President Muhammadu Buhari
…Appoints former NITDA Boss as pioneer head
By Emmanuel Elebeke
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday approved the establishment of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB).
This followed a request made by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).
A statement by the Spokesperson to the Minister, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, said the NDPB was established in line with global best practice and will focus on data protection and privacy for the country, among others.
She explained that the successful implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria has significantly increased the adoption of data platforms and accelerated the datafication of our society.
‘‘This has increased the importance of having an institution that focuses on data protection and privacy.
‘‘Furthermore, the issuance of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in January 2019, as a subsidiary legislation to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Act 2007, has increased awareness about the need for data protection and privacy.’’
According to Suleiman, the Bureau will be responsible for consolidating the gains of the NDPR and supporting the process for the development of a primary legislation for data protection and privacy.
Consequently, the President also approved the recommendation of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Pantami, for Dr. Vincent Olatunji to serve as the pioneer National Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau.
Recall that Mr. Olayunji was appointed on 22nd January 2016 appointed by the then Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, as the new Director General of NITDA in acting capacity.
He took over from Mr. Peter Jack, who was sacked and asked to proceed on indefinite suspension over what was described as “misconduct”, a suspension the Minister said was imperative on the strength of deluge of petitions regarding several alleged wrong doings in NITDA and subsequent preliminary findings of an Investigative Committee set up by the Ministry.
After serving for nine months as Acting DG of NITDA, Olatunji handed over to Prof. Pantami on 4th October, 2016 and was appointed the Director, Corporate Strategy and Research in the Agency.
Until his new appointment, he was the Director of the e-Government Development and Regulations Department at NITDA..
Olatunji is from Ikole Ekiti, in Ekiti State. He holds a PhD in Geography and Planning from the University of Lagos and an Advance Diploma in Computer Science.