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NITDA continues nationwide cybersecurity awareness workshops

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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

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THE NATION

Enugu State Gaming Commission commences enforcement of Signage and Good-Cause fee

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In compliance with the established regulations and rules that govern the activities of the gaming, betting, lotto and pool sector in Enugu state, the regulatory agency in the state has finalized arrangements to commence the full implementation of the rules on identification and operations in the sector in all the local governments of the state.

The agency, Enugu State Gaming and Lotto Commission (ESGC) made this pronouncement penultimate week in a message from the office of the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Francis Nwankwo, where he reiterated the commitment of the Commission in ensuring that all laid down rules of the agency is carried out to the letter. His words: “on the orders of the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in pursuant to the Gaming and Lotto laws of Enugu State, it is now mandatory that all Gaming (Lotto, Sports Betting, Raffle and Pool staking) outlets in the state must adhere to all the rules and regulations of the laws guiding the commission”.

According to him, some of these conditions include the following:

(1) All Gaming merchant locations MUST be identified with an ESGC approval outdoor signage bearing their allocated Serial Identification Number and must be displayed within the proximity of the said shop. This signage MUST be obtained from the offices of ESGC, and it is at the cost of N12,500.00(twelve thousand five naira only)

(2) All Gaming outlets MUST NOT be located within visible distance from ANY primary or secondary school in the State.

(3) All mandatory Good-Cause fees as stipulated in the Enugu State Gaming Laws MUST be settled within the said period.

(4) All gaming outlets MUST NOT entertain anyone below the age of 18yrs.

 

Mr. Nwankwo explained that this enforcement exercise, which will take off simultaneously in all 17 local government areas of the state, was earlier scheduled to commence on the 28th of Febuary, but postponed as a result of the elections. He explained that, “we had earlier informed all gaming outfits operating in Enugu State, to regularize their operations since November 2018, and followed it up with massive publicity on radio and other media. “We are embarking on this enforcement drive to show that we have the capacity to enforce the gaming regulations in the state” he said.

The Enugu State gaming commission, which currently uses state-of-the-art technology platform from CWG Plc to power its operations, alsoreiterated the fact that failure to adhere to any or all of the above-mentioned regulations will be met with outright sealing of the said offending outlet or total ban of the brand in Enugu State. The exercise commences on the 18th of March 2019.

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THE NATION

Nigerian passenger dies on Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Lagos

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A Nigerian passenger travelling on Delta Air Lines Flight DL54 from Atlanta, USA was on Monday afternoon found unresponsive before landing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA).

The 54-year-old (names withheld), who was ill before boarding the flight, died three minutes before the aircraft touched down at the airport.

Spokesperson for the MMIA Police Command, Lagos, DSP Joseph Alabi, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Mr Alabi said the command was notified of the development after the aircraft landed at the airport by the airline officials.

Delta Air Lines also confirmed the development in a statement issued by its media consultant, Mohammed Abdullahi.

“A passenger on Delta Flight DL54 travelling from Atlanta to Lagos today (March 11), was found unresponsive before landing.

“Local medical professionals met the plane upon arrival and confirmed the passenger had sadly passed away.

“Delta extends its deepest condolences to the family at this sad time. As a matter of passenger privacy, Delta will not release additional information,” the airline said.

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THE NATION

Okupe received N702m from ONSA for doing nothing –Witness

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday narrated to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, how former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, allegedly collected the sum of N702m from the Office of the National Security Adviser for doing nothing.

Okupe was arraigned on a 59-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702m.

The first prosecution witness, Osas Azonabor, an operative of the commission, while being led in evidence by the EFCC Counsel, Ibrahim Audu, told the court that sometime in 2016, the agency got an intelligence report that some individuals were paid by the ONSA for doing nothing.

He said when investigations began, it was discovered that the first defendant, Okupe, was one of the beneficiaries.

Azonabor told the court that the EFCC wrote to the ONSA, demanding the vouchers of the payments made to Okupe.

According to him, after analysing the payment vouchers, it was realised that the sum of N50m was paid into Okupe’s account, as stated in a voucher dated April 8, 2014.

He also said another cash payment of N6m was found to have been made to Okupe on April 2, 2014, adding that there were series of payments in multiples of N10m made to the defendant between 2012 and 2014.

The witness further told the court that EFCC’s investigation found that N50m was paid into the Zenith Bank account of Value Trust Investment Ltd, a company in which Okupe is a director.  He added that another N35m was paid into the account of Abraham Telecoms Nig. Ltd. to which Okupe is a signatory.

Azonabor said, “Okupe said he was paid N10m monthly for 24 months by ONSA and the money was reduced to N5m monthly from January 2015 to May 2015.

“He said the money was for special services. When asked to explain what he meant by ‘special services’, he said that part of the money was used to sponsor ‘Insight’, a programme aired on NTA.”

The witness explained that when a letter was written to NTA to confirm the authenticity of the document that emanated from the station, it said the programme was aired free-of-charge.

The EFCC operative further informed the court that Okupe claimed that part of the money collected from ONSA was used to pay workers. “But when asked to show proof of payment, he simply tendered a list of names on a piece of paper.

“There was no payment voucher, receipt or pay slip to show evidence of payment and when we asked him to produce the staff he paid to, he couldn’t produce any”, Azonabor said.

The acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, in a statement, said that the Corporate Affairs Commission documents of the Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abraham Telecoms Nig Ltd, and a letter of response from ONSA to the EFCC Acting Chairman and statements of the defendants were all admitted in evidence.

The Judge adjourned the case to February 28 (today) for cross examination and presentation of other witnesses.

-PUNCH

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