June 19, 2021

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ONSA moves to create opportunities from cyber security

ONSA has developed strategy to create opportunities from cyber security with a view to mitigate the threats posed by the use of cyber space.

By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), has developed strategy to create opportunities from cyber security with a view to mitigate the threats posed by the use of cyber space.

The National Security Adviser, Retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, stated this during the submission of the draft document of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2020 from the Review Committee on Thursday in Abuja.

Monguno said that Nigeria was presently witnessing a surge in digital transformation with many new activities now migrating to the internet especially with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said that the country cyber space had become a centre stage for new business, innovation, governance and social interactions.

“This trend has created the opportunity for us to redefine our national objectives and address some of the major developmental challenges currently facing the country

“This includes the emergence of new forms of criminals and terrorism perpetrated through the cyberspace,” he said.

He said the committee was inaugurated on Sept. 10 to review the current national cybersecurity policy and strategy of 2014 and produce a comprehensive 2020 version.

Monguno said the committee was tasked on identifying the gaps and contending issues in the national cybersecurity policy and strategy of 2014 and articulates the various inputs of stakeholders.

He said the committee was also tasked with responsibility to proffer new initiatives and develop the requisite implementation plan to effectively mitigate the evolving cyber threats and enhance Nigeria’s productive engagements in cyberspace.

According to him, the committee was also entrusted with the responsibility of strengthening the nexus between our national cybersecurity programme and the recently developed national security strategy of 2019 with a view to enhancing the contribution of cybersecurity to our national security.

“The National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2020 is expected to address the nation’s cybersecurity challenges, boost readiness for global cybersecurity collaborations, enhance national digital economic competitiveness and ensure the protection of Nigeria’s cyberspace.

“The document also reflects global norms and is expected to foster cooperation with our international allies in the areas of security and economic development.

“It is important for me to highlight that we recognize the high level of expertise and immeasurable contributions from our private sector, civil society, academia and international community from where members of this Committee were drawn.

“I am confident that the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2020 will serve as a sustainable instrument to guide the actions of all stakeholders who have a role to play in the utilisation and development of Nigeria’s cyberspace,” he said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola, said that cybersecurity had become an indispensable catalyst for the social wellbeing, economic progression, national development, and security of every nation.

Ajijola said that in spite of its benefits, the nation must be vigilant and proactively prepare to counter malicious actors, threats and challenges that could jeopardise the progressive use of cyberspace.

He said Nigeria’s 2014 National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy, provided the basic framework for enhancing the constructive use of cyberspace while endeavouring to mitigate challenges.

According to him, the document provided the blueprint for ensuring the development of cyberspace with Nigeria’s jurisdiction.

He said that the review committee had worked painstakingly to identify and amend gaps, collate relevant inputs from government agencies, civil sector, and the international community.

“This document is, therefore, the output of an in-depth, extensive multi-stakeholder effort which took due cognisance of global trends and best practices as well as the peculiarities of our environment.

“The review process also took due consideration of Nigeria’s national priorities and national security issues.

“The document aligns Nigeria’s national cybersecurity efforts and priorities along eight pillars, the details of which are highlighted in the document,” he said.

Ajijola, however, called on NSA to consider expediting the establishment of the National Cybersecurity Coordination Centre (NCCC) as proffered in the document.

This, According to him, will significantly enhance the timely implementation of other important initiatives spelt out in the document.

“Globally, there is a shortage of 3.1 million cybersecurity workers and this is an opportunity that Nigeria needs to grab hold of.

“This year 2020, the Africa cybersecurity market was estimated at 2.32 billion dollars.

“So, our document tries to see how we can get Nigeria to develop that sector so that we cannot only cybersecurity as an individual organisation expense but as a societal income so that young people can be gainfully employed, start their own businesses and generate wealth.

“These wealth and employment also means that government will generate income through taxes,” he said.

Member of the committee representing the Defence Intelligence Agency, Commodore Fatai Sanusi, said that the policy strategy emphasised the need to develop the personnel to have the capacity to make use of the cybersecurity to address various security challenges in the country.

Sanusi said the policies being espoused in the policy take care of the challenges if properly and fully implemented.

According to him, equipment needs to be bought and installed while the personnel have to be trained especially with their phones and other equipment they use. (NAN)

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