The Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), is seeking a partnership union with the Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), on capacity building for VCs and data officers in universities to ensure adequate protection of students’ data.
The secretary general of CVCNU, Professor Yakubu Ochefu, requested the partnership during a courtesy visit by CVCNU members to the national commissioner/CEO of NDPC, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, in Abuja. He expressed his delight on the Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023, and stressed the need for CVCNU members to be enlightened on Data Protection.
Ochefu maintained that, there are 264 universities with Vice Chancellors who are now wearing a new cap of Chief Data Protection Officers of the Universities they lead, and assured that Nigerian universities are ready to play their part in the implementation of the Act, hence, the need to seek the partnership of the NDPC.
According to him, “the average VC wears four caps in the University. They serve as the Chief Accounting Officer, Executive Officer, Academic Officer, and Security Officer. I told them that they have a new cap which is now the Chief Data Officer of their university; the VCs immediately saw the value of Data Protection from the way forms are designed in the Universities, handling personal information, posting results on the wall and so on.
“We have come here to engage with you to see how we can work together and organise a capacity workshop for Vice Chancellors and Data Officers that will be employed, so that we have the template in place of what they need to do, to go through the compliance process and have everyone on-board.”
In his response, the national commissioner of NDPC, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, commended the efforts of the CVCNU led by Prof. Ochefu, especially in their request for partnership on Data Protection; noting that the education sector is crucial, especially considering the volume of personal data being processed on a regular basis.
“The education sector is even more peculiar. I remember when I was in university; at the end of every semester, we went to the notice board to check our results, our names, date of birth, matriculation number, everything about us, all our scores and grades were there. Having 2.6 million students, a lot of things must have been mismanaged and neglected, it’s a very critical sector to us,“ he said.
NDPC concluded by revealing that a Memorandum of Understanding between the NDPC and CVCNU to drive the collaboration is expected to be signed soon.