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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ICT summit on national security: Patriotism, key to optimizing ICT

Patriotism has been described as an important factor for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to work optimally, especially in national security.

This is the highlight of a communiqué made available to ITRealms Online at the end of a one-day stakeholders’ Summit on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for National Security operations. The summit was hosted by security technology provider, Technology Development Company (TDC) Limited in partnership with Gamnet Solutions Limited, in Lagos.

The communique endorsed by the chief executive officer of Gamnet Solutions, Mr. Godwin Morgan, noted the need for human capacity building to adequately handle security-related technologies, saying it is key to sustaining the ICTs and systems.

He said that the 10-point communiqué recognized the importance of the summit and urgent need to devise appropriate technologies to facilitate security operations in the country.

It pointed out that the absence of the political class whose responsibility it is to evolve and implement security policies, as well as the need to bring them on board in future was underscored.

It was disclosed that the summit, agreed that the durability, adaptability, coverage and proof of workability of technologies should be ascertained prior to Nigeria’s procuring them.

Participants observed that Nigerian prisons should be correctional institution and noted the need to establish ICT skills acquisition in the Nigeria Prisons, just as the Institute of Software
Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) revealed plans for Prison Software Development Programme to develop technological skills among prison inmates.

Maintenance culture in the country, the Summit emphasized, must be improved to ensure that critical security infrastructure are kept long enough to serve the purposes for which they were intended.

Equally, participants highlighted the need to review the electricity power challenge and develop alternative power back up.

The challenge of online fraudsters, popularly called ‘yahoo yahoo’ the summit stated has become a “business syndrome,” urging for national focus to curb the menace, just as participants said that the management of information security is critical to make things work.

Morgan further said that the summit was designed as a public service initiative in collaboration with Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Digital Sense Africa (DSA), Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria; Association of Licensed Telephone Operators of Nigeria, Nigerian Internet Group (NIG), Internet Services Providers of Nigeria (ISPAN), Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and Joint Action Committee on Information Technology Awareness & Development (JACITAD).

Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, Chief Executive Officer, Teledom Group, in his address on the theme: “National Security Emergency: ICT to the Rescue” said that ICT has the potentials to make Nigeria safer.

Mr. Robert J. Langlios, who represented Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), USA, delivered a technical paper on “Non-Intrusive Inspection Systems for Detection of Arms, Weapons, Ammunitions for Local and Remote Monitoring and Data Storage.”

While Mr. Chris Uwaje, chief executive officer, Connect Technologies and President, Institute of Software Providers of Nigeria (ISPON), examined “Critical Software Issues and Imperatives for National Security.”

In his submission, Uwaje stressed the need for critical issues of software component in securing the cyberspace of Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized.

This, he said, is because Nigeria is not only the sixth largest oil producer in the world, but indeed the single largest concentration of people of African descent under the universe and also the ninth largest population in the world.

Above all, he said, the national software environment and critical solutions must be designed, deployed, managed and controlled by indigenous policy and workforce.

The national cyber-security agenda, he said, must be given a topmost priority and funding preference in the national budget, outlining that ICT sector must be adequately protected by enabling policies, laws and sustainable strategies.

These strategies, he said, could be designed to fulfill the objective of convening a national colloquium on cyber security, constructive intervention to strengthen institutional policy initiatives, establish a national database on critical national infrastructure as preventive and craft and implement legislation to name a few. 

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