Microsoft Urges FG to Enact Data Privacy Law to Attract FDI in Technology Industry


Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Microsoft Nigeria has called on the government to enact data privacy law in order to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the technology industry.

Microsoft Nigeria Head of Legal Affairs, John Edokpolo, made the call in Abuja at the ongoing sixth Internet Freedom Forum, an international conference organised by paradigm initiative.

The forum which started on April 24 brings together experts from across forty African countries and would end on April 26.

Edokpolo noted: “If you want foreign direct investment in the technology industry, you need to have a good data privacy law, among other things. It helps when businesses can help government see the economic benefits of having positive legislation around digital rights. the job should not be left to the civil society alone.”

Also, the Paradigm Initiative’s Digital Rights Programme Manager, Adeboye Adegoke, revealed that the digital rights and freedom bill was drafted by a coalition of civil society, private sector and government to protect the digital rights of Nigerians in the emerging digital age.

The bill which was recently passed by the National Assembly was praised by experts as a step in the good direction in strengthening digital rights on the continent.

“The bill is great for the protecting citizens’ rights and also great for the economy as it would energise the tech industry,” he said.

On his part, the Special Assistant to the President on Digital Media, Tolu Ogunlesi said an effective media ensures a free society and serves as a check on government.

The media should, therefore, avoid engaging in only broadcasting what different actors are saying but go beyond the press statements to finding out the truth.

Ogunlesi stressed that, “the media must do more to combat fake news and ensure truthfulness in their reports. While I would not campaign for government regulation of media space, I would argue for the media to be more accountable and self-regulate.”

The Publisher of Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi, however argued that the media was already accountable, noting that it was the government that needed to improve transparency and its proactiveness in releasing information.