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FEC approves child online protection policy

FEC approves child online protection policy
January 25
18:29 2023

The federal executive council (FEC), has approved the national child online protection policy and strategy.

The council also approved Nigeria’s data protection bill on Wednesday at a meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja.

Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, after the meeting, explained that the national child protection policy aimed to protect children from online content.

He said online content could corrupt their innocence.


The minister said the policy was in line with the International Telecommunication Union’s policy document for all its member countries.

“Children will not be able to differentiate what is beneficial or what is harmful. And today, if you go online, you will discover that many things are coming into your device unsolicitedly,” he said. 

“If you are at least mature, you will be able to avoid it but children would not be able to and that will definitely affect their innocence and will even affect them morally and otherwise.”


Speaking on the data protection bill, Pantami said under the national cybersecurity policy 2021, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), was mandated to come up with a policy to protect citizens online. 

There were controversies after the proposed bill was first made public.

The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) last year set up an eight-person working committee headed by Segun Olugbile, executive chairman of Continental Project Affairs Associates Ltd (CPAA), to carry out a proper review of the bill and come up with actions and recommendations.

The committee was also to collate the contributions of ICT stakeholders on the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) amendment bill.


But speaking on the bill, Pantami said the approved data protection bill was to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of citizens’ data submitted to the government and other private institutions. 

He stated that with the data protection law, investors can be sure that the data collected are secured.

“As you all know, in January 2019, the National Information Technology Development Agency came up with a subsidiary law leveraging on its mandate and power, as in Section 6, Article 8 of NITDA 2007. The subsidiary law is entitled “Nigeria Data Protection Regulation,” the minister said.

“The wisdom behind coming up with this regulation is to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the data that we are submitting to the government and other private institutions. 


“Confidentiality of our data and security of our data is key to whatever we do. In some cases, you will discover that some institutions are abusing the data of citizens they collect. Some will even advertise data online, and some will commercialize without the knowledge of our citizens. 

“At that time, the National Information Technology Development Agency, leveraging on Section 6 of the Act 2007 came up with a subsidiary legislation or subsidiary law. That law has been enforced by the Commission.  We did so at the time that the European countries collectively came up with the general data protection regulation, that is the EU Data Protection Regulation. And it becomes even part and parcel of the global best practice in security, in the economy, in whatever your country does with other countries. 


“To the extent that today, potential investors usually ask questions when you invite them to invest in your country, they will ask, do you have any data protection law in place, so that they will ensure data to be collected is going to be protected? It is also important to our security that subsidiary legislation is being enforced. 

“In February 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the establishment of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau, and he also approved the appointment of Vincent Olatunji, then director of e-government in NITDA to be the national commissioner. “





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