Nigeria Licenses Institute to Certify Data Privacy Professionals

Na'ankwat Dariem


The Nigerian government has granted license to the Institute of Information Management (IIM) to conduct examinations and certify Data Privacy and Protection professionals in the country.

The approval which is the first of its kind was granted by the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) on behalf of the government.

The National Commissioner, Dr Vincent Olatunji of NDPC, during the license presentation and signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital said the licensing was part of the measures to implement Executive Order 003 and 005.

This is to encourage patronage of local products, goods, and services thereby boosting the country’s economy.

Olatunji also said that certifying data protection professionals in the country would produce global competitive human capital, create more jobs, reduce capital flight, and make the sector more attractive for investors.

“We are trying to implement Executive Order 003 and 005 to promote local content in Nigeria.

 “Most of us who are certified data protection officers have international certifications and we had to pay dollars to write exams and also to maintain the certificate.  We are trying to domesticate this in Nigeria to have a national certification process, because looking at our population, we need over 500,000 certified data protection officers,” he said.

“It is a way of creating jobs for our people, reducing capital flight, and developing global human capital in the data protection ecosystem.’’

According to him, we cannot afford to allow capital flight in this area.

The NDPC Boss also disclosed that plans are on the way to adopt the licensing across Africa.

Also Read: Data Protection: NIMC To Intensify Scrutiny On Licensees

“We are looking at a way this initiative will become a pan-African initiative, whereby data professionals, have the National Certification we have in Nigeria and you can also practice in any part of Africa by ensuring that the certificate can be acknowledged globally.

 “We have also gone further to develop the training model which is unique to us and that is what all the trainers in Nigeria will be using,” Olatunji said.

He noted that the licensing would also create jobs for already licensed Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs), who would be accredited to train prospective professionals to sit for data protection examinations.

Olatunji said that the national data protection certification would be a historic legacy that would transcend administrations and be comparable to global standards.

The National Commissioner affirmed that the process would be closely monitored by NDPC to ensure quality of service, international competitiveness, and global standards of the process.

He, however, noted that the license is for a duration of two years and can be renewed upon expiration, adding that any licensee who does not meet their professional obligations will have their license revoked.

The President of the Institute of Information Oyedokun Oyewole recalled that the process commenced in 2021.

He commended NDPC for their professionalism, credibility, and rigorous process of the license, which has prepared the institutions for the task ahead.

Oyewole assured that topmost priority would be accorded to the process to ensure security and integrity as well as guarantee trust and confidence.

He assured Nigerians that they would remain committed to be the best in the education system of data protection in the country.

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