Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, stated on Friday that the Federal Government is leveraging various Information Communication Technologies (ICT) initiatives to improve security across the country.
Pantami stated this in Gombe while delivering a convocation lecture at the Federal College of Education’s sixth to 35th combined convocation ceremony (Technical).
The lecture’s theme is “Deployment of Emerging Technologies to Improve the Security of Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria.”
He stated that the Federal Government is launching several policies through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to assist security agencies and other relevant institutions in protecting Nigerians.
He stated that a component of that effort resulted in the National Identification Number (NIN) initiative, which aims to ensure that all Nigerians are properly profiled in accordance with global practice in order to address emerging security challenges.
“Without profiling, no country can be secure on a global scale; it is impossible.” When most of us travel to developed countries, we obtain their NIN, but when we come to Nigeria, we do not.
“It is because of the need to properly profile citizens in order to better protect our society and ensure the development of the country that we have been pushing for NIN in Nigeria,” he explained.
He stated that criminal elements oppose the policy and have been fighting it.
“When I proposed the policy, they filed more than 44 petitions to have it repealed.” Some of them are addressed to Mr. President, while others are addressed to the courtcourt cases.
“Some people sued the federal government in at least seven different courts across the country.” When I met Mr. President, he told me to “resist and continue,” and I told him, “I will not fail you, Sir.”
Pantami stated that his ministry would continue to implement the NIN policy in order to protect citizens from emerging cyber threats, and that identification numbers are a major requirement in developed countries.
He stated that the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) database in 2020, which had 42 million people captured between 2007 and 2020, has grown to more than 67 million people today.
He also stated that the number of enrollment centers in the country has increased from 1,600 to over 6,000.
Pantami stated that the government is also working to improve cyber security, emphasizing the importance of cyber security in protecting educational institutions.
“There can hardly be a higher-level crime committed without leaving a digital trail; having an effective cyber security team and center in our society will go a long way toward protecting our institutions.”
He stated that the Federal Government established computer security incident response teams through the National Communications Commission (NCC) to intercept any potential attack and notify relevant institutions to take proactive measures.
He stated that there are 24 emergency communication centers that will be expanded to cover the entire country by 2022, and that such centers will help connect citizens to relevant security institutions for interventions.
“We are working on an application that will be deployed in the centers that will allow security institutions to track your exact location if you make a call.”
“Even if your phone is turned off, the system will be able to track your location; we have advanced to a certain point,” he stated.