In a recent announcement on Monday, the National Commissioner for the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, revealed that no fewer than seven banks and other institutions have paid over N200 million to the Federal Government as penalties for violating the data privacy of Nigerian citizens.
The penalties were imposed as a result of thorough investigations conducted by the Commission over the past year.
Dr. Olatunji addressed the press at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja following the signing of the Commission’s Act into law by President Bola Tinubu. While he did not disclose the names of the banks and institutions involved, he emphasized that more than 100 private sector entities were investigated for various levels of breaches concerning personal data privacy during the previous year.
The Commissioner provided examples of incidents where banks inaccurately captured individuals’ personal data, resulting in affected customers being unable to access funds in their accounts. Additionally, some customers experienced unauthorized withdrawals due to personal data breaches. Dr. Olatunji added that a private university and several insurance companies are currently under investigation for similar data breaches.
Furthermore, he issued a warning stating that the new law mandates all data processors and controllers to appoint Data Protection Officers (DPOs) within their organizations moving forward. Compliance with this legislation, signed into law by President Tinubu, is expected to not only bolster Nigeria’s digital economy but also elevate the country’s global recognition and enhance its position within the global digital economy landscape.