Business

June 11, 2024

Four banks, three companies pay N400m fine for data violation -NDPC

Four banks, three companies pay N400m fine for data violation -NDPC

By Babajide Komolafe

Nigeria Data Protection Commission, NDPC, has fined four banks and three companies N400 million for breaching data of Nigerians.

National Commissioner, NDPC, Vincent Olatunji disclosed this while speaking of the implementation of the NDPC Act, since June 14 when the nation’s data protection law was enacted.

Olatunji further disclosed that over the past year, more than 1000 financial institutions, schools, insurance companies, and consultancy firms have undergone investigations for breaches of citizens’ data.

He added that there are ongoing investigations concerning data infractions.

According to Olatunji the activities of the NDPC have led to increased levels of compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Act in both the private and public sectors.

He said: “When we started, the level of compliance within the private sector was about 49 percent while the public sector was 4 percent. But today, private sector compliance is above 55, while the public sector has reached 15 percent,” Olatunji said.

“The nation’s data ecosystem is now worth over N10 billion and the commission considers it imperative to ensure that citizens’ data are safe, secure and protected in line with global best standards and practices.”

He further said Nigeria is now at the forefront of the activities of the global data assembly due to the Data Protection Act 2023 and the impact of the data ecosystem on the national economy as nations like Kenya, Ghana, China, Singapore, and Malaysia, among others now share experiences with Nigeria.

“The Data Protection Act 2023 is a major milestone for Nigeria. Mr President laid our apprehension to rest when he signed the Act on June 12, 2023,” he said.

“It was a major turnaround for the industry. Now the data ecosystem is beyond everybody because it is a global phenomenon due to the impact of technology.

“In terms of jobs and wealth creation, promotion of tourism, perception and attraction of foreign direct investments into Nigeria, we have taken a leapfrog and even overtaken some countries.

“And that’s why Nigeria was given the hosting right for 2024 All African Data Protection Commission’s and Institutions. About 30 countries will be here next year for the event.”

Olatunji said the NDPC now collaborates with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), and other regulatory organisations to make sure stakeholders under their supervision abide by the Data Protection Act.

According to Olatunji, capacity building, awareness raising, and stakeholder engagement have raised the bar for compliance within the ecosystem.

He also said to check the activities of digital loan platforms, the commission collaborated with CBN, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other regulatory authorities.

The national commissioner, however, said awareness would continue to be created for vulnerable Nigerians who become victims of the loan sharks due to ignorance.

Olatunji also said the country’s population and landmass are a challenge to a total clampdown on the digital loan sharks as most of them operate from isolated or remote areas without known addresses.

Vanguard News