By Chinenye Anuforo
Communications and Digital Economy Minister Isa Ali Pantami reiterated that the use of emerging technologies in the fight against insecurity remains a real tool that Nigeria will continue to capitalize on as the government and parties stakeholders point to digital technology as the next available option to help. reduce the scourge of insecurity in the country.
Pantami, who was represented by the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, said so during a presentation at the National Student Safety Summit 2022 hosted by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
He said the rapid advancements in technology have brought about the term emerging technologies which are new, and they have not been fully explored or are still under development, and new cases are discovered every day.
According to the Minister, the technological revolution is transforming lives at breakneck speed, radically changing the way people work, learn and live together.
He said emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, quantum computing, augmented reality, internet of things and robotics are growing exponentially and finding new applications in an ever-growing number of areas, including how people receive, exchange and process information for security activities.
The minister further said that as unstoppable as the insecurity is, the country has continuously explored various approaches to alleviate the security challenges.
“You will all agree that the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), characterized by digitalization and automation, is affecting all sectors of industry and the humanities. The tremendous role of digital technology in combating insecurity can never be underestimated; which makes it a real tool to defeat all threats to the country’s security.
“It is relevant to understand that technological advancements are reshaping global security capabilities, from improving how borders are monitored to mitigating insecurity, from the impact of natural disasters to intelligent detection, from identifying criminal activity to automatically detecting the threat associated with crime in society,” he added.
Pantami further said that these new challenges and opportunities are currently being used to facilitate digital solutions and build capacity to address national security challenges in Nigeria. Adding that the federal government is aware of the role of emerging technologies in a sustainable digital economy and national security issues.
He said the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, was established to foster the development of emerging technologies in Nigeria’s readiness for the fourth revolution. industry through the research and development of technologies such as drones, robotics and the artificial. Intelligence.
Pantami said that to curb cybercrime activities, NITDA has revamped its Computer Emergency Response Team (CERRT) in response to the rising rate of cybercrime and compliance with National Cybersecurity Strategy requirements. .
He added that CERRT functions to coordinate and facilitate information sharing, provide mitigation strategies and recommendations for incident response and recovery, research and analyze trends and patterns. of incident activity for the Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDA) of government with an extension to the private sector.
“We are taking steps to establish a national public key infrastructure to ensure the protection of Nigerian systems in cyberspace. We are setting up national hotlines in almost every region of the country to ensure citizens have access to communications. We are creating cybersecurity awareness in all geopolitical zones to educate Nigerians on the potential of cyber threats. Every Nigerian should be aware of their security responsibilities and every person should be safe,” he added.
In an attempt to create a safe digital environment, the minister said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the designation and protection of relevant telecommunications infrastructure across the country as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) to support the implementation of artwork.
The Minister added that government at all levels, private stakeholders and other key players in the technology ecosystem should respond more quickly and effectively to the unique opportunities that emerging technologies could bring to Nigeria’s security administration. .
Pantami stressed that “as a government, we will channel our energy into creating an environment conducive to innovation in emerging technologies that could be harnessed and used effectively to the benefit of the country. We would develop integrated frameworks and approaches for adopting and deploying information and communications technologies (ICTs) in national security architectures. We will continue to create appropriate platforms to foster trustworthy collaborations between the country’s public and private technology community and civil society organizations.