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NDPC fines four banks, three companies N400m for data violation

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Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) says four banks and three other companies have faced sanctions and incurred fines totalling N400 million for infractions related to breaches of citizens’ data.

Vincent Olatunji, national commissioner of NDPC, made this known on Tuesday while reporting on the one-year implementation of the NDPC Act.

On June 14, 2023, President Bola Tinubu signed the Nigeria data protection bill into law.

In the legislation, the establishment of NDPC to replace the NDPB was introduced.

The commission is expected to protect citizens’ private information and be independent.

According to Olatunji, over the past year, more than 1000 financial institutions, schools, insurance companies, and consultancy firms have undergone investigations for breaches of citizens’ data.

He also said there are ongoing investigations concerning data infractions.

Olatunji also highlighted that the activities of the NDPC have led to increased levels of compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Act in both the private and public sectors.

“When we started, the levels of compliance within the private sector was about 49 percent while the public sector was 4 percent. But today, private sector compliance is above 55, while the public sector has reached 15 percent,” Olatunji said.

“The nation’s data ecosystem is now worth over N10 billion and the commission considers it imperative to ensure that citizens’ data are safe, secure and protected in line with global best standards and practices.”

He further said Nigeria is now at the forefront of the activities of the global data assembly due to the Data Protection Act 2023 and the impact of the data ecosystem on the national economy as nations like Kenya, Ghana, China, Singapore, and Malaysia, among others now share experiences with Nigeria.

“The Data Protection Act 2023 is a major milestone for Nigeria. Mr President laid our apprehension to rest when he signed the Act on June 12, 2023,” he said.

“It was a major turnaround for the industry. Now the data ecosystem is beyond everybody because it is a global phenomenon due to the impact of technology.

“In terms of jobs and wealth creation, promotion of tourism, perception and attraction of foreign direct investments into Nigeria, we have taken a leapfrog and even overtaken some countries.

“And that’s why Nigeria was given the hosting right for 2024 All African Data Protection Commission’s and Institutions. About 30 countries will be here next year for the event.”

NDPC TO COLLABORATE WITH REGULATORS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH ACT

Olatunji said the NDPC now collaborates with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), and other regulatory organisations to make sure stakeholders under their supervision abide by the Data Protection Act.

According to Olatunji, capacity building, awareness raising, and stakeholder engagement have raised the bar for compliance within the ecosystem.

He also said to check the activities of digital loan platforms, the commission collaborated with CBN, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other regulatory authorities.

The national commissioner, however, said awareness would continue to be created for vulnerable Nigerians who become victims of the loan sharks due to ignorance.

Olatunji also said the country’s population and landmass are a challenge to a total clampdown on the digital loan sharks as most of them operate from isolated or remote areas without known addresses.

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Tinubu proposes two or three years interval to adjust minimum wages for Nigerian workers

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President Bola Tinubu recently proposed the idea of adjusting wages at shorter intervals of two or three years, instead of every five years.

He said this while expressing his concern for the welfare of Nigerian workers, whilst calling for realistic expectations regarding the minimum wage.

This was shared at a meeting with Members of organized labour on the new minimum wage at the State House, which had in attendance, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, some ministers, heads of agencies, and aides to the president.

The meeting followed the president’s decision to engage more with stakeholders before making a definite decision on the matter.

According to President Tinubu,

“I pay attention to everything around me. A happy worker is a productive worker, and society depends on the productivity of the happy worker. You have to cut your clothes according to the available clothes.

“Before we can finalize the minimum wage process, we have to look at the structure. Why must we adjust wages every 5 years? Why not two? Why not three years? What is a problem today can be eased up tomorrow. We can take a surgical approach that is based on pragmatism and a deep understanding of all factors”.

The various stakeholders engaged in the discussion addressing the minimum wage affecting Nigeria’s economic challenges had this to say:

The President of the Trade Union Congress, Festus Osifo, said,

“As has been said in the meeting, we try to put issues on the table, issues that are biting Nigerians, the economic difficulties, and how the value of the Naira has also eroded.

“How this has affected the prices of commodities and goods in the market”.

The Nigeria Labour Congress Leader, Joe Ajaero, explained that in real terms, it was not a negotiation but a discussion which had reached an agreement. He noted that the status quo in terms of the amounts, N250,000 and N62,000, would remain until the conversation was finished.

The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha emphasized the positive outcome of the meeting saying, “When father and children talk, you know what it is. That’s just exactly what has happened, and it took us almost like an hour. I believe that it’s all for good”.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris in a similar vein, indicated that the president was keeping to his promise to consult.

He emphasized, “He doesn’t just want to take any decision. It’s a decision that affects all of us, so he is consulting with the sub-nationals. Consultation with the organized private sector is ongoing. You have also seen that this consultation with organized labour has also happened today. They’ve asked for a week. Like I said earlier, we’re going to meet with them again. Hopefully, we’ll have something that all of us will agree on.

Albeit, Nigerians will be looking forward to next week when these engagements will be concluded, and a decision taken.

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Naira falls to N1,561/$ in official market — lowest in three months

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Naira appreciates to N1,419/$ at official market

The Nigerian naira fell to N1,561 against the dollar at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) on Wednesday.

The rate represents a loss of 1.88 percent from the figure (N1,532) recorded on July 9.

According to data from FMDQ Securities Exchange, a platform that oversees foreign exchange (FX) trading in Nigeria, the local currency hit an intra-day trading high of N1,585 and a low of N1,475.

The current FX figure represents the lowest since March 18 when the naira exchanged at N1,572 to the greenback.

At the parallel section of the market, the local currency traded at N1,550 on Wednesday — depreciating by 0.65 percent from N1,540 on July 9.

Currency traders, known as bureau de change (BDC) operators, quoted the buying rate at N1,530 and the selling price at N1,550 — leaving a profit margin of N20.

TWO-DAY DEPRECIATION

The local currency has witnessed marginal fluctuations in both the parallel and official markets within the last two days.

At the official market, the local currency depreciated to N1,523 on July 8 — from N1,509/$ on July 5 — and further tumbled to N1,532 on July 9.

It recorded a marginal appreciation to N1,523 per dollar on July 8 at the parallel market — from N1,525 on July 5.

However, the rally was quickly reversed on July 9, with the currency sliding to N1,540.

The two-day depreciation of the naira comes amid a recorded a rise in the external reserves of Nigeria.

The external reserves of one of Africa’s largest economies increased to $35.05 billion on July 8 — the highest since May 30, 2023.

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Iwalewa Davies Launches New Entertainment Venture “Iwalewa Unlimited” with “Cocktail of Fun”

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Iwalewa Davies, a distinguished serial entrepreneur and mass communicator, is thrilled to announce the launch of her new entertainment platform, “Iwalewa Unlimited.”

This exciting venture will host a monthly event series called “Cocktail of Fun,” designed to bring together people who are passionate about fun, music, and socialising.

In a message, Yeye Davies expressed her enthusiasm for the new project, stating, “After a series of deliberations, I have concluded that a gathering of happy people seeking unlimited fun will not be a bad idea. ‘Cocktail of Fun’ is my new baby, and I am also using this moment to inform you about the birth of ‘Iwalewa Unlimited.'”

The debut event of “Cocktail of Fun” is set to take place on Wednesday, 31st July, at the exclusive Bite Billionaires Lounge on Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja.

This launch event promises an evening filled with entertainment and networking opportunities as attendees “meet, merry, and connect.”

As part of the celebration, Iwalewa Davies has carefully selected three of Nigeria’s fastest rising musicians—Precious Adedoyin, Ola Liberty, and Tunde Stainless—to perform live.

“What is Iwalewa Unlimited without a live band?” she remarked. “Trust me, the night is going to be fun-filled.”

Future events hosted by Iwalewa Unlimited will continue to feature a diverse array of talented artists, ensuring that each gathering offers a unique and memorable experience.

The event is supported by Otunba Femi Davies, City People Entertainment, MetroNews Media Hub, Freelanews, John Friday Entertainment, Tobi Dash, Dejaai and a host of others.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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