Professor Ise Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has urged 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 address security challenges. The Minister made the call on September 28th, 2021, while delivering the keynote address at a security summit organized by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Abuja, titled Synergy: Panacea To Effective Critical Assets and Infrastructure Protection.
Professor Pantami stated in his presentation, Securing Critical National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Way Forward, that the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has implemented a number of strategies and policies through its Agencies and Parastatals to ensure the protection of Critical National Assets. As part of our efforts to protect Critical National Assets, we are collaborating with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to develop an Executive Order to ensure the security of our Critical National Assets, particularly those in the ICT sector!’
There is an NITDA-based Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT), a ngCERRT in the Office of the National Security Adviser, and another at the Nigerian Communications Commission that will be operational on Thursday, September 30, 2021. To promote R&D in this area, we established the 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 support is provided for the development of technologies that will be used to protect our CNI.
In his recommendations, the Minister advocated for citizen sensitization and a re-orientation approach to enshrine citizens’ roles in protecting national assets among the populace. He also advocated for a multi-sectoral approach to ensuring the protection of Critical National Infrastructure through the deployment of modern technological gadgets as well as emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, and others that will make our work much easier through remote surveillance. He urged the Summit to consider R&D as a viable tool for improving the country’s security.