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NITDA Suspends Data Protection Compliance Organisation Licensing Process

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has announced the suspension of the application and licensing process for the Data Protection Compliance Organisation (DPCO) License.

In a statement signed by the Director, eGovernment Development and Regulations, Dr. Vincent Olatunji disclosed that NITDA will no longer be collecting application for DPCO licenses until further notice.

Article 1(3j) of the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) provides that a Data Protection Compliance Organisation (DPCO) is any entity duly licensed by NITDA for the purpose of training, auditing, consulting, and rendering services aimed at ensuring compliance with this Regulation or any foreign Data Protection law or regulation having an effect in Nigeria.

A DPCO may be one or more of the following with added certification in data protection or relevant experience;

  • Professional Service Consultancy firm
  • IT Service Provider
  • Audit firm
  • Law firm

It will be recalled that in October 2019, NITDA announced the licensing of 11 DPCOs with 16 pending.

Following global trend, NITDA, pursuant to the powers conferred on it by the National Information Technology Development Agency Act (the NITDA Act), issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 to safeguard the rights of natural persons to data privacy, foster safe conduct of transactions involving the exchange of personal data, prevent manipulation of personal data as well as ensure that Nigerian businesses remain competitive in international trade through the safeguards afforded by a just and equitable legal regulatory framework.

The launch of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) is envisaged to provide 300,000 new jobs in the information and communications Technology (ICT) and the licensing of the DPCOs marked the commencement of their work.

The data protection regulation in Nigeria, according to Dr. Olatunji, would attract more foreign investment in the country.

He also added that NITDA is taking proactive steps in its regulatory activities because in the next 10 years, data business and revenues will surpass oil business and revenues as no industry will operate without the use of data.

And they must have data protection certification or experience to any of the following

Data science

Data protection and privacy

Information Privacy

Information Audit

Data Management

Information security

Data protection legal services

Information Technology due diligence

EU GDPR implementation and compliance

Cybersecurity/cybersecurity law

Data Analytics

Data Governance

Dr. Vicent Olatunji -Director of e-Government Regulations, NITDA who was representing the Director-General of the agency- Kashifu Inuwa noted that six out of the eleven licensed DPCO had started recruiting staff for the commencement of work in line with the government policy of capacity building and job creation.

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