Passage of data, digital rights necessary for Nigeria’s growth, progress – Accountability Lab
A civil society organisation, Accountability Lab Nigeria has called on the federal government to work with the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, saying it is pertinent for the nation’s progress.
This is even as the organisation also asked the two arms of government to gazette the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) in order to make it enforceable and part of the Nigerian law.
The communication manager, of Accountability Lab, Murkthar Suleiman, made the call yesterday in Abuja while speaking with newsmen during training for Security Officers from DSS, Police, NIA, NITDA, and FRSC on Digital rights.
Suleiman said the law will ensure that Nigeria becomes a respectable 21st Century digitised economy and a society governed by the rule of law where the citizens are not harassed by law enforcement agencies.
“We have seen cases where we have issues with security agencies where citizens feel like policemen cannot just stop them and search their phone which is often the case. But there’s also limitations of that right, depending on the context,” he said.
Also speaking, a technology lawyer Igube Veronica Pana said the bill had been passed in 2019 and had been given to the President for assent, but unfortunately he didn’t assent it based on certain issues.
“So the conversation is still ongoing for us to have a digital rights and freedom bill. Because we live in a digital space right now.
“Communicating is changing and the way we’re interacting is changing. There’s a need for our rights to be protected,” she said.
She added that the goal of the training is to raise more awareness about digital rights.
“We’re educating law enforcement officers about digital rights, so we’re bringing awareness for them to understand that citizens have certain rights,” she added.