By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), has begun sensitising relevant stakeholders towards the implementation of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) 2021.
National Security Adviser (NSA), rtd. Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, said that the implementation of the policy strategy would boost the potential of cyberspace to support national development.
Monguno spoke at a Multi-stakeholders Sensitisation Workshop organised for law enforcement agencies on Wednesday in Abuja.
The NSA, who was represented by the Director, Special Services, ONSA, Mr David Attah, said the sensitisation was aimed at curbing the menace of cyber crimes in the country.
He said the growth and development of the nation’s cyberspace was accompanied by significant and inherent challenges that must be effectively tackled.
According to him, in a bid to ensure that Nigeria effectively harness the benefits of the digital revolution, while effectively combating the hybrid case of cyber threat, the Federal Government reviewed the strategy of 2015 to formulate the policy of 2021.
“Our country is currently witnessing a digital transformation, a significant proportion of our day to day practices are now being held over the internet.
“We are also witnessing an exponential growth in our adoption of the internet and social media for several aspects of our businesses and commercial activities including social interactions, communication and government operations.
“Moreover, a large percentage of our young entrepreneurial population is leveraging on the cyberspace to enhance their pursuits for several life endeavours.
“The cyber domain also creates the platform for synchronising efforts of our security and law enforcement agencies towards curbing the myriad of security challenges facing the country.
“Therefore, there is no gain saying that cyber security has become and engine for enhancement of Nigeria’s national security, economic transformation and national development,’’ he said.
The Director, Communication, ONSA, Brig.-Gen. Samad Akesode, said the national cyber security policy and strategy 2021 was developed in line with global best practices and the provisions of the cyber crime act of 2015.
Akesode said the policy strategy was also to provide the needed strategic direction for cyber security issues in Nigeria.
He said the workshop was designed to bring to the fore the implementation plan and roles of the relevant stakeholders to ensure the country’s presence in the cyberspace and enhance its readiness for global economic competitiveness.
According to him, the internet has evolved over the past decades and there is no gain saying that the cyberspace is now a fundamental aspect of our daily lives.
“Furthermore, the attributes of the cyberspace are constantly evolving being a part of creation of new technologies dismantling variants of commerce revolutionising security and facilitating seamless communicant across borders for people to collaborate and particularly share information.
“However, the increased dependence on cyberspace comes with the risk that has significant national security implications.
“The dynamic nature of cyber threats and consequently evolving tactics of perpetrators of cyberspace holds very serious risks to our dear critical national information infrastructure.
“The cyber threats also constitute hazards to every user of the cyberspace which cut across government establishments, private sector and general populace.
“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we tackle the menace of cyber crime and other associated activities by doing our parts a specified in the implementations plan of the national cybercrime policy and strategy document of 2021,” he said.
He said the workshop would help to provide the direction and enhance the cooperation to achieve the objectives of the strategy.
According to him, the workshop is also expected to dictate the path for successful synchronisation of cybersecurity efforts of all stakeholders.
The Chief of Defence Space Administration (CDSA), Rear Adm. Williams Kayode, said it was important to rise up to defend the nation’s cyber space from cyber threats.
The CDSA, who was represented by the Director, Cyber Security, Commodore Sunday Obadina, said that DSA was committed to its responsibility of coordinating the activities of all services in the defence of the nation’s cyber space.
He commended ONSA for the step taken to sensitise the critical stakeholders towards the implantation of cyber security policy strategy.
The Chairman of the NCPS Review Committee, Mr Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola, said that the policy was put together by a team of major stakeholders from the government, defence and security, academia, civil society and private sector.
Ajijola said that the committee looked at things from the perspective of Nigeria and Nigerians, including people at all levels who make use of internet.
According to him, the team looked at the broad spectrum of the society while developing the cyberspace policy and strategy document.
“What we did is that we have articulated eight pillars but today the sensitisation that ONSA is carrying out is centred on defensive security because you know clearly they have a role to play in making sure that we feel safe and that our assets whether virtual, weather physical are protected.
“Of course, today your national boundaries or your jurisdictions also go into the cyberspace and indeed Nigeria, back in 2014 basically articulated that fifth domain of warfare after land, sea and air outer space is also cyberspace,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop will be held across seven sectors of the economy from September to December.
The seven sectors, according to ONSA, include Telecommunications, Defence and Security, Education, Finance and capital market, energy, professional organisations, the private sector and Judiciary.(NAN)