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NITDA Creates 2,686 Jobs – Report

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) hascreated 2,686 new jobs, according to a new report.

The Agency’s first Annual Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) Performance Report 2019-2020 was unveiled recently by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

According to the report obtained by Grassroots.ng, NDPR met the need of the Nigerian environment; indicating that 76% of Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs) has helped the country in their compliance with the regulation.

The Minister explained how NITDA provided requisite support for industry adoption of the NDPR.

”I have reviewed the report and I am proud to see that we have through the NDPR, 2,686 job roles, thereby creating massive opportunities for young Nigerians to be recruited as Data Protection Officers, Data Protection Compliance Organisations, Compliance officers among others.

“The DPCOs have also earned over N2 billion in the first year of implementation. This is the intent of our digital economy policy- empowering Nigerians in a way that ensures global competitiveness,” the Minister said.

According to the Minister, NDPR is part of the implementation of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) which has eight pillars – Developmental Regulation; Digital Literacy & Skills; Solid Infrastructure; Service Infrastructure; Digital Services Development & Promotion; Soft Infrastructure; Digital Society & Emerging Technologies; and Indigenous Content Development & Adoption.

“The NDPR falls under the first pillar – Developmental Regulation. The objective of this pillar is to ensure an effective regulatory oversight and securing of the information, communication, technology and digital economy space to engender accelerated and inclusive development,” he added.

While making a his remark, the Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, stated that the goal of the report is to give all stakeholders the opportunity to understand how the Agency has fared in the implementation of the NDPR, adding that understanding between industry players would generate further research and provide guidance to other regulators, partners, data controllers, data processors and other stakeholders.

He said NITDA made a compilation of all the organisations who filed their annual audit report for the year 2019.

“Submission of an audit report does not conclusively indicate compliance with all tenets of data protection, this list shows organisations who have complied with the audit filing requirement of the NDPR, which is a key milestone towards compliance. It is important to note that non-filing of the NDPR audit report is a breach of the Regulation,” he said.

Mallam Kashifu added that, “the Report, being the first of its kind is aimed at highlighting key initiatives, successes and challenges of implementing the Regulation.

The NDPR being a flagship of the NDEPS, is expected to be used as a learning curve for Nigeria and Africa on how to effectively implement global laws with due consideration of local peculiarities and opportunities.”

The NDPR was issued on 25th January, 2019 pursuant to Section 6(a,c) of the NITDA Act, 2007. The Regulation covers every person subject to the laws of Nigeria, whether resident in Nigeria or not.

It is aimed at safeguarding the rights of persons to privacy; fostering safe conduct for the transactions involving the exchange of personal data; preventing manipulation of personal data; and ensuring that Nigerian businesses remain competitive in international trade through the safeguards afforded by a just and equitable legal regulatory framework.

Since the issuance of the NDPR, Nigeria has turned a significant corner in her drive towards the maturation of the Digital Economy.

The level of compliance is growing as shown in a key compliance indicator which requires the filing of a data audit report by every data controller and processor. Article 4.1(5) of the Regulation requires the filing of an initial data audit report and a subsequent annual audit report by every data controller and processor.

This process has helped NITDA to have an overview of the state of data governance in the reporting entity while also helping government understand requisite intervention points to improve data governance, cyber-security and privacy protection.

In the year under review, NITDA served 51 enforcement notices on data controllers who are perceived to have breached the provisions of the NDPR. Also, 180 compliance notices were served on Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, one of which is the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) breach.

The LIRS was found to have exposed the personal data of some taxpayers in the process of harmonising historical tax data. NITDA initiated an investigation on LIRS and its major data processor. A fine of One Million naira (N1,000,000.00) (over $2,500) was imposed on the LIRS.

The decision on fine value was reached after considering the cooperation and prompt remedial actions taken by the LIRS in the course of the investigation.

On the other hand, NITDA has commenced investigation into the activities and operations of seven (7) data controllers as part of its enforcement drive.

The Agency is being mindful of the implications of negative publicity on business, hence refrained from making public statements on breach until the legal and procedural basis has been established.

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TechNews

MTN, Airtel, Mafab, Get Approval From NCC Over 5G Deployment

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MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Airtel Networks Ltd and Mafab Communications Ltd., have been announced bidders of the forthcoming 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum auction.

Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced , said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr Adinde said the license was for the deployment of Fifth generation (5G) networks in the country.

He noted that the qualified bidders met the criteria for participation in the licensing process of 3.5Ghz spectrum, including payment of the stipulated Intention to Bid Deposit (IBD) as outlined in the Information Memorandum (IM).

Mr Adinde said that the mock auction was scheduled for December 10, while the main auction will be held on December 13, both in Abuja.

He said: “The stage is now set for the three companies to participate in the main auction.

“They will also participate in the mandatory mock auction process, which will come as a precursor to the main auction.

“The commission has also reaffirmed the dates for the conduct of both the mock auction and the main auction.”

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Startups

AFEX Launches $100m Food Security Fund

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AFEX, Nigeria’s leading commodities market player, has today announced a new $100m 10-year bond called The Food Security Fund (FSF). The financing will strengthen Africa’s food security and produce three million MT of food annually on the continent.

AFEX’s fund will support the financing of 250,000 hectares of land for commercial and smallholder farming, initially consisting of 30,000 hectares in the Nigerian states of Kano, Kaduna, Oyo, Ogun, Cross River & the FCT, before covering markets across East and West Africa.

The focus of the The Food Security Fund will be to explore and optimize climate smart innovations and high yield agronomy protocols to ensure more food is produced and that land is used efficiently. As a blended finance structure, with an external fund manager, AFEX’s $100m bond will boost food security in Nigeria, with additional impact across Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.

A significant portion of the funding will be allocated to constructing warehouses. In Nigeria alone there is only capacity to store 4% of annual grain production. Restricted production has led to a 300,000 MT gap between demand and supply of seeds, and a 10 million MT gap in demand and supply of grains, increasing food import costs, and declining capacity utilization of processing plants.

“The launch of The Food Security Fund is another really important milestone as we chart our journey building the physical and technology-enabled infrastructure for the continent’s commodity sector,” said Ayodeji Balogun, CEO at AFEX. “Finance will always be a key component of that infrastructure and so we’re very excited to roll out this bond to deliver what will eventually be a decade’s worth of impact. One of our core missions is to help the continent feed itself and we deliberately aligned our company goals with the UN SDGs from the outset, in particular the first and second goals to end hunger and eliminate poverty.”

Having worked with capital markets players to structure debt securities for over 200,000 smallholder farmers to date, AFEX is well positioned to roll out the Food Security Fund. Bolstered by an existing network of over 100 warehouses and digital trading platforms that link investors with producers and processors, the company’s commitment to the agricultural sector and deep industry knowledge will add crucial expertise behind this much needed funding.

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Startups

Octamile Raises $500,000 In A Pre-seed Round Les By EchoVC

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Octamile, an insurtech company enabling insurance and non-insurance businesses to protect African consumers from financial loss, has come out of stealth mode with $500,000 from a pre-seed funding round led by EchoVC with participation from Fiat Ventures, Kesho VC, Trade X, Verraki Partners, Dale Mathias, Kyle Daley (Founding team member of Chime) and other local and international angel investors. 

Speaking on the launch, the Founder and CEO of Octamile, Gbenro Dara, said that “Insurance is one sector that has the power to elevate the economy, but only about 5 out of 100 Africans have any form of insurance protection. The industry has lagged in the use of technology to deliver better products and services.” 

Gbenro has spent the past decade in leading roles at various technology startups, including Jumia, myautogenius.com, Hotels.ng, Efritin.com, Cheki.com and Olist by Opera software. With a degree in insurance from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, Dara is a Member of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria. 

“Our team has identified key areas where we add value and support the growth of the Insurance ecosystem with data and technology by partnering with traditional insurance businesses and non-insurance businesses,” said Gbenro. 

He cited the Access to Insurance Initiative – A2ii – (a global partnership working to ensure that the worlds excluded and underserved have access to insurance); insurance allows the worlds excluded and underserved to take control of their lives and reduce their vulnerability against risks. Hence, insurance is vital to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Africa. 

At Octamile, we believe in simplifying access to and reducing friction in the insurance experience to protect Africans from financial loss. Our digital insurance solution enables non-insurance businesses to offer Insurance as a feature in their already existing products. For insurance providers, we are powering them with the data and technology to improve customer experience, reduce administrative costs and optimise the profitability of their insurance portfolio. 

Having been described as the ‘operating system infrastructure for digital insurance in Africa,’ Octamile offers the following benefits to the ecosystem: 

  • Digital Claims: Our insurtech solution empowers insurance providers to provide a seamless claims experience and reduce administrative costs by integrating end-to-end claims management solutions into their existing systems and processes. Octamile’s end-to-end solution covers first notification of loss, remote inspections, rule-based decision making and payments. 
  • Improved Risk-Assessment: Increase the profitability of your insurance portfolio by integrating data from diverse sources to establish better pricing and risk profiling of your customers and their assets. Brokers, Banks, Fleet owners, Online Marketplaces can also leverage this data.
  • Embedded Insurance APIs: Non-Insurance businesses and developers can boost revenues and increase the life-cycle value of existing customers by adding insurance by ‘default’ as a feature in your product or existing business, powered via our flexible and customisable APIs

“Our goal over the next months will be to work closely with our partners, which include AXAMansard, and FirstBank, and onboard the dozens of insurers and startups on the waitlist ready to leverage the power of our solutions,” said Gbenro Dara, Founder and CEO, Octamile.

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