Safety Of Cyberspace Critical For Nation’s Interest – Senate President

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A cross section of lawmakers and other stakeholders during the conference in Abuja.

Nigeria’s Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, has underscored the need for Nigeria to protect its cyberspace, stressing it is critical for Nigeria’s national interest.

Speaking at the 2021 international legislative stakeholders conference on digital technology and cybersecurity themed “The Digital Theatre and the future of Nigeria” organised by the Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime, in partnership with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) today (December 7) in Abuja, he averred that digital technology has triggered revolutions in human activities which have come with new threats and growing spate of insecurity in the cyberspace.

“Cybersecurity issues have emerged as a by-product of the revolution, resulting in the need to devise ways of mitigating or containing its threat. This is in line with the tendencies of inventions to come with weaknesses, which society has to respond to enhance the chances of a seamless application.

“New realities of threat, misconduct and a growing trend of perverting it has characterized the evolution of systems. The growth of digital technology has not been different, and which is why we are today talking about resolving the question of cybersecurity in the nation’s interest,” he said.

Represented by Senator Hassan Hadejia, Lawan expressed the hope the conference would provide the Committee on ICT and Cybercrime the avenue to liaise with stakeholders on how best to protect the future which is faced with threats of cybersecurity, examine all dimensions of the subject through a wide range of consultations and identify the key issues.

Similarly, the chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime, Dr. Yakubu Oseni stressed that digital technology is the pivot for the transformation of economies and underscored the need for cybersecurity – balancing between security and quality of life to protect Nigerians from cybercriminals.

He commended the conference conveners, stressing that any activity geared towards keeping a safe cyber ecosystem today is as important as life itself.

In her remarks, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said national measures must be crafted to mitigate significant security risks. 

Leonard pointed out that while digital technologies create exciting new opportunities, they also introduce new threats and risks of misuse. She, however, noted that freedom of expression, including through the internet, was an important component of an efficient democratic society.

“Although digital technologies create exciting new opportunities particularly for an entrepreneurial young and innovative population like Nigeria’s, these technologies also introduce new threats and risks of misuse. As more of our lives and our businesses move on to digital platforms, it becomes ever more important to pursue an internet that is open, interoperable, secure and reliable,” she added.

Earlier, the director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, revealed that Nigeria has been ranked among the top 35 countries doing business online.

Represented by the agency’s head of the legal unit, Mr. Emmanuel Edet, Abdullahi further emphasised the need for safeguarding cyberspace as more people and businesses move to the Internet.

“Nigeria ranks 35 in doing e-business globally and, while we are at it, we need safe cyberspace.

“NITDA is ensuring that we use IT to develop the economy in Nigeria and while doing that, we cannot ignore the dangers which include cybercrime and insecurity,” he added.

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