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Experts task NASS on Legal Framework for Data Protection



African Academic Network on Internet Policy has requested that the National Assembly inserts the following in data protection framework or bill, “the use of personal data must be in accordance with the purpose for which it was collected, consent of the individual must be obtained prior to collecting his/her personal data; rights of the individual to seek legal remedies for misuse and or unauthorized access to his/her personal data must be guaranteed”.

This was the submission at the two day seminar/Colloquium of the African Academic Network on Internet Policy held at IITA, Ibadan recently.

The theme of the two day seminar was, ‘Privacy and Security: Building the Evidence Base and a multi-stakeholder action base for Personal Data Protection in Nigeria’. It was revealed at the seminar, that most African countries including Nigeria do not have data protection laws.

It was revealed at the panel sessions that there are five primary concerns around the collection of the use of personal data both online and offline in Nigeria, they include, the use of personal data may be incompatible with the purpose for which it was collected; individuals have no rights in relation to the collection, use and storage of their personal information; Nigerians are not offered adequate opportunities to consent to or opt out of data collection.

More so, there is limited to no transparency around the processing of personal data and there is limited information available around how this personal data is used and stored, leading to greater risk of a personal data breach; children are exposed to privacy risks online and often lack the legal capacity to give valid consent and may unknowingly disclose personal information to online platforms due to the appealing nature of their visual content.

In his opening remarks, the Executive vice chairman of ISGPP, Dr. Tunji Olaopa said that African continent is touted as fertile ground for Netpreneurs, Mobile institutions, increasing use of technology and leveraging the internet to address developmental challenges.

He added that, with the exponential increase in the use of personal information by businesses in technology age, data protection has become such a defining compelling agenda for priority attention in many countries worldwide.

Olaopa emphasized that it is high time that Africa aligns itself with this global movement by coming up with sufficiently strong and intelligent data protection policy to drive the growth of the African Digital Economy.

While giving a brief overview of the African Academic Network on Internet Policy, member of the steering committee, Dr. Temitope Aladesanmi said that the formation of the group was as a result of the poor and low level of African voices specifically to Internet Policy and governance.

He explained that the European Union General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) would come to effect May 2019 and as such, it has significant impact for some local organizations who are in business with the EU maybe required to conform with the standard.

“One of the direct output of the main conference was the imperative of the need to begin an immediate discourse with respect to data protection and security in Africa.”

According to Co-creation Hub Nigeria, Emmanuel Okochu, said that the biggest challenge in Data Protection in Nigeria is that most users do not have a detailed understanding of positive sides of data protection entails.

“The people you seek to protect are the ones who don’t understand why they should be protected. When you try to explain to people how dangerous it is to keep posting every thing about them online”.

Several representatives came from other African including, Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya, Ghana, Code voir to mention a few.

According to Tope Ogundipe of Paradigm Initiative, “it is dangerous to exist in an environment where you don’t know how your information is used. It is possible you are put under surveillance without any legal framework”.

Dr. shyllon suggested that targeted national interventions and advocacy should be dependent on accessibility to ongoing or future national processes for the development of laws and policies on the protection of personal information.

Interventions could involve technical guidance for states to ensure proposed laws adopt a balanced approached with human rights consideration, assistance with amendment of laws and policies or addressing implementation challenges”.


FG to Use ICT to Curb Unemployment



Dr. Isa Pantami, Director General of NITDA

Federal government has said it is aware of difficulties in securing white-collar jobs by youths in the country and this has compelled it to look inward to build technology entrepreneurs.


This was revealed by Dr. Isa Pantami, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency ([NITDA), during the ninth edition of Startup Friday event for Akwa Ibom youths in Uyo, the state capital.


According to him, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become inevitable. The future of the country’s youths depends on ICT.


The Director General said the Startup Friday programme was created to encourage every Nigerian to look inward in tackling

Nigeria’s economic problems, stressing that, “ICT is the global driver of all aspects of the economy”.


“We are aware of the harsh condition in securing white-collar jobs in the country. So, it has become apparent for the government to focus more in building technology entrepreneurs. A developed indigenous ICT eco-system would help the country to diversify its economy from oil.


“Data is the new oil. With the two local content-related Presidential Orders, we need to focus on locally-produced innovations for our local markets. NITDA intends to encourage and support ICT entrepreneurship and promote it as an attractive career option for the teeming youths”, he said.


He said the startup was brought to Akwa Ibom to encourage the youths to eke a living through ICT, adding that plans had reached advance stage to establish a Digital Job Centre in the state.




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MRA Asks Buhari to Assent to Digital Rights and Freedom Bill



President Muhammadu Buhari

Media Rights Agenda (MRA), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill into law as soon as he receives it from the National Assembly, saying it is the most practical way for his Administration to demonstrate its support for Internet freedom for Nigerians.


In a statement in Lagos, MRA applauded the leadership of National Assembly for the speedy passage of the Bill by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and urged them to ensure that a clean copy reaches the President for signature in the shortest time possible in order to bring their efforts to fruition


The Bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives on December 19, 2017, was similarly passed by the Senate earlier this week, on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.


Mr. Edetaen Ojo, executive director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA), described the proposed Law as “a strong piece of legislation that seeks to effectively protect the rights of Nigerians on the Internet and in the digital environment in accordance with the global norms and standards that Nigeria has helped to establish.”


Calling on President Buhari to assent to the Bill without delay and thereby demonstrate his willingness to protect the rights of all Nigerians online as they are protected offline, he said: “The Bill provides a comprehensive framework for the advancement, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet and in the digital environment, consistent with Nigeria’s regional and international obligations under various international human rights instruments, some of which Nigeria has led in bringing into being by co-sponsoring”.


For instance, Mr Ojo said, “Nigeria played a leading role on the global stage in 2012 when it led in co-sponsoring the landmark Resolution on the Promotion, Protection and Enjoyment of Human Rights on the Internet at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, alongside Sweden, the United States, Brazil, Turkey and Tunisia, wherein it was affirmed that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice.”


Observing that the resolution has brought Nigeria tremendous respect and acclaim from around the world, he urged the President to sign the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill “in keeping with the groundbreaking direction and guidance which this Resolution provided to the global community on human rights online.”


In addition, Mr. Ojo said, the Digital Rights and Freedom Act will help boost an innovative environment for Nigerians, as well as accelerate the country’s development in the digital age by allowing all Nigerians take maximum advantage of emerging opportunities, adding that this will be beneficial to the government and its efforts to ensure the economic growth of Nigeria including though its recent Enabling Business Environment initiative.


Mr. Ojo added that: “The Bill, when it becomes Law, will bring Nigeria’s domestic law, policy and practices with regards to the protection of human rights on the Internet into conformity with this international norm that we were central as a nation in developing and bequeathing to the global community.”


MRA also called on all other stakeholders, especially the media and civil society actors, to lend their voices to the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill by advocating for speedy presidential assent and subsequently, to monitor its implementation and ensure that its provisions are applied in practice.


Mr. Ojo said: “This piece of legislation will ultimately impact the personal and professional lives of every Nigerian who is connected to the Internet as well as those who will be connected in the future. It is therefore essential for all stakeholders to contribute to this process in every way possible including through advocacy, by writing about it, facilitating discussions and debates, playing their roles in ensuring its implementation and encouraging other members of society to do so as well.”


He also praised Paradigm Initiative for leading and coordinating the multi-stakeholder efforts that characterized the development and drafting of the Bill and resulted in its speedy passage by the National Assembly, saying it has once again demonstrated the power of civil society to positively affect the fortunes of Nigeria and Nigerians.

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Workers Seek Sack of NCC Boss over Alleged N406m Fraud



Afam Ezekude, DG, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC)

Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has called for the removal of Afam Ezekude, director general, for alleged maladministration and misappropriations of funds totalling N406 million.


ASCSN, an affiliate of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), also demanded Ezekude’s immediate investigation and prosecution.


Ezekude in his reaction, dismissed the allegations, saying the claims were unsubstantiated and false.


Speaking with The Guardian on telephone, he said the allegations were previously investigated by the EFCC, DSS and ICPC but declared them unfounded.


But the association, which protested against the DG’s alleged maladministration and embezzlement of public funds on Monday, March 12, 2018, said Ezekude’s continued stay in the commission was affecting the growth of creative industry in the country.


Moses Ihuma, chairman of NCC chapter of the association, who spoke to The Guardian on the telephone, said staff members of the commission have lost confidence in Ezekude’s leadership.

He noted that the director general had reduced the NCC, which is an enforcement agency set up to protect and promote the creative industry, to an agency for looting of funds.


He also alleged that poor welfare scheme resulted in the death of 15 employees of the commission, stressing that they would continue their protests until their demands were met.


In a statement signed by Ihuma and Olatunji Kurile, the unit’s Secretary, the association said their grouse include lack of payment of staff allowances since 2011, lack of working tools and illegal renewal of Ezekude’s tenure, as well as the director general’s possession of two letters of tenure renewal from two different government offices.


They noted that the association had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) with evidences of corruption against Ezekude.




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