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NITDA investigates banks, fintechs, telcos over data privacy breaches

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that it is currently investigating some entities including Banks, Fintechs, Telcos etc. who are in alleged breach of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).

In a statement signed by the Director-General of the agency, Dr. Isa Pantami, and made available to The Witness on Thursday, the IT agency said it has also made several efforts to ensure compliance with the NDPR.

Read the full statement below:

The Management of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would like to bring to the notice of the general public of on-going investigation of alleged breach of the data privacy rights of Nigerians by some Data Controllers. It may be recalled that NITDA issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) on 25th January, 2019 with the aim of stemming the tide of wanton abuse of data privacy, improving the global image of the Nigerian business environment and to stimulate a data economy which would lead to the creation of 300,000 jobs by 2022.

In an effort to sensitise the general public and create the requisite awareness on the NDPR, series of publications were made in electronic, print and new media.  The Agency has also written articles, made paper presentations and facilitated public and privately organised fora for the purpose of deepening compliance with the NDPR. We are happy to say that Nigerians and non-Nigerians have taken note of the NDPR as evidenced by over 400 phones calls and numerous email enquiries being received and treated daily.

The Agency has gone further to prepare a detailed Draft Data Protection Implementation Framework and made available on the Agency’s website, www.nitda.gov.ng, for inputs from the general public. The Framework details expectations from every stakeholder. Furthermore, a sample Privacy Policy is attached to guide government agencies and the private sector on compliance with the NDPR.

NITDA is currently investigating some entities including Banks, Fintechs, Telcos etc. who are in alleged breach of the NDPR. The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) is also under investigation for alleged violation of Article 2.1(2, 3) of the NDPR. We therefore wish to assure all Nigerians that NITDA is willing, able and ready to implement the NDPR with the ultimate aim of ensuring compliance and making businesses and government work better for every Nigerian.

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THE NATION

IPPIS: FG stops salaries of ASUU members, strike looms

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Following the refusal of the staff of the federal tertiary institutions in Nigeria to be enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, the Federal Government has ordered that the salaries of the concerned staff be stopped immediately

The affected federal government staff, who will not be paid salaries from January, are members of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU.

According to a letter from the office of the Accountant General of the federation, signed by the Director of IPPIS, Olufehinti, O. J, dated January 21, 2020, and directed to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the minister was ordered not to release funds for the payment of January salaries of the tertiary institutions.

The letter captioned, “Request for stoppage of release of funds for January Salaries to federal universities, Polytechnics and colleges of education”, was silent on whether the non-payment of salaries will affect the non-teaching staff, who have enrolled under the scheme.

The letter reads, “I am directed to inform you that the preparation of January 2020 salary payroll and warrant of the federal tertiary institutions are on-gong and will be ready for submission on or before 29th of January, 2020.

“This is to give effect to the directive of the federal government that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies drawing personnel cost from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, should be enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS.

“In order to actualise this directive, you are please requested not to release the funds for payment of salaries to the tertiary institutions as their salaries will henceforth be paid on the IPPIS platform with effect from January 2020.”

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THE NATION

Coronavirus: Wash your hands, cover nose and mouth when sneezing, FG warns

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The federal government of Nigeria through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned Nigerians to protect themselves against the new deadly virus, Coronavirus.

The NCDC in a statement said to reduce the risk of spread of the virus, members of the public should wash their hands regularly with soap under running water and to cover their mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing.

At least 17 people have reportedly died from the virus in China following an outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, and more than 550 cases have been reported globally.

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The NCDC stated, “There is no specific treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus yet. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Therefore, treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition. In addition, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.

The “NCDC is currently coordinating a multisectoral technical group that is assessing and managing the risk of importation to Nigeria. It is in close communication with the WHO which is monitoring the situation globally. WHO is in direct communication with the government of China and other affected countries, and has released technical and travel guidance.”

NCDC called on travellers from Nigeria to Wuhan, China, to avoid contact with sick people, animals (alive or dead), and animal markets.

It added, “Travellers from Wuhan to Nigeria may be asked questions upon arrival by the Port Health Services unit at points of entry about symptoms of illness and travel history, and are advised to report immediately to the NCDC if they feel ill after a trip to Wuhan.”

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THE NATION

Presidency reacts to alleged U.S. visa restrictions against Nigeria

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The presidency has described as mere speculations the reported planned imposition of visa restrictions on some African and Asian countries including Nigeria by America’s government led by President Donald Trump.

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Some local traditional media organisations including online publications quoted foreign media outfits on Tuesday that the Donald Trump administration had concluded plans to add seven countries across the world, including Nigeria, to the country’s travel ban list.

The affected countries included Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania and Eritrea from Africa while Kyrgyzstan and Belarus from Eastern Europe and Myanmar from Asia.

The presidential aide, however, said: ”Yes, we have read the news that the Trump administration is planning to add a host of African, Asian and Eastern European countries to its travel restrictions list as reported by the U.S. media.

”We are not going to react to speculations. We urge you to wait for us to see what unfolds under the new policy, its scope, its reach, the implications, and its consequences before we react.”

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