Stakeholders including the ministry of interior and agencies under it and the Central Bank of Nigeria were yesterday disagreed on the Bill for an Act to provide for personal data protection to regulate the processing of information relating to individuals including the obtaining holding, use or disclosure of such information.
At the public hearing to collate views of the stakeholders on the Bill organised by the House of Representatives committee on interior, stakeholders were sharply divided on the passage of such which the CBN quickly stated that the law contradicted the CBN Act 2007 which empowers the it to licence and regulate credit bureax to collect credit information on the customers at banks and other financial institutions which the CBN is at liberty to collect and disclose as it may deem appropriate.
While the CBN in a memorandum submitted to the committee, did not totally opposed to the Bill, they raised issues of concern that an independent supervisory body should be created or an existing body empowered to administer and enforce the Bill when it is passed into law.
CBN also pointed out that the Bill silent on the issue of identity theft, which we believe is very real considering the rising subscription to online services by individuals in Nigeria, that the Bill is also silent on deceased individuals’ personal information and how it may be dealt with by a next of kin and that Bill would be better structured if it is divided into various parts with different topics.
CBN stated, “it is pertinent for the committee to look at the electronic transactions Bill with a view to streamlining it with the provisions of the data protection Bill presently before the National Assembly part 1v of which deals extensively with data protection.
In supporting the Bill, the minister of interior, Comrade Abba Moro who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr daniel Nwaoba
considering the fact that the world today is a global village it it necessary to extend the safeguards for every’s rights, taking into account the increasing flow of personal data undergoing automatic processing.
The ministry and other stakeholders like Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Police Force and others gave their consent to the Bill which they stated that if passed it would protect people’s fundamental rights and freedoms and in particular their rights to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data.
The speaker of the House, Hon Aminu Tambuwal in speech while declaring the public hearing open urged all the stakeholders to contribute fairly in assisting the the committee to come up with a law that would meet up the demand of the time.