The Nigerian Data Protection Commission (NDPC) is investigating 17 significant data breaches in banking, technology, education, consultancy, government, logistics, and gaming/lottery. 

NDPC National Commissioner Dr Vincent Olatunji said this at Global Data Privacy Day in Abuja. 

In addition, the commission received over 1000 data breach complaints, prompting investigations. Olatunji said the commission’s efforts in the country have brought in N400 million for the government.

In Finance, Technology, Education, Consulting, Government, Logistics, and Gaming/Lottery, Olatunji said over 1000 complaints had been evaluated, 50 verified, and 17 significant instances under investigation. 

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“We have generated over 400 million Naira for the government through remedial actions for completed cases.”

Zenith, GTB, Fidelity, Leadway Insurance, Babcock University, and others were investigated for data breaches by NDPC in June 2023. The Commission investigated data breach allegations against Opay, Meta, and DHL by October 2023. The robust regulatory framework and strategic measures behind these investigations demonstrate Nigeria’s commitment to data security and privacy.

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The National Commissioner of NDPC also reported an increase in annual audit filing due to the growth of Data Protection Compliance Organisations from 103 to 163.

According to him, the sector generates N6.2 billion in income and 10,100 jobs. 

To promote compliance, we expanded Data Protection Compliance Organisations from 103 to 163. Annual audit filings have climbed to over 2000, industry revenue is projected at 6.2 billion, and 10,100 jobs have been generated. 

In addition, Nigeria has joined the Global Privacy Assembly, which includes 130 nations. Furthermore, it is an active member of the Network of African Data Protection Authorities. Membership in the organisations attests to our international recognition and moderate engagement in Nigeria’s data protection ecosystem.

He underlined data privacy and protection awareness in the country. 

Olatunji also stated that the Nigeria Annual Data Protection Report, presented during the Feb. 4, 2024, Annual Anniversary and Award Ceremony, will detail the commission’s progress and following measures.

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Minister seeks awareness 

The Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, emphasised awareness above fines. 

He suggested using Data Privacy Week to honour compliant organisations and raise awareness of the knowledge gap. 

Bosun observed, “The knowledge is lacking because there is no capacity, and it is a new way of doing things, and we need to consider behavioural change.” 

According to the minister, the Federal Government plans to digitise all public services to capitalise on the digital economy and safeguard citizens’ data.