Our Top Priority is Developing a Secure Cyberspace, says Pantami

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The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has said that building an advanced mechanism for a secure cyberspace, is one of the government’s top priorities in order to provide an enabling environment for the socio-economic growth of the country.

Prof. Pantami

Prof. Pantami who was represented by the Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, stated this at the Cyber Secure Conference 2022 organized by Nigeria Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria, (CSEAN) with the theme: Cyber Security an Imperative for Tackling Security Challenges in Nigeria.

He noted that the Computer is gradually integrating into peoples’ lives and society, and the world is changing in a way humanity never imagined, everything becoming quantifiable in processing and storage.

He added that the Government depends largely on systems for its operations and services and cyber security is synonymous with the security of the nation, unsecured cyberspace can be used to gather intelligence reports, hence working to curb and combat is imperative for a country like Nigeria facing security challenges.

“When a person has control of your cyberspace, automatically he controls your economy, thinking, and everything around you, thereby determining your next action”, the Minister said.

This, he said is what prompted the Federal Government to formulate National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which has Service Infrastructure and Cybersecurity as, to secure the nation’s cyberspace to move the economy, businesses and processes online.

“The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have established the Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) to mitigate and combat cybercrime, thereby creating a conducive environment for operations. The essence of this center is to build the confidence of citizens and create awareness and proactively monitor the activities of cyberspace, and issue advisory notices for MDAs to restore services,” he asserted.

Prof. Pantami further commended the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) for its contribution toward awareness campaigns to make people conscious of cyber activities.

“More than 90% of cyber breaches are a result of human error, social engineering, or other errors. The more cyber-conscious we are; the fewer damages will occur.”

“The government is building more proactive systems and awareness in terms of engaging organizations like yours, partnering with other communities, visiting schools, and MDAS to enlighten citizens about being cyber-conscious whenever they go online for their activities or operations.

“Cybersecurity, in general, has become a phenomenal proportion in terms of the way we build the digital economy. We are working with stakeholders to build CERRT centers to monitor the operations and activities of the Cyberspace and collaborate with experts in case of an attack to help restore services. We are also collaborating with international organizations and training citizens due to the ambitious target of achieving 95% digital literacy by the year 2030 which will increase the consumption of digital services,” the Minister emphasized.

Major General Samad Akesode, representing the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno while delivering the welcome address commended CSEAN for organizing such conference, stating that the conference is coming at the right time which will proffer solutions that will mitigate or curb the menace of cybercrime activities bedeviling the country.

Monguno solicited the Association not to relent in their efforts towards cyber awareness, putting in place the necessary measures that will protect the cyberspace and also create an environment for the development of the nation.

Delivering his address, the President of CSEAN, Mr. Remi Afon said the conference seeks to open a discussion on how cyber security can be used as a supplementary tool to address the nation’s challenges and also encourage the sharing of intelligence on potential threats and collaboration to find lasting solutions.