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Buhari seeks senate approval of Data Protection Bill

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the Nigerian Data Protection Bill to the Senate for approval and passage.

In the letter addressed to the Senate President, Alhaji Ahmad Lawan, and read at plenary on Tuesday, the President wants the lawmakers to expedite actions on the passage of the bill which seeks to protect Nigeria’s data.

The letter to the Senate followed the approval of the bill by the Federal Executive Council in January this year. When passed into law, the bill will ensure the privacy and confidentiality of data being submitted to the government and other institutions.

  • Pursuant to Section 58, subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, I forward herewith the Nigerian Data Protection Bill for consideration and approval of by the Senate,” the letter read.

Key provisions of the bill

The Bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the protection of personal information and the establishment of the Nigerian Data Protection Commission for the regulation of laws on personal information.

  • Section 33 of the Bill establishes specific provisions for lawfully obtaining consent from children. In particular, the Bill provides that the data controller must obtain the consent of a parent or other appropriate legal guardian of the child and must apply appropriate mechanisms, including the presentation of government-approved identification documents, to verify age and consent.
  • The bill also requires both controllers and processors of major importance to appoint a data protection officer (‘DPO’) with expert knowledge of data protection law and practices and the ability to carry out the tasks as outlined in the Bill.
  • The international transfer of personal data is regulated in Part IX of the Bill, which is similar to the GDPR. Specifically, the Bill establishes the concept of an adequacy decision for countries and appropriate safeguards for controllers and processors.
  • Section 47 of the bill states that a data subject who is aggrieved by the decision, action or inaction of a data controller or data processor in violation of the Act, subsidiary legislation or orders may complain with the Commission.

Other letters to the Senate

Meanwhile, in a separate letter, Buhari urged the Senate to approve the re-appointment of Mr Abdul Abubakar as non-Executive Director of the CBN for a second and final term.

In yet another letter, the president transmitted a Bill for the establishment of the Nigeria Police Force College Training School and Institution, for consideration and approval by the Senate.

  • “Pursuant to section 58 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution, I forward herewith the Nigerian Police Force College Training School and Institution Establishment Bill 2023 for consideration and passage of the Senate,’’ the letter read.

According to Buhari, the school seeks to provide a comprehensive and legal institutional framework to provide specialized training for police officers. The institution would advance the performance of officers in accordance with the provision of the Nigeria Police Act, Buhari explained.

The president also sought the Senate’s approval for reimbursement through the issuance of promissory notes to Plateau and Borno, the sums of N6.6 billion and N3.8 billion, respectively. The reimbursements are for road projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government by the state governments.


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