President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Senate to consider and approve the Data Protection Bill sent to it by the Executive.
The president’s request is contained in a letter addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and read at plenary on Tuesday, 4 April.
“According to Section 58, subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, I forward herewith the Nigerian Data Protection Bill for consideration and approval of by the Senate,’’ the letter read.
The Bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the protection of personal information and the establishment of the Nigerian Data Protection Commission for the regulation of laws on personal information.
The central objective of the bill is to safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms and the interests of data subjects, as guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Some of the key provisions of the bill include the regulation and processing of personal data; promoting data processing practices that safeguard the security of personal data and the privacy of data subjects; and ensuring that personal data is processed in a fair, lawful and accountable manner.
Other core functions are protecting data subjects’ rights as well as providing means of recourse and remedies in the event of breaches; ensuring that data controllers and data processors fulfil their obligations to data subjects; establishing an impartial, independent and effective regulatory Commission to superintend over data protection and privacy issues and supervise data controllers and data processors; strengthening the legal foundations of the national digital economy to guarantee the participation of Nigeria in the regional and global economies through the beneficial trusted use of personal data.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the establishment of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau last February 2022, to ensure compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation
The Bureau is headed by the National Commissioner, Dr Vincent Olatunji.
The approval of the bill was made following a request by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.