Data Protection law will boost investor’s confidence in Nigerian economy says Pantami

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami has said that the introduction of data protection law in the country boosts the confidence of foreign investors in the nation’s economy and propels them to do business in Nigeria.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the transmission of the NDPB Bill to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill through the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

Speaking at the event organized by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy in collaboration with the National Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) yesterday in Abuja, the minister noted that investors expect Nigeria to have a Data Protection law before they can invest their money in the country in line with global best practice.

He said, “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”.

“According to him, “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.³Whenever we engage with potential investors, we try to convince them of the need of coming to Nigeria to invest, and they 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 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 relations 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 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.

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).