By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami has called on security institutions in the country to take advantage of the new 5th Generation (5G) network recently approved for deployment by the Federal Government and leverage its potential to effectively tackle security challenges.
The Minister made the call on Tuesday while delivering the keynote address at a security summit organised by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Abuja, themed; Synergy: Panacea To Effective Critical Assets and Infrastructure Protection.
Prof. Pantami in his presentation titled; Securing Critical National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure: Challenges, Opportunities and the Way Forward, disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has implemented a number of strategies and policies through its agencies and parastatals to ensure that critical national assets are protected.
“As part of our efforts to ensure the protection of Critical National Assets, we are working with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to come up with an Executive Order to ensure that our Critical National Assets, particularly in the ICT sector are well protected.”
“There is a Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) domiciled in NITDA, an ngCERRT in the Office of the National Security Adviser and another one established at the Nigerian Communications Commission which will be commissioned on Thursday 30th September 2021.”
In order to promote Research and Development in this regard, the Minister said thr ministry has established a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), the first of its kind in Africa, where young Nigerians are mentored, innovative and disruptive ideas are identified and supported towards the development of technologies which we will deploy as part of protecting our CNI.
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In his recommendations, he advocated for the sensitisation of citizens and a re-orientation approach to entrench the role of citizens in protecting national assets among the populace.
He also canvassed for a multi-sectoral approach to ensure the protection of Critical National Infrastructure by deploying modern technological gadgets, as well as emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality etc that will make our work much easier through remote surveillance. He urged the Summit to consider Research and Development as a viable tool for improving security in the country.