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Data as the real asset of the digital economy

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Data protection is the nucleus of digital economy, the CEO of Data Services Protection Limited (DSPL), Mr. Tunde Balogun, has said.

Balogun, who is also the convener of the Association of Licensed Data Protection Compliance Organizations of Nigeria (ALDPCON), said Nigeria’s increasing official interest in data is because government is coming to terms with data as the real asset of the new or digital economy.

He spoke, on Sunday, during a training session for some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in Ibadan, Oyo state, monitored online by our reporter.

According to him the Federal Government in its wisdom, through the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA), issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) of 2019 as the principal data protection legislation to address concerns around privacy and protection of personal data which also focuses on the grave consequences of leaving personal data processing unregulated.

The NDPR issued by the NITDA on 25 January 2019 pursuant to Section 32 of the NITDA Act 2007 as subsidiary legislation to the NITDA Act 2007 is only a purveyor of the wider sets of data legislations now at the National Assembly expected to guide Nigeria’s data protection journey and march into the digital economy said Balogun whose company is licensed to operate as a Data Protection Organisation (DPCO).

DPCOs are licensed under the NDPR to provide professional data protection services to public and private entities. There about over 70 licensed DPCOs tasked with monitoring compliance to the NDPR.

Balogun, whose company offer data protection tasks for a number of private and public clients including the governments of Plateau and Oyo states, admitted that there is a growing awareness among stakeholders on data as an asset worth a high level of protection.

“The good thing is that some of our people are beginning to understand why data must be protected in all ramifications. Plateau state started this journey last year. Also, a good example is the government of Oyo state where we are currently implementing data protection services for about eight ministries, departments and agencies as part of the first phase of the scheme,” he said.

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