President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria is witnessing a rise in threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters and cyber terrorists who use the internet to cause apprehension.
He said this during the launch of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.
He called for an overhaul of the national strategy on cybersecurity with more emphasis on exploring the internet for economic growth opportunities, enhancement of knowledge and mitigation of crime.
He urged the National Security Adviser to continue to coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders to ensure that the internet and cyberspace were used for the enhancement of national security and economic progression.
He said the Federal Government had taken some major policy decisions to increase penetration of the internet in the daily lives of citizens, particularly for the utilitarian purpose, with the launch of the National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 in March 2020; National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020 – 2030; National Identity Program, Treasury Single Account and Bank Verification Number schemes.
“All these initiatives serve as enablers for tackling many of the economic and security challenges facing our country while also providing us with the platform to improve accountability and transparency in our unwavering resolve to tackle corruption.
“However, like many other countries across the globe, the growth and development of the internet is accompanied by significant problems.
He said the internet and social media had witnessed a surge in the propagation of hate speech, fake news, seditious and treasonable messages, as well as the risks of breaches to personal information and government sensitive data.
He said the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 would provide the necessary platform to effectively confront the dynamic nature of threats in our cyberspace.
“The document will also provide the framework that would enable us to harness the efforts of our private sector, academia and industry towards progressive economic and national development.
“To this end, the document will provide the platform for technical education, digital skills acquisition and indigenous technology production, thereby creating job opportunities for our youth and supporting our resolve to alleviate poverty and boost our economy,’’ Buhari said.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, said there had been a surge in the use of the internet, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown around the world, with increasing waves of crimes, irregular migration and threats to border security.
Monguno said many platforms including banking, communication and military had come under more threat, with personal information easily distorted and explored, necessitating a review of the 2014 National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS).
The NSA said the reviewed document will work towards mitigating the “suffocating presence and unpredictable threats’’ of cybercrimes.
FG Does Not Understand Paystack And Flutterwave, Only How To Borrow Money from CBN – Chidoka
Former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, on Saturday said the Federal Government does not have a grasp of how technology start-ups make money.
Mr Chidoka, who is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, was speaking at The Platform, a televised event hosted by the Senior Pastor of Covenant Nation, Poju Oyemade and which seeks to spark conversations that can aid national development.
“What is the average age of our cabinet,” Mr. Chidoka said. “Our cabinet does not reflect Nigeria. They cannot understand Paystack, they cannot understand Flutterwave. They cannot understand Kobo360.
“They don’t know how to tax them. The tax authorities are taxing their revenues, because they think that all the money received by Kobo360 is revenue. No, it is money they are receiving as an aggregator.
“So we need young people like you to be the Chairman of the FIRS. That’s what we need. We need people who understand.
“We can’t help them. Mr. President cannot understand it. The APC government does not understand it. They are too old to understand it. What they understand is borrowing money from the Central Bank.”
Mr. Chidoka explained that the relatively new crop of technology innovators are part of a new Nigeria he described as ‘Naija’.
“We need to unlock Naija,” he said. “It is not the responsibility of the structuralists. They are deceiving us, to make us keep looking at that day when we will change our constitution and El-Dorado will come. No, they are planning how they will take over in that new El-Dorado. “
NIN: BLS International Seals Biometric Services Deal For Nigerians Living In UK
A partnership deal has been struck between outsourcing service provider BLS International and data and digital enrolment services firm Files Solutions Limited to help Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offer biometric enrollment services to Nigerians residing in the United Kingdom, BLS said in a press release.
There are an estimated 205,000 Nigerians in the UK, with about 97,000 of them living in London.
Per the three-year deal, BLS will enable NIMC to enroll the biometrics and biographical data of the Nigerians for the issuance of national identification numbers (NINs) as part of a digital identity database enrolment program which is also ongoing back home.
According to the BLS announcement, its center in London will soon begin handing out NINs, as well as the General Multi-purpose Cards (GMPCs) which will be used by Nigerians abroad for various purposes including passport issuance, voter registration, and the opening of a bank account, among others.
The biometrics-backed NIN is also mandatory for certain services in Nigeria such as for delivery of driver’s licenses and registration for entrance into public universities.
Shikhar Aggarwal, joint managing director for BLS International, expressed delight after the deal was concluded, saying the company looks forward to offering streamlined services for NIMC.
“We are delighted to support the initiative by National Identity Management Commission, Nigeria by assisting them to streamline their identity management services for Nigerian citizens. Our domain expertise and tech-enabled services will help in seamless roll out of the project and making it successful. We are delighted by strengthening our footprint with newer partnerships serving global as well as local client governments,” said Aggarwal.
As part of this ID services management process, helplines, an email contact address and a website will be put at the disposal of users in the days ahead, the announcement says.
This activity is not new to BLS International, as it has executed identity management and verification projects for the governments of Canada, Afghanistan and Egypt.
Meet The 23-Year-Old Nigerian US Private, Commercial Pilot
Meet Miracle Izuchukwu, 23-year-old Nigerian born Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot (candidate) and Flight Attendant at American Airlines.
She recently joined the elite group of 7% of females and 1% of black female Pilots in the world.
“I who grew up in a society that did not encourage young girls to dream big, career-wise. I remember watching lots of TED Talks to give myself more insights on possible careers that might interest me…to no avail,” said Miracle.
In 2019, she had an encounter with an Airline Pilot while working as a customer service rep. He opened her eyes to the possibility of becoming a Pilot. A few weeks later, she went on a discovery flight that sealed it for her.
“I came home that day, called my father, and told him I was considering becoming a Professional Pilot.
He said, and I quote: “if he gets on a plane and sees a woman as the Pilot, he would get off the plane” words cannot explain the pain and confusion I felt. I needed that validation,” she narrated.
“What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender?
In a world that wants us to whisper, I choose to shout,” concluded Miracle.
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