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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Federal Executive Council Approves Nigeria Data Protection Bill

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the Nigeria Data Protection Bill for transmission to the National Assembly. 

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this on Wednesday after the FEC meeting.  

He explained that when the bill is passed into law, will ensure the privacy and confidentiality of data being submitted to the government and other institutions. 

About the data protection bill: The bill, which seeks to give Nigerians full legal backing in the protection of their data will replace the current Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR). Emphasizing the importance of having a data protection law in Nigeria, the National Assembly had last year promised to give the bill an accelerated passage once sent to them by the executive. 

Child protection online: Meanwhile, the Minister disclosed that the FEC has also approved the National Child Online Protection Policy and Strategy aimed at protecting children from the harmful side of the digital environment. Pantami said the policy was in line with the International Telecommunication Union’s policy document for all its member countries. 

  • “There are many benefits of going online; the world population reached 10 billion on Nov. 15, 2022. Today, we have around 6.3 billion people online and by implication, among this number, you will discover many children. 
  • “They will not be able to differentiate what is beneficial and what is harmful. According to a report by the International Telecommunication Union, more than one billion children were online during COVID-19 lockdowns for their studies because schools were shut. 
  • “Today, without any solicitation, you will discover that many things are coming into your device online and unsolicited,’’ the Minister said. 
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According to him, children will not be able to avoid such unsolicited items online which will definitely affect their innocence and influence them morally and otherwise. 

  • “The document has been titled: `keeping children safe in the digital environment’. All member countries have been urged to ensure they come up with a policy where children will be protected. It is because of this that we organised stakeholder engagement, where we invited around 37 institutions of government since it is a multi-sector issue,” he added. 

The minister said FEC also approved the National Duct One Policy aimed at institutionalising the provision of ducts during construction at federal, state, and local government levels. According to him, before construction and even during the conceptualisation and design, there should be provision for ducts for road construction, bridges, rail lines, sea ports, and any important building.  


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