By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The National Commissioner of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB), Mr Vincent Olatunji, has commended the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its robust data policy, expressing the readiness of his organisation to collaborate with the apex capital market regulator in Nigeria.
Mr Olatunji gave this applause when he held a meeting with the Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, in Abuja recently.
He stated that due to the fact that the issue of data is a global one as almost everything online, there is a need to ensure the safety of personal data.
“The whole world is a global village, and we are constantly interacting over various issues. The sector had the highest contribution to our GDP last year and that speaks volumes. Over 104 million Nigerians go on the internet daily and now we are looking at digitizing everything.
“We are committed to ensuring the protection of the data of Nigerians and to ensure we have globally competitive businesses as most countries will not want to go into business with you if you do not have your data protection and a supervising authority in place,” Mr Olatunji stated.
In his remarks, Mr Yuguda said SEC will work together with the agency to build trust in the capital market.
“The bureau and the commission can collaborate to ensure that institutions under my supervision should comply with NDPR (Nigeria Data Protection Regulation) as we have a lot of leverage over the institutions that work in the capital market so, we can put more emphasis on compliance in our interaction.
“There is a huge gap and big capacity for the agency and the agency will need more people and resources. The world is moving towards an online world which means that data is going to be given and stored somewhere and it can be compromised. That is the core purpose of your agency, to ensure that the data is properly used to the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians, and I believe that this is an important task.
“Looking at the capital market, people buy investments, remove money, get dividends etc., everything about it is data because no one wants to go to a stockbroker’s office now.
“We will give you the maximum support that we can. We know that when you work well, our own industry also functions better,” he stated.
The SEC DG used the occasion to announce that in a bid to contain issues of fraud in the capital market as well as reduce to the barest minimum the quantum of unclaimed dividends, capital market participants will be given unique identifiers.
He said the identity management project already on-going in the capital market is to ensure that every participant within the capital market has a unique identifier that will be given to them so all capital market transactions will be secured and done on a Straight Through Processing basis, leaving very little human intervention in the processing of data, noting that efforts are being made to harmonise various databases of investors and facilitate data accuracy in the market.
“This is an institution that is going to be a strong partner to your bureau in the discharge of your functions, to ensure there is data integrity, data security and all agencies and capital market operators do comply with the NDPR and as far as the commission is concerned, at the moment, we have an IT transformation project underway that seeks to strengthen our data protection within the commission, the capital market, as well as our entire IT environment so it will be up to speed in terms of modernity, efficiency and protection of the database of the commission and the capital market,” Mr Yuguda said.