The inability of Nigeria to have a law that protects it’s citizens data privacy is now a source of concern to the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders.
Also, the CSOs are concerned that many Nigerians are not aware of their data rights.
Elanza News reports that despite the absence of comprehensive legislation in Nigeria, in January 2019,
the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) issued the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation, 2019 (NDPR) which makes provision for the rights of data subjects, the obligations of data controllers and data processors, transfer of data to foreign territory and others.
Since the awareness is poor, the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) said on Wednesday that the Africa’s most populated country and largest economy, with a population of around 211 million and a GDP of $467 billion, there is an urgent need for data protection law and enlightenment among Nigeria.
Speaking at this roundtable tagged, “Assessing Data Protection And Privacy In Nigeria,” the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PPDC, Nkem Ilo said they want Nigerians to know their rights so as to strengthened the data and digital rights ecosystem.
“We want the government to partner with the CSOs to educate the people. We have different rights in the constitution but what are digital rights? Digital system has come to stay. We are no longer going back to analog. Now is the time to educate the citizens.
” We have National Orientation Agency, whose purpose is to orient. It is time for those agencies to begin to talk to us on what we should be aware of when signing document. What even constitute a violation of my right to privacy. And when the right is violated, where do I go to? We have the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Do you think that your data rights are human rights? Nkem asked.
According to her, Nigeria needs to see accountability on where the digital rights occurred adding that digital parenting and child rights must be protected.
“As of 2020, the estimated number of Nigerians using the internet
was estimated at 100 million (with a 46.6% penetration of the population). This figure is projected to grow to 131.7 million internet users by 2023, and internet penetration is set
to reach 65.2% in 2025.
“With almost three-quarters of Nigerian web traffic being generated via smartphones, Nigeria ranks at the top of the list of African countries based on the share of traffic via mobile.
“Additionally, with the advancements in the use of technology by the private sector, increased civic engagement online and ongoing government attempts to regulate internet use, this event provides an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the various
concerns arising in Nigeria’s data and digital rights ecosystem,” she said.