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FG working on digital rights law – Isa Pantami

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The Federal Government says it was working on a draft Digital Rights law to be passed by the National Assembly before the end of 2022.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami made this known on Thursday, in Abuja at a Roundtable Discussion on Data Privacy and Protection in Nigeria.

The roundtable discussion entitled: “Assessing Data Protection in Nigeria” was organised by the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC).

Pantami, who was represented by the National Commissioner, National Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Dr Vincent Olatunji, explained that the law would ensure that the data privacy of Nigerians on the internet was not violated.

“It is important for any country operating in the digital space to have agencies that would regulate the space and implement data privacy protection.

“Since we started with the regulation, we hope to have a law that will make it an act of parliament to adequately protect Nigerians.

“That is why, President Muhammadu Buhari heeded the advice of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy by creating the National Data Privacy Bureau.

“It will ensure that we regulate what people do online in terms of how to protect their data privacy, and that users’ freedom is guaranteed, and also mandate companies to file data privacy compliance reports”, Pantami said.

Earlier, the President, PPDC, Nkem Ilo, urged the government to collaborate with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the private sector, to educate Nigerians on data rights and violations.

Nkem advocated that technology users should be conscious of personal data disclosures while online, in order to avoid data breaches.

She called on the government to be more proactive in educating children about data privacy and digital rights by introducing it to schools’ curriculum.

“Now is the time to focus on educating citizens. We have the National Orientation Agency whose purpose is to educate and orientate.

“We need those kinds of agencies to begin to speak to us about what we should be aware of when signing documents.

“What will even constitute a violation of my right to protection, of my right to privacy. What will constitute that and when that has been violated where do I go?

“We need more of government ensuring that school curricula teach our children just the way our children know offhand that they are going to study maths,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that the National Data Protection Regulation was created in 2019 by President Buhari, and was recently inaugurated.

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