NIMRA Maiden Business Network Harps on Data Protection, Future Success as Oyelaja Takes over Mantle of Leadership
To underscore the growing importance of data protection, the Nigerian Marketing Research Association, NIMRA held its 2019 business network session with the theme: “Future Success with Data Protection” even as the association’s new executive council was inaugurated to steer the ship of research experts in the country for the next two years.
Making his presentation on the theme with specific focus on “The ABC of Data Protection and Privacy Rights in Nigeria”, a Lawyer and Associate Director, Andersen Tax Nigeria, Michael Ango noted to the research experts that having data and securing the data is important to their business, failure to do this could lead to untoward consequences for the company.
Pointing out that data is the new oil, he observed that the current most profitable companies in the world, earning the most globally are millennial companies that handle personal data. These include Facebook, Google, Amazon and so on.
Personal data and Privacy protection become necessary because many laws including international conventions such as the UN declarations of human rights guarantees the privacy of the individual.
Similarly, The Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) compels that the researcher must get consent before he processes personal data. According to Ango, the researcher must also guarantee storage and security; data minimization; duty of care; confidentiality, integrity, and availability; while he also being accountable and accurate.
The keynote speaker also pointed out as “key compliance requirements” agencies must adhere to, these include: publish a data protection policy; appoint a data protection officer and conduct a mandatory self-audit while also filing an annual report every 15th of March.
The keynote speaker warned that failure to comply with requirements on data privacy and protection could lead agencies and organsations to risk data and privacy breach; hackers could hijack data; leading to reputational loss and statutory fines.
The second keynote speaker, Mrs. Alexan Carrilho, a South African expatriate and Operations Director, Kantar Nigeria, speaking on “Data Protection: The Road Ahead for Market Research in Nigeria”, noted that data breaches have attracted fines in billions of dollars. For instance, Facebook was fined $5billion. In the same way, Uber, Yahoo, Marriot, she revealed have also landed on the erring side of data breaches and had faced the consequences at different points in time.
According to her, the regime calls for increased regulatory oversights duties as practitioners stand to risk hefty fines. The practitioners must always be aware that the subject has the right to be informed; access and correction; right to restrict processing, right to object, the right to erasure; the right to withdraw consent and the right to data portability.
Pointing out that the data protection guidelines and regulations will continue to evolve with changes and modifications, the Kantar Nigeria head of operations recommends that senior managers in every research agency should understand what data protection is; the general work-force must also be aware and targeted training for HR and finance must be carried out while training on the ESOMAR code of conduct should be a must.
While touching on some aspects of the earlier speakers, the third keynote speaker, Dr. Joe Ebhomenye, ESOMAR representative in Nigeria, declared that as a research agency, “You don’t own an individual’s data”, so do not treat it just anyhow.
While advocating that the Nigeria marketing research Association, NIMRA should be represented on the council of NDPR as major data collectors in the country. Dr. Ebhomenye revealed the ESOMAR recommendations and expectations from its member agencies on data protection. In unequivocal terms told the agencies heads and staff gathered, “data protection is your responsibility” urging them not to shirk in this onerous expectation.
A panel of discussion featuring selected heads of indigenous research agencies who started and grew through the rank and file, to emerge as some of the most reputable, highly sort after professionals, founders/CEOs, helped to stir up the “power of possibility and hope for future success” in the crop of young practitioners at the session.
Lanre Fashakin, CEO, CMRG; Yinka Aderoju, CEO, MK&I; Seun Ajayi, CEO, SBRC and Stella Okpala, CEO, Deep-Dive pointed out their respective career trajectory but all were unanimous on the fact that professionalism and ethics, hard work, diligence, earning the trust of clients, mutual respect, strength of character among others will always get one to the top in the business.
Another highpoint of the event was the swearing of the new exco led by Seun Oyelaja as the new NIMRA president. Others on the team are Ugo Geri-Robert, Vice President (in absentia); Paul Nwanwobu, Secretary-General; Alexan Carrilho, Assistant Secretary; Shadrach Egbeniyi, Financial Secretary; Elizabeth Onoja, Treasurer and Lauretta Olubayo, Publicity Secretary.
In her valedictory speech, the outgoing president of the association, Mrs. Joy Uyanwune expressed the need to expand the coast of the association and inculcate new ideas, upgrade skills and expose Nigerian marketing research professionals to the world. “Do a little more to ensure that the government knows that we are here even as we support other business forums like the MAN, AFBTE and so on.
In his acceptance speech, Oyelaja who is also the Country Director, Yest & Spoc Nigeria, pleaded that collaboration is key to move the association forward.
“There is disconnect which continues to keep us away from our goal, for us to make this right, I suggest a deep sense of collaboration that helps to quickly uncover hidden solutions we may not have as an individual working on a unique task”, said the President.
As a way to run all-inclusive association, Oyelaja revealed that the new exco will focus on bringing into the fold the Data Collectors and Data Analysts who according to him, aren’t in the spotlight as their client service counterparts.
“We are at that point where we commence work to rearrange those tiles to have better recognition for us all as an association, thereby winning and securing the trust of all stakeholders in Data management”.
Similarly, attention will be directed to issues like the SEC measurement in Nigerian market research collectively with a view to adopting the best approach to measurement without any element of confusion but room for improvement, Oyelaja promised.