The Nigerian government has abandoned the data protection bill that it put together in a capital-intensive process that was completed in 2020 and is now going to spend enormous resources to hire a “consultant” to devise a new document. It is seeking funding from the World Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD), and the European Investment Bank (EIB) for this scheme. 

It plans to use some of the funds to increase the number of individuals with a National ID number, which is issued via a robust and inclusive foundational ID system to make government services more accessible. 

The governance arrangements for project implementation consist of three structures:

a) Project Ecosystem Steering Committee (PESC);

(b) the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s Ecosystem Coordination Strategic Unit (ECSU); and

(c) the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)’s Project Implementation Unit (PIU). “

The said consulting firm’s services will include providing legal advice to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE) in order to assist in the development and implementation of a legal framework, institutional and regulatory capacity, and data protection, cybersecurity, and ID systems that will give effect to the Nigeria ID4D Project’s reforms.

It is expected to draft “subsidiary legislation” (regulations, rules, and/or guidelines) to help implement primary law.

The consultant will also draft “amendments to existing laws and regulations, including the National Identity Management Commission, National Population Commission legislation, and Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) legislation to harmonise the overall approach to data protection, cybersecurity, and cybercrimes in Nigeria and ensure the ID system operates in an inclusive, non-discriminatory, and transparent manner.”

By- Shubhangi Kumari Mishra

(Writer Intern, WCSF)

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