Pantami Restates Commitment To Making Cyberspace Secure

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Isa Pantami
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has restated the government’s commitment to building an advanced mechanism for secure cyberspace, to provide an enabling environment for the socio-economic growth of the country.

Pantami made this assertion at the Cyber Secure Conference 2022, themed “Cyber Security, an Imperative for Tackling Security Challenges in Nigeria,” organised by the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN).

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

Represented by the director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, Pantami stated that 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 it 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,” he stated.

This, he said, is what prompted Federal Government to formulate National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which has service infrastructure and cyber security as is 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 centre 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.

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 per cent 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 organisations 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.

“Cyber security, 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 centres 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 per cent digital literacy by the year 2030 which will increase the consumption of digital services,” he emphasised.

In his welcome address, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, commended CSEAN for organising such a 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 bedevilling the country.

Represented by Maj. Gen. Samad Akesode, Monguno urged the association not to relent in their efforts towards cyber awareness, putting the necessary measures that will protect the cyberspace and also create an environment for the development of the nation. 

Delivering his address, the CSEAN president, 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.

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