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FEC approves Nigeria Data Protection Bill

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the Nigeria Data Protection Bill for transmission to the National Assembly.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this on Wednesday after the FEC meeting.

According to Mr Pantami, when the bill is passed into law, it will ensure the privacy and confidentiality of data being submitted to the government and other institutions.

The bill seeks to give Nigerians full legal backing in the protection of their data and will replace the current Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).

The National Assembly has emphasized the importance of having a data protection law in the country. Last year, they promised to give the bill an accelerated passage once sent to them by the executive.

The FEC has also approved the National Child Online Protection Policy and Strategy targeted at protecting children from the negative side of the digital environment.

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

According to him, around 6.3 billion people are online and by implication, the vast majority are children.

A report by the International Telecommunication Union has it that more than one billion children were online during the COVID-19 lockdown when Schools were shutdown.

When the bill is passed into law, children will be able to avoid such unsolicited items online which could affect their innocence and influence them morally, the Minister added.

Writing by Juliet Onwurah; Editing by Tersoo Nicholas