The National Commissioner of the Nigeria Data Protection Commission, Dr Vincent Olatunji, has disclosed that the commission has formed a joint committee with the Central Bank of Nigeria to review the regulation mandating financial institutions to obtain social media handles, among other data, of customers.

He disclosed this a two-day sensitisation workshop on Data Privacy and Protection in Abuja on Thursday.

Earlier in June this year, the CBN mandated financial institutions to obtain the social media handles, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, residential addresses, and more of their customers.

This formed part of its new customer due diligence regulations and is in a bid to further deepen the identification process in the banking system.

The apex bank disclosed this in its ‘Central Bank of Nigeria (Customer Due Diligence) Regulations, 2023’ document.

The CBN stated that its new regulation was created to provide additional customer due diligence measures for financial institutions under its regulatory purview.

However, the NDPC had kicked against the regulation, describing it as unnecessary.

Olatunji said, “When there was an issue with CBN asking for CBN handles, we actually went to the CBN and we set up a joint committee to see the best way to resolve this. We told them that was not necessary and they agreed with us.”

Also, he said the commission is engaging in rigorous sensitisation on the Nigeria Data Protection Act and capacity building of Data Protection Officers and Nigerians.

Olatunji decried that the country requires over 500,000 certified DPOs because the skill is lacking.

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, during the event, expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to the protection of digital platforms to build the confidence of citizens while online.

Tijani said the government is building a structure around regulation of data privacy and protection, which is important to the journey of the nation towards digitalisation.

“Data privacy is not just a matter of convenience, it is a fundamental human right and we should care about the data we generate and what it is being used for. As we embrace the digital age, it is crucial that the personal and sensitive information of our citizens is maintained under the eyes of confidentiality.

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