The Federal Government has concluded arrangement to deploy digital technology in tackling the worrisome menace of insecurity across the country.
In this regard, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is set to partner the Nigerian Army in using the 21st century technology to improve military operations and enhance national security.
The director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi disclosed the agency’s willingness to partner the army when he received the chief of defence communications of the Nigerian Army, Major General Elvis Njoku and his team at the corporate headquaters of the agency, saying as warfare is no longer physical alone, it was imperative for the military to embrace and adopt 21st century military infrastructures and technology in its operations.
Expressing strong conviction that the collaboration will address the current insecurity challenge faced by the country, he asserted that it was important for the Nigerian army to measure up with the global modernized military infrastructures which would help them in achieving their mandate.
“It is important to know how to use technology not just as an enabler but a strategic design for your strategy in general which will inspire you to do more” he said, adding technology has affected every aspect which includes security.
The NITDA boss listed the data resource of any organization regardless of its size or business activities otherwise known as ubiquitous data which gives information about everything you want to know and how to use them, connectivity, in which individuals can connect and communicate with anything such as smart cars, television, home appliances and computing processing power as important parameters that digital technology has brought.
“When you talk about defence and intelligence, you need to have data, identify the enemy and have a technical knowhow of targeting them with minimal collateral damage,” he stated.
He pointed out that the agency’s focus “is improving on how things are being done using technology and innovations by creating an enabling environment and an innovation ecosystem which will allow a smooth digitized process.”
Abdullahi stated that innovation does not happen in isolation but rather, with proper alignment and positioning in a relevant ecosytem which necessitated the proposed collaboration between the two parties, adding there is cross pollination between the ICT and the Ministry of Defence.
“A lot of what started in ICT such as the OODA law- Observe, Orient, Decide and Act originated from defence,” he said.
He said apart from the good relationship and collaborations NITDA has with the Nigerian army, the Nigerian Police Force and other paramilitary agencies in areas of capacity building and cyber security, it was willing to go beyond that and collaborate on more intensive areas. “There is a national problem and we need to collaborate together to identify and solve the problem,” he added.
The NITDA helmsman explained that combating national insecurity challenge is a collective responsibility and assured his guests of the agency’s support in coming up with solutions, exploring technology to detect improvised explosive devices and exploiting all resources such as use of drones, artificial intelligence and robotics in ensuring optimal national security.
“Let us work together, develop solutions and as part of our mandates which national security is priority, see how we can use emerging technologies in helping our great nation, Nigeria,” he added.
Earlier, Njoku expressed his gratitude at the warm welcome accorded them by the agency despite the short notice.
He said the new chief of defence staff, General Lucky Irabor mandated him to visit all communications and IT-related government established institutions, collaborate with them with the purpose of tackling the contemporary security challenges.
He described the use of technology as a force multiplier which will impact positively in the Nigerian army’s operations and expressed the hope for a rich collaboration with NITDA which would help them in achieving their mandate.