer the Data Protection Act and be implemented in a way that is targeted through self-regulation, which is also subject to laws and transparency,”   he said. 


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