NDPC Strengthens Sectorial Regulation, Signs MoU with NLRC and SMEDAN

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The Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) signed two significant Memoranda of Understanding with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), aimed at bolstering data protection initiatives across various sectors.

The National Commissioner/CEO of NDPC, Dr Vincent Olatunji, represented NDPC, Director General, NLRC, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila, represented NLRC, and DG of SMEDAN, Mr Charles Odii, represented SMEDAN during the signing of the MOU at the Headquarters of SMEDAN and NLRC respectively.

The partnership with SMEDAN seeks to promote data protection within the Small and Medium Enterprise ecosystem, with approximately 40 million SMEs.

The MoU establishes a framework for collaboration, including the formation of a working group to focus on capacity building in data protection. This initiative aims to educate SMEs on adopting appropriate technical and organizational measures towards safeguarding data privacy.

Dr Olatunji who expressed optimism about the implementation of the memoranda with the two strategic agencies assured stakeholders that the trusted use of data will guarantee short, medium and long term growth.

“You have almost 40 million players within this sector alone, imagine the exponential growth we can bring in if people can carry out transactions on the basis of trust and confidence. It is good that we are here today, to put pen into paper, we have to work together to ensure that there is privacy in what you are doing in the sector.”

The MoU between the NLRC bolsters the collaboration between the two Commissions. The DG, NLRC, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila, expressed gratitude for NDPC’s ongoing support and also underscored the importance of safeguarding personal data within the gaming ecosystem. The MoU formalises the commitment to uphold data protection laws and implement best practices in data storage and processing.

Dr Olatunji reiterated the significance of this partnership, emphasising the need to protect the personal data of approximately 60 million data subjects within the gaming sector. He stressed the importance of training NLRC staff and stakeholders on data protection principles to foster a culture of compliance.

He said, “We are looking at an ecosystem with about 60 million people who regularly exchange and process data, this is one sector that cannot be overlooked. SMEDAN has 40 million Nigerians monitored under them, we have almost half of the population.”

“When we talk about the interests and freedom of all Nigerians, we have to ensure that the personal data of over 220 million people are adequately protected and processed in line with extant regulatory framework, ” he added.

The Director General, NLRC, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila expressed appreciation to the NDPC for their ongoing work.
“The change that the establishment of NDPC has brought to the gaming value chain is commendable, we are not taking this MoU for granted. International partners come here to see what we do and make comments that are welcoming to show that we are on the right part which is acceptable to the industry for operations to come in.

“We would also like to collaborate with you in conducting joint awareness campaigns and capacity building on data governance.

The DG, SMEDAN, Mr Charles Odii expressed appreciation for NDPC’s readiness to collaborate. He emphasised the significance of data protection and complying with the Nigeria Data Protection Act, 2023, in preparing for international business.

He said, “SMEDAN is out to prevent exposure of our data for selfish and malicious operations. We have to show that the data we are mining in Nigeria is protected according to our data protection law.”

“We cannot be a development agency if we are not teaching small businesses the right thing to do. In developing small businesses, we need to upskill and sensitise them. We willl go into the nooks and crannies of Nigeria to make them understand that if you process data then you must abide by the data protection laws in Nigeria,” he added.

These collaborations mark significant milestones in NDPC’s mission to promote data protection and privacy across diverse sectors in Nigeria. The commission remains committed to fostering partnerships that uphold the rights of individuals and ensure the responsible handling of personal data.

Signed
Itunu Dosekun
Head Media, NDPC