Data protection officers in Nigeria to start getting certified

  • National Certification Body: The Federal Government plans to establish a national body to license data protection officers, reducing the reliance on foreign certifications.
  • Strategic Roadmap 2023-2027: The initiative is part of the Nigeria Data Protection Commission’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, aiming to enhance data protection capabilities in the country.
  • Cost Reduction: The national certification aims to cut costs associated with foreign certifications, making it more accessible and bridging the capacity gap in Nigeria’s data privacy sector.
  • Richer Content Utilizing Regulations: The national certification will draw from five major regulatory instruments, including Nigeria’s own data privacy act, EU’s GDPR, ECOWAS act, Malabo convention, and general application, ensuring a comprehensive curriculum.
  • Affordability and Competence: The goal is to create home-grown solutions and certifications that are both affordable and comparable globally, with a commitment to reducing the cost significantly.
  • Comprehensive Roadmap: The Strategic Roadmap encompasses 69 initiatives across governance, awareness, human capital development, ecosystem, and technology, promising to be a game changer in Nigeria’s data privacy space.
Nigeria to start certifying data protection officers.
Image: NDPC, NIgeria

Nigeria to Establish National Certification Body for Data Protection

The Nigerian government has announced plans to create a national certification body for licensing data protection officers across the country. This was revealed by Mr. Vincent Olatunji, the National Commissioner of the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), during an event in Abuja on Tuesday.

Olatunji shared that the initiative is part of the Commission’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, which is set to be implemented from 2023 to 2027. The goal of establishing a national certification body is to streamline the licensing process for data protection officers and reduce the need for foreign certifications.

At the unveiling ceremony of the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, which also served as a workshop for data protection officers in various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), Olatunji emphasized the importance of having certified professionals in the field of data protection. He highlighted that the global nature of data protection necessitates having qualified experts to address the evolving challenges in the sector.

Furthermore, Olatunji pointed out that the new certification body would play a crucial role in closing the capacity gap in the country’s data privacy landscape. By providing a national certification process, the government aims to enhance the skills and expertise of professionals working in data protection, ultimately contributing to the overall improvement of data privacy practices in Nigeria.

Additionally, Olatunji highlighted that the national certification body in the country would distinguish itself from other certification entities by offering a more comprehensive and effective approach. This distinction would be achieved through the incorporation of five significant regulatory instruments into its content and delivery processes.

National Certification Body to Strengthen Data Protection and Slash Costs

Olatunji expressed confidence that the national certification body they are establishing will be more robust and effective, bringing increased competence to data protection officers. He emphasized their commitment to reducing the certification cost significantly, aiming for a price as low as one third of the current approximately 600 thousand.

The National Commissioner (NC) went on to assure that the Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, consisting of 69 major initiatives and activities spanning the five pillars of governance, awareness, human capital development, ecosystem, and technology, will be a transformative force in Nigeria’s data privacy landscape. He highlighted the focus on developing home-grown solutions, particularly in applications that can drive legal processes, enforcement, and investigations. Olatunji sees numerous possibilities for innovative solutions emerging from these efforts.

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Source(s): The Energy Mix; Reuters

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