The Nigerian government has announced plans to protect consumers’ privacy and data and insure confidentiality through the introduction of a new code of conduct targeting local ISPs.

Ismail Adedigba, Head of Information and Reference at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Consumer Affairs Bureau said that the increase in the number of internet users in Nigeria has pushed towards establishing the new regulation.

Consumers are at the heart of the telecommunications industry, thus the necessity to put in place such a code of conduct. “Stakeholders also need to demonstrate accountability and caution because regulation cannot solve everything”, Adedigba added.

Nigerian agencies - including the NCC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the country's National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) - have separate databases for citizens. The NCC is working with operators and other governmental agencies to streamline the collation of data and harmonize databases.

The NCC is also undertaking a verification process to make sure the data is in tandem with global national database standards and is, at the same time, providing the NIMC with information.

Sunday Dare, NCC's Executive Commissioner in charge of Stakeholder Management, emphasized, “Don’t forget that NIMC is dealing with database submitted by more than four of five major data collecting agencies and it is technology-based, and so we have to be patient.”

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