The Nigeria Digital for Development Project (ID4D) on Thursday engaged relevant private sector stakeholders on their contribution to ensuring the passage of the data protection regulations into law.
The project coordinator, Mr. Solomon Odole, said at the Data Protection Law Workshop in Lagos that the enactment of data protection regulations into law was tailored to meet the needs of Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Digital ID for Development (ID4D) is a federal government project with the aim of improving the Nigerian digital ID ecosystem.
Odole said a nation could not truly be a sovereign state if it did not know its people or have a unique way of identifying them.
He said the government’s knowledge of its citizens and residents was fundamental for planning, governance, financial management, accountability, security, among others.
According to him, this knowledge must start with birth registration and extend to house numbering, street naming and the issuance of a unique identifier through a national identification system.
”This knowledge also extends to knowing who, where, people’s social and economic circumstances.
”Establishing a basic identity card is the first step in empowering people and facilitating access to basic government services.
”The Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System and the National Identity Management System are the fundamental identity documents in Nigeria
“Without their own identity, people are excluded from basic services that provide a base of support,” he said.
According to him, one of the conditions for disbursement of the project is the enactment of the Data Protection Bill.
Odole, he said the project had spared no effort to ensure that this condition was met and that the bill was passed and assented to.
The coordinator said the goal of the project was to increase the number of people with a national identification number, issued by a robust and inclusive core identification system, which facilitated their access to services..
Also in his presentation titled “Data Protection in Nigeria: The Journey So Far”, the National Commissioner of the National Data Protection Office, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, highlighted the challenges of data protection in Nigeria.
Olatunji highlighted limited knowledge on data protection, limited human capital with experience and funding, among others.
NAN reports that the project is supported by development partners – the World Bank, the French Development Agency and the European Investment Bank (NAN)