NITDA investigating Lagos Revenue Agency
LIRS Building, Good Shepherd Building, Opposite Secretariat Main Gate, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

By Emmanuel Elebeke

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says it is investigating the Lagos Internal Revenue Service over an alleged breach of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), 2019.

In a statement signed by the Director-General of the agency on Friday, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the agency said it was reliably informed and duly ascertained that the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) published a web portal – https://lagos.qpay.ng/TaxPayer – where personal information of taxpayers of Lagos State was gleaned by the general public in breach of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), 2019.

It, therefore, resolved to further investigate the alleged breach and the circumstances surrounding it with the aim of assessing the impact of the breach as well as determine responsibility and culpability of data controllers or processors connected to the breach and prevent future occurrence.

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‘‘The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was reliably informed and duly ascertained that the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) published a web portal – https://lagos.qpay.ng/TaxPayer – where personal information of taxpayers of Lagos State was gleaned by the general public in breach of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), 2019.

‘‘We have also been informed that the LIRS has indicated that public access to the portal was a glitch from a consultant of the Service and that the portal has been duly disabled. We commend LIRS for the swift remedial action in disabling the portal and pulling the website away from the public domain.’’

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NITDA, however, warned that ‘‘glitches of this kind do not insulate LIRS from responsibility or culpability from whatever actions, civil or criminal, that may arise from such glitch, as personal and confidential information of data subjects were made available to the public illegally,’’ noting that such glitches are in breach of the NDPR and invariably the National Information Technology Development Agency Act 2007.

It advised the public to be vigilant and to report immediately to NITDA or other law enforcement agencies if they notice that the information of any data subject on the LIRS database is further disclosed or used in any manner in violation of the NDPR. ‘‘We enjoin all parties to cooperate with NITDA as we seek to protect the personal and confidential information of Nigerian Citizens from misuse and abuse,’’ said NITDA.

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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