The Nigerian government is inviting critical stakeholders and the general public to make input on a draft bill on Data Protection.
Olumide Babalola, Managing Partner at Olumide Babalola LP, offers an explanatory note on the draft bill:
“The Draft Bill aims primarily to promote a code of practice that ensures the privacy and protection of personal data without unduly undermining the legitimate interests of commercial organisations and government security agencies to collect such data, and to minimise the harmful effect of personal data misuse or abuse of data subjects and other victims, as well as ensuring that personal data is processed in a transparent, fair, and lawful manner, n accordance with the data protection principles stipulated in the Draft Bill or any other legislation.
“In addition, the Draft Bill aims to establish the Data Protection Commissioner, an impartial, independent, and effective regulatory authority that will coordinate data protection and privacy issues and superintend over data controllers and data processors within the private and public sectors.
“Furthemore, the Draft Bill outlines its scope, the basic principles and legal bases for processing, and the duties of data controllers and processors. Moreover, the Draft Bill highlights offences which can incur penalties or sanctions, including monetary penalties.”
NIMC, NCC, NITDA spearheading awareness for public comments
Government agencies, whose purview of operations relate to data protection in the country, are already spearheading awareness for public comments.
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on 20 August 2020, issued a public invitation to comment on the Draft Bill. In particular, the NIMC highlighted that as part of the processes leading up to the enactment of the Draft Bill, interested persons are invited to submit written comments by no later than 10 September 2020.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (‘NITDA’) had also on the same date published the draft Data Protection Bill 2020 (‘the Draft Bill’) for public comments on its website. Access the Draft Bill here.
Similarly, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) on its own website is calling for submissions on the Draft Data Protection Bill 2020.
The NCC notes: “As part of the processes leading up to the enactment of the Federal legislation on Data Protection, stakeholders and other interested persons are hereby invited to review and forward their submissions on the Draft Data Protection Bill 2020, not later than Thursday 10 September, 2020.
Kindly direct all enquiries and written comments via post/hand delivery or via email to the Legal and Regulatory Reform Working Group Secretariat;
The Secretariat – Legal & Regulatory Reform Working Group,
National Identity Management Commission (NIMC),
First Floor (Room 125),
11 Sokode Cescent off Dalaba Street,
Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, Nigeria.
Copies of submissions should also be sent to;
The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO
Nigerian Communications Commission,
Plot 423, Aguiyi Ironsi Street,
Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria.
ATTN: Director – Legal & Regulatory Services
Stakeholders rallying to make input
The Internet Society Nigeria Chapter is galvanizing its members to submit a common viewpoint and has encouraged members to direct their comments to its email.
The society notes: “You will recall that Data Protection is one of the key policy issues we engage in at the Internet Society and we are particularly excited about this development and opportunity to lend our voices through the comments submission as a body.
“In light of this, the Internet Society Nigeria Chapter is coordinating the collation of comments from our members for submission. We will appreciate if these comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org latest by September 8, 2020.
“We also welcome members interested in engaging on Internet Policy Issues to join the ISOC NG Working Group on Telegram via this link to engage actively.
“We also welcome members interested in engaging on Internet Policy Issues to join the ISOC NG Working Group on Telegram via this link to engage actively.”