By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami says the passage of data protection Bill into law in the country will give foreign investors confidence to invest in Nigeria.
The minister stated this while addressing journalists on the occasion of this year’s International Data Privacy Day on Saturday.
According to him, the law is critical for Nigeria because it is a global best practice to have a data protection law in place.
He noted that potential investors today ask if Nigeria has Data Protection law before they can invest their money in the country.
“Today, it is a global best practice to have a data protection law in place, otherwise you will find it difficult to attract so many interventions that are of benefit to your country, secondly, even potential investors today may ask questions whether you have data protection laws in your country or not.
“If you don’t have any data protection law in place they will feel uncomfortable to come to your country and invest because today, data is critical.
“Whenever we engage with potential investors, we try to convince them on the need of coming to Nigeria to invest, and the always ask this if we have data protection law, but we have subsidiary law, many of them do agree with subsidiary law and at the same time, many disagree that subsidiary law is sufficient for them, but in nigeria is sufficient”, he said.
He explained that it is because of this that the Ministry came up with the proposal of having a full fledged data protection institution and also principal legislation of data protection relation in Nigeria.
Pantami said privacy in Nigeria is not only in the enabling law, but rather it is the constitutional right of the citizens, it is part of the fundamental human rights in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is the first African country to join the developed countries in celebrating the international data privacy day.
“The law about data protection is not in any way to punish our citizens, but rather to create awareness so that we will all be data compliant, that is why it is important, we are urged to comply, and today because of awareness creation, reaching out to other institutions, sanctions and interrogating others, you will discover that the compliance rate is going higher.”
Earlier in his remarks, the National Commissioner of Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, Dr Vincent Olatunji commended the Minister for the effort he made to ensure that NDPB was established and also for his efforts in ensuring the approval of the Data Protection Bill by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Nigeria today joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s International Data Privacy Day.
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