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NITDA shifts initial audit of Data Controllers, Processors to October

By Emmanuel Elebeke

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has granted a three-month extension for the conduct of the initial audit report for every data Controller and Processor. The extension period would elapse on Friday 25th October 2019. A statement signed by the Director-General of the agency, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami and issued on Tuesday said the decision was taken following series of consultations by NITDA with various industry and government stakeholders on the implementation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).

NITDA
Isa Ibrahim Pantami

NITDA said this extension of time for the purpose of audit filing does not limit NITDA’s right to investigate and enforce other allegations of breach made against any Data Controller or Processor pursuant to the NDPR and the NITDA Act 2007.

According to the DG, all stakeholder groups at the meetings agreed that the NDPR is an appropriate regulation that would help provide clarity for data controllers and processors on the rights of data subjects, basis of processing personal data and transfer of data outside Nigeria among others. The statement reads in part, ‘‘The overwhelming consensus of all stakeholder groups is that, the NDPR is an appropriate regulation that would help provide clarity for data controllers and processors on the rights of data subjects, basis of processing personal data and transfer of data outside Nigeria among others.

‘‘NITDA is pleased to note that stakeholders including other sector regulators, government, Banks, Industry groups, Private Sector players among many others, have shown tremendous willingness towards compliance with the NDPR.

‘‘Consequently, Article 4.1(5) of the NDPR requires Data Controllers to submit an initial audit report within six months of issuance of the Regulation (which lapsed on 25th July, 2019). Several Data Controllers have appealed for an extension of time to meet this obligation.

‘‘Therefore, NITDA is hereby granting a three-month extension for the conduct of the initial audit report for every data Controller and Processor. This extension period would elapse on Friday 25th October, 2019.’’

‘‘This extension of time for the purpose of audit filing does not limit NITDA’s right to investigate and enforce other allegations of breach made against any Data Controller or Processor pursuant to the NDPR and the NITDA Act 2007,’’ it added.

NITDA is a Federal Government Agency established in 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.

Specifically, Section 6(a,c) of the Act mandates NITDA to- create a frame work for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria and develop guidelines for electronic governance and monitor the use of electronic data interchange and other forms of electronic communication transactions as an alternative to paper-based methods in government, commerce, education, the private and public sectors, labour, and other fields.

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