Nigeria’s government wants to introduce a new code of practice to govern local ISPs – with a focus on cyber security, including consumer privacy and safety as well as data protection.
This is according to Ismail Adedigba, Head of Information and Reference at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Consumer Affairs Bureau.
Adedigba said the proposed code “will include, among other things, online child protection, confidentiality, data protection and objectionable content.”
He added that the regulation was necessary because of the increase in the number of internet users in Nigeria and the growing dependence of users on basic internet services and solutions.
Adedigba said the code reflects the importance the regulator attaches to the role of consumers in the local telecommunications industry. “Stakeholders also need to demonstrate accountability and caution because regulation cannot solve everything.”
No date has been announced for the official introduction of the code.
Centralised national database
Meanwhile the NCC is understood to be working with operators and other government agencies to centralise and streamline the collation of citizens’ data.
In Nigeria, agencies including the NCC, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the country’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) have separate databases for citizens.
These are now being ‘harmonised’ or effectively linked up following a presidential directive.
Sunday Dare, NCC’s Executive Commissioner in charge of Stakeholder Management, said the regulator is carrying out a verification process to ensure the data is on par with global standards for the national database.
It continues to provide the NIMC with information, the body responsible for ‘cleaning’ the data and adding it to the national database, Dare added.
“Also don’t forget that NIMC is dealing with database submitted by more than four of five major data collecting agencies and it is technology-based, and so we have to be patient,” he said.