Istifanus urges for more collaboration on Data Protection and Privacy

Musa Istifanus - Perm. Sec. Min. of Comms & Digital Economy

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Musa Istifanus has called for more collaboration on data protection and privacy assessment in the country.

He stated this during an online meeting between the Ministry and Data Analytics Privacy Technology Limited (DAPT) led by its Executive Director/Partner, Ambassador Segun Olugbile held on Zoom Webinar platform.

The Director, Radio Monitoring and Survey, Engr. Kilyobas Binga who represented the Permanent Secretary thanked the organization for their insightful and timely presentation which according to him is crucial now at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic downturn.

He noted that the new normal due to the pandemic calls for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to leverage technology through virtual/online platforms to transact government business.

Engr. Binga stated that a the Ministry’s E-Government Department in the Ministry and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) are collaborating with the Ministry of Health to work out a robust e-health policy and action plan for the country, to enable it reach out to the public at this time of COVID-19.

In his presentation during the online meeting, Director (DAPT), Mr. Franklin Akinsuyi enumerated the importance of Data Protection and Privacy Impact Assessment (DPIA) in the present and post COVID-19 era, the socio-economic effects and how to help organizations identify and minimize the data protection risks of a project/programme or system change where personal data is being processed.

In his words, “processing data is conducted in a manner that breaches the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and other international data protection laws. Government institutions need to collaborate to properly assess, co-ordinate and identify the data protection and privacy risks to the population”.

Akinsuyi added that the benefits of implementing DPIA is to improve awareness and to reduce data protection and privacy risks while executing MDA projects as well as making provision for a uniform and consistent way of assessing risks across Ministries.

The Executive Director, Business Development (DAPT), Olutoyin J. Oloniteru in his presentation urged the Ministry to collaborate with the Ministry of Health to drive the technology aspect of the E-health process noting that before any technology could be deployed there is the need for impact assessment on the country’s economy.