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Insecurity: Pantami tasks Nigeria to leverage integrated digital technology



The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami has described leveraging on integrated digital technology as the only way through which the incessant security challenges in Nigeria can be to tackled.

Prof. Pantami stated this in his opening remarks at the maiden Annual Conference of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), Monday in Abuja.

Represented by the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Kashifu Abdullahi, the Minister said, to tackle insecurity effectively, utilizing digital technologies that leverage data and technologies such as Autonomous drones that cut back on human involvement in these often-dangerous situations, using AI to interpret satellite images, video surveillance amongst others are imperative to complement the efforts of the law enforcement agencies to tackle Insecurity in the country.

” To complement the efforts of our law enforcement agencies, the need to explore new ways to tackle insecurity through the effective use of data and digital technologies is crucial”.

“It is quite clear that digital technology has a great role to play in national security in Nigeria. The growing importance of technology presents new opportunities to benefit society and brings challenges to the approach and methodology of securing that society from insecurities.

“Modern intelligence gathering devices should be acquired and deployed to relevant law enforcement agencies to address insecurity challenges adequately.

“The Federal Ministry Of Communications and Digital Economy and its parastatals are always ready to support our law enforcement agencies with all the technology required to boost their efforts towards tackling insecurity in Nigeria.

“Similarly, the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), a subsidiary of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is fostering the development of emerging technologies in preparing Nigeria for the Fourth Industrial Revolution with R&D in technologies like Drones, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), among others, as a veritable tool in combating national insecurity”, he added.

Similarly speaking, the DG of NITDA, Dr. Abdullahi while speaking on personal security, urged Nigerians to carefully guide their information all communications platform to avoid falling victima of cyber criminals.

Represented by Engr. Ahmed Yahuza, the NITDA boss said, such information would pose them as suitable targets of cyber criminals and physical criminals.

“Do not put out your personal information carelessly on communication platforms. e.g. phone numbers, bank account details, national identity numbers, address etc. they could aid cybercriminals in stealing your identity and having access to your finances or carrying out fraudulent acts in your name. This sort of information could also lead criminals to you physically, if they deem you a suitable target.

“Although digital communication devices or platforms are not without inherent issues, they have come to stay. Hence, it is duty bound on us the users to take advantage of its benefits and also utilize them such that you prevent and minimize self-exposure to its risks and their adverse effects.

“Parents, guardians, and teachers should also have clear conversations with children about secure usage of digital communications and the implications of misuse”, he said.

The Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammad Bello on his part noted that the theme of the Conference: “Digitisation As An Enabler In Tackling Insecurity In Nigeria” is apt especially with the increasing prevalence of Insecurity in Nigeria and across the world.

Represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, Galaxy Backbone, Adamu Umar, the MD said, the application of the traditional formulas have not yielding the required results, therefore, there was need to use ICT or digitisation tools to tackle the menance of insecurity in the country.

In his Welcome Address, the President, NITRA, Abuja Chapter, Mr Blessing Olaifa said, the conference’s theme was chosen as a way of drawing the attention of state actors to digital platforms that can be leveraged to nip in the bud incidences of banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, castle rustling and other criminal acts pervading the country.

Mr Olaifa commended the leadership rule of the Minister in initiating policies and programmes that are gradually changing the narrative.

“The NCC, NITDA, NIMC, NIPOST, Galaxy backbone and NICOMSAT have in no small measures changed the narratives in solving our security problems by opening up different platforms to restore peace to the country.

“Should the current efforts be sustained, Nigeria would certainly reap the results of peace and tranquility in the nearest future”, he added.

He assured that NITRA, Abuja chapter would continue to identify with the initiatives and support the digitalization agenda of the Federal
Government for the benefits of Nigeria and her citizens.