The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), with the mandate of developing and regulating Information Technology (IT) in Nigeria, continues this year’s nationwide cybersecurity awareness workshops. These sensitization events are part of the Agency’s continuous efforts aimed at equipping citizens with foundational knowledge as well as share best practices on staying safe in cyberspace.
There has been a tremendous increase in the number of incidences where Nigerians have lost money and data through vulnerabilities arising from lack of knowledge on how to manage their online presence and personal details. The cybercriminals use social engineering, phishing mails, and probably specific to Nigeria, the use of text messages pretending to be sent from banks, requesting for PIN or revalidation of BVN numbers. To the unaware, such are the sources where vital information needed for making unauthorized withdrawals from victims’ bank accounts occur. A more worrisome and recent trend is the SIM Swap cases, where the victim’s SIM card is swapped; an operation that makes the victim’s phone inaccessible while funds are transferred.
Knowing that everyone that uses ICT devices is vulnerable, these workshops target executives of registered associations and groups, with the ultimate aim to reach their members. We have also deployed effective conventional channels and social media in conveying the stay-safe message. The workshops use presentations and interactive demonstration of trending concepts like SMS, SIM swap, malware, phishing, social engineering and its manifestations, to disseminate the stay-safe tips. To further ensure that attendees assimilate the message succinctly, the contents are translated into the most predominant language of the zone.
Cybersecurity has attracted the attention of governments, enterprises, groups and individuals owing to the myriads of potentials for business growth, damage, national security and sovereignty. To nations, the negatives could cripple a nation’s economy should critical infrastructure be affected. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has evaluated nations in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), placing Nigeria on number 4 in Africa. These programmes are also aimed at improving the country’s standing on the GCI.
NITDA has planned effective capacity building programmes that will culminate in organizational and individual certifications, while using Research and Development (R&D) results to feed these enlightenment programmes and aid relevant Agencies and Corporates in permanent mitigation strategy. It has also utilized interagency collaborations for improved legal and institutional framework for a holistic improvement in the cybersecurity resilience of and profile of the country.
The first of the series of Workshops was held in Katsina, Katsina State for the North West Zone on Thursday 29th March, 2018, followed by that of Bayelsa State on the 19th April, 2018. The event for the North East held at Gombe in Gombe State on the 16th July, 2018. The current workshop is holding on Tuesday 23rd October, 2018 at Lokoja, Kogi State, for the North Central Zone. The events attracted participants from Government Agencies, Military and Paramilitary organisations, the Academia, registered cooperatives and associations and the private sector from the states of the zones. Dates and venues for subsequent Workshops will be made public in due course.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is an Agency of the Federal Government. The Agency was created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and co-ordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Section 6(a, c & j) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; and render advisory services in all information technology matters to the public and private sectors including introducing appropriate information technology legislations and ways of enhancing national security and the vibrancy of the industry
2019 Elections: The Army staged a coup against Rivers state – Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has stated that the Nigerian Army staged a coup against Rivers State during the 2019 General Elections, describing their actions as the worst in the nation’s democratic history.
Addressing the Joint House of Representatives Committees on Army, Police, Human Rights and Justice at the Government House Port Harcourt on Monday, Governor Wike said that the Nigerian Army acted illegally because they were working to impose a pre-determined leadership on Rivers State.
He said: “It is really unfortunate. All of us know that there was a coup in this state, organised by the Nigerian Army. In the history of this country, it has never happened where during an ordinary election, the Army will begin to kill people for no just cause.
“Because they believe a particular person or a particular party must win, it doesn’t matter how many people die. It was shown on National Television. We watched how the Army invaded the whole Electoral Commission “.
He regretted that the Federal Government has never worked to assist Rivers State Government fight insecurity.
“This is the only state the Federal Government has never assisted to fight insecurity. Instead of us to team up and fight insecurity, you politicize it.
“Even if you make recommendations, nothing will happen. I don’t know whether we are in a military regime or Civil Administration”, he said.
The Governor noted that aside the Army, the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARs) has been a major anti-democratic force in the state, since the 2016 rerun elections.
He pointed out that the F-SARs murdered a Ph.D. Holder and Chartered Accountant in cold blood simply because they wanted to subvert the will of the people.
Governor Wike wondered why the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army is still unpunished, despite the negative roles he played during the elections.
“The GOC here is a politician. Nothing has happened to him because he was sent. If it was when the country was a country, you cannot be keeping that GOC. He is sabotaging the security network “, he said.
He suggested that urgent measures be taken to rejig the security architecture of the country, in view of the nation-wide security challenges.
The Governor said rather than address the security challenges facing the country, security agencies move against critics of security failures.
Earlier, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Army, Rimande Shawule Kwewum said that were in the state to investigate killings by the F-SARs on the basis of a motion by the Member Representing Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, Mr. Kingsley Chinda on the killing of Dr. Ferry Gberegbe during the elections.
He said that the joint House of Representatives Committees are in the state are on a fact-finding mission.
He said that the Committees will sit down and allow all the stakeholders to state their positions for the committee to arrive at the truth and make relevant recommendations.
The Federal Lawmaker said that there is a correlation between insecurity and under-development. He said that countries that suffer insecurity hardly make progress.
Dabiri-Erewa lauds Buhari over release of Zainab Aliyu
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for facilitating the release of two Nigerians arrested in Saudi Arabia.
Zainab Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, who embarked on Lesser Hajj in Dec. 2018, was detained by the Saudi Arabia authorities for allegedly being in possession of banned substances.
Ibrahim Abubakar, another Nigerian, was also detained by Saudi authority for alleged drug-related offence.
However, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Sulaiman on Tuesday in Abuja announced the release of the two Nigerian detainees by Saudi authority
Dabiri-Erewa, who gave the commendation in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said Buhari’s timely intervention saved the two Nigerians from being punished for offence they did not commit.
“We thank God and thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his immediate intervention.
“When we brought the matter to him about two weeks ago, he immediately directed the Attorney General of the Federation to ensure Zainab and Ibrahim were released.
“All I can say is, I am happy that this young promising girl did not get punished for an offense she did not commit,” she said.
The presidential aid, however, expressed concern over the authority’s was handling of case of the suspects, who allegedly planted banned substances in Zainab’s bag at the airport.
“My worry is that those who set her up are now on bail. NDLEA must ensure prosecution of those culpable.
“Egypt Air and Ethiopian Air must ensure compulsory baggage identification of passengers.
“All the cases we have had so far have involved only those two airlines. Security surveillance at our airports must also be strengthened,” she said
The permanent secretary had said that the release was as a result of intense diplomatic engagements between the Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
He said that the ministry made great effort to establish their innocence.
Suleiman noted that the government had raised several note verbal with the Saudi Embassy in Abuja and their Consulate in Kano over the matter.
He said that the news of her release was heartwarming to the government and Zainab’s family. (NAN)
Dangote donates 2,160-bed hostel to ABU
AFRICA’S foremost businessman and Aliko Dangote Foundation Chairman Alhaji Aliko Dangote donated at the weekend a 2,160-bed space hostel complex to the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.
The hostel, comprising 10 blocks of 360 rooms, built at N1.2 billion, is coming after similar gestures to Bayero University, Kano and University of Ibadan, Ibadan, where the business mogul donated multi-billion naira business school complexes, respectively as part of his contribution to the education development in the country.
The inauguration of the hall of residence coincided with ABU’s 41st convocation during which the varsity conferred on Dangote and the renowned Labour leader Hassan Sumonu, honourary Doctorate degrees.
Also 15,787 graduating students were also awarded various degrees.
The President of Dangote Group explained that he was moved to build the structure having realised that the students’ population at the universities have recorded significant increase without a corresponding growth in terms of infrastructure.
He lamented that the situation has remained a subsisting and growing major challenge as public varsities grapple with under-funding.
Dangote said: “Thus, I will like to use this opportunity to enjoin the Federal Government to consider allocating special funds to the universities to enable them to improve on research and upgrade their infrastructure. Such special intervention has become imperative given the perennial funding challenges facing our universities.”
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