By Angela Nkwocha
The Minister of Communications and digital economy, Dr Isa Ibrahim Ali Pantami has tasked Nigerians on the need to protect their data and embrace digital transformation for a Digital Nigeria.
Pantami made the call in Abuja during the National Privacy Week Public Awareness Workshop 2020 organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) themed: Data Privacy in a Digital Economy.
He reiterated the importance of harnessing data for National Economic Development stressing that the Digital Economy relies solely on Data, thus reiterated his administration’s resolve towards ensuring that the data of Nigerians are not abused by fostering effective regulation.
“The Internet has reached a pivotal point, where some level of regulation is required to ensure the stability, integrity and survivability of the platform. However, there are fine
lines between suitable legislation, regulation, censorship and abuse of digital rights”.
He averred that technology has facilitated unprecedented violations of privacy rights with significant societal impact and damage, thus the reason why NITDA opted to do something about it through the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) which seeks to safeguard the rights of natural persons to data privacy, foster safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of Personal Data as well as prevent
manipulation of Personal Data; and ensure that Nigerian businesses remain
competitive in international trade through the safe-guards afforded by a sound data protection regulation.
In his welcome address the Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi
said Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP is one of the government initiatives for economic change. Adding that NITDA is committed to ensuring that the Nigerian journey to the digital nation and implementation of Digital Economy policy are successful.
“Our regulatory instrument, NDPR, was issued to achieve the following objectives; data privacy protection, secure exchange of data, improve business environment, and create sustainable jobs”.
He called on Nigerians to be conscious of their privacy “because whoever controls your data controls your world”.
“On any new device, set your privacy settings immediately, never use unsecured WiFi, keep your software up to date, never give personal information over the phone, email, or text, use strong password phrases, do not save your passwords on your device, change passwords when your accounts may have been compromised”, he advised.