Social Media Plug-ins:

The Nigeria Data Protection Commission has issued a Guidance Notice (NDPC/HQ/GN/VOL.02/24) to data controllers and processors of major importance in order to clarify the categories of organisations that are required to register with the Commission in line with the Nigeria Data Protection Act (NDPA) 2023. Relying on sections 5(d), 44, and 65 of the NDPA, organisations that are of “particular value or significance to the economy, society, or security of Nigeria” are designated by the Commission as data controllers and processors of major importance. 

According to the Guidance Notice dated February 14th and signed by the Commission’s Head of Legal Enforcement and Regulations, Babatunde Bamigboye, Esq., “A data controller or data processor shall be deemed to have particular value or significance to the economy, society, or security of Nigeria and hence designated to be of major importance if it keeps or has access to a filing system (whether analogue or digital) for the processing of personal data.”  In addition to this, the Commission also identified specific data processing activities, such as those involving sensitive personal data, cloud computing, transborder data transfers, processing the personal data of over 200 data subjects and access to data storage platforms by third parties in commercial transactions, as necessary factors in considering organisations that are data controllers or processors of major importance. 

In order to foster ease of doing business, particularly for small organisations involved in potentially high-risk data processing, the Commission varies the payable fees according to the level of Major Data Processing (MDP) involved. Major Data Processing (MDP) is classified into 3 levels, namely: Ultra High Level (UHL), Extra High Level (EHL) and Ordinary High Level (OHL) of Major Data Processing. The fees payable are N250,000, N100,000 and N10,000, respectively. 

Organisations in the MDP-UHL categories include but are not limited to, the following: 

i.Commercial banks operating at national or regional level,

ii.Merchant Banks

iii.Telecommunication companies,

iv.Insurance companies,

v.Multinational companies,

vi.Payment gateway service providers;

Similarly, the following organisations, among others, are organisations within the MDP-EHL category: 

i.Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government,

ii. Microfinance Banks,

iii.Higher Institutions,

iv.Hospitals providing tertiary or secondary medical services, and

v.Mortgage banks;

Lastly, in the MDP-EHL category, we have organisations such as:

i. Small and medium-scale enterprises (it must be such that have access to personal data which they may share, transfer, analyse, copy, compute or store in the course of carrying out their individual businesses)

ii. Primary and Secondary Schools

iii. Primary Health Centres

iv. Agents, contractors, and vendors who engage with data subjects on behalf of other organisations.

The breakdown of the categories is contained in the guidance notice posted on the Commission’s website, www.ndpc.gov.ng.

The NDPC’s National Commissioner and CEO, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, urged data controllers to eschew activities that may put citizens at risk, especially when millions of Nigerians are sharing their personal data, such as bank details, pictures, health, and academic records, online. According to Dr. Olatunji, “the risks are getting higher even as the opportunities are also increasing. We are reminded of the warning by those on the frontiers of the 4th Industrial Revolution that we have a price to pay for liberty. The price is eternal vigilance. It is therefore important to properly and functionally identify the person and the data processing to which we must direct the torch of vigilance. Registration is one of a continuum of measures we are taking in this regard. It is, however, the entry point of accountability going forward.”


Babatunde Bamigboye, Esq

(Head Legal, Enforcement and Regulations)