Stakeholders partner to improve data privacy

By Na'ankwat Dariem

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The Nigeria Data Protection Bureau NDPB is exploring partnerships with the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to deepen data protection and improve the culture of privacy across the board.

The National Commissioner of NDPB Dr. Vincent Olatunji said that data protection has become not just strategic but the bedrock of driving efficiency in the public service.

He spoke during a recent official visit to the Director General of the BPSR, Mr. Dasuki Arabi in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

According to Dr. Olatunji “Knowing the vital role of data in public service reforms, we are here to strengthen synergy for better outcomes

“When you are talking about reforms you are talking about digitalisation; including the pattern and there is no way you can talk about reforms without identity.

“More importantly in the area of digitalisation including all the patterns and there is no way you can talk about reforms without identity in the area of digitalization,” he said

Also, the Bureau engaged the NIS and IOM on cross-border data flow between Nigeria and Niger migration authorities.

According to the NDPB’s Lead, Legal Enforcement & Regulations, Mr. Babatunde Bamigboye, who spoke on behalf of Dr. Olatunji, said full compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) by agencies such as the NIS and IOM will reinforce trust among data subjects, other relevant authorities as well as development partners.

Dr.Olatunji stressed that compliance with Nigeria’s data privacy and protection regulation could not be ignored in line with global best practices to efficiently provide required services to persons within the sphere of operations by the Immigration Service and the IOM.

The National Commissioner said the bureau will work together in areas such as creating awareness, capacity building and enabling the provision of the laws, NDPR, across the public service.

He said the government was already working to institutionalise data protection in the public service.

“There was a circular issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for all federal ministries, departments and agencies in November 2022, to comply with the directive of having privacy policies, having their data protection officers

”It also directed them to ensure that they put in place adequate technical and organizational measures.”

He emphasised that these measures would protect the data of citizens and all vendors working with NDPR in public services.

To Arabi, partnering with the NDPB will strengthen the public service reforms bureau to carry out its mandate with better results.

“We have installed a new pay regime in the public service; we have cleaned up of the personal payroll in the public service; deployed the first electronic FOI portal in Nigeria.

“The bureau had restructured ministries to reduce their number, we have also reformed tax, budget, public financial management and due process in public procurement”

Arabi said even as he stressed that the reforms cannot be effective without partnering with NDPB and leveraging on the benefits of data protection, Olatunji explained.

He added, “We will collaborate to facilitate research on topical reforms issues, impact assessment; monitoring and evaluation.”

Dominica Nwabufo

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