Nigeria’s Information Technology Development Agency, the NITDA has released a draft Data Protection Implementation Framework. According to the Agency, the proposed framework would guide the agency on how to implement the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 which is already in force.
The agency has recently come under fire for its failure to implement a guideline it released on 25th January 2019 pursuant to Section 6 (a,c) of the NITDA Act, 2007. A group of digital rights activists recently took the agency to a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for its refusal/omission to enforce the provisions of the NDPR 2019.
The Regulation creates a new class of professionals to be known as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO). A DPCO is an entity duly licensed by NITDA for the purpose of training, auditing, consulting and rendering services and products for the purpose of compliance with this Regulation or any foreign Data Protection Law or Regulation having effect in Nigeria.
According to the framework, a DPCO may be one or more of the following;
- Professional Service Consultancy firm
- IT Service Provider
- Audit firm
- Law firm
Privacy professional and GDPR expert Adavize Alao expressed surprise at the action of the NITDA as it lacks the power to legislate and regulate data protection in Nigeria. Alao said that no provision of the National Information Technology Development Agency Act 2007 grants the agency the power to legislate and regulate data protection within the country.
The EU based data protection expert commended the agency for attempting to protect the personal information of data subjects but faulted the premise and legislative basis for the NDPR. Alao noted that the draft Framework was a mishmash of several regulations implemented in various jurisdictions across the world as a lot of the draft provisions are unclear.
Prominent Lagos lawyer Olumide Babalola and author of Babalola Law Dictionary commended the NITDA for finally reacting to the implementation of its regulation. The digital rights lawyer was of the view that the agency would see the implementation of the framework to a logical conclusion.
The framework can be downloaded below.