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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

National Security: Summit to deliberate on ICT’s intervention


Worried by the spate of national insecurity in the country, stakeholders in the technology sector are warming up for a one-day summit on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) intervention.

Disclosing this, the immediate past president of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem advocated for the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools in policing of the country through electronic-monitored policing (e-Policing) and called for the establishment of criminal database.

This, he said, would also go a long way in curbing the incessant security breaches, especially in the escalation of kidnapping and other criminal vices as trade.

According to him, the technologies to combat crimes in high places, mostly in the proliferation of arms are available and government and her agencies nationwide should make haste to embrace these technologies, more so now that the general election is fast approaching.

Speaking last weekend on the efficacy of the forthcoming stakeholders summit on ICT Intervention in National Security Emergency, being organized by Gamnet Solutions Limited in conjunction with a subsidiary of his firm, Teledom Group, the Technology Development Company (TDC) Limited, Dr. Ekuwem, who also is the Executive Vice Chairman of the group, noted with dismay that kidnappers are in possession of high-profile machine guns, which cost a lot of money to procure.

He said that TDC got involved in this project, because they see it as a national call and urged other private entities to join forces with the organizers in sensitization of Nigerians and security agencies across the country.

The summit with the theme: National Security Emergency: ICT to the Rescue, slated for Tuesday, September 7, this year, he said, would be a showcase of ICT solutions with the capabilities of assisting the country and security agencies particularly in checkmating proliferation of arms and crimes in general.

“ICT-based coordination of surveillance and monitoring activities across the country, will encouragement investment floor in the country, especially if we establish criminal database for online access at every point of transactions,” he said.

Ekuwem, equally lamented that nowadays in the country, citizens go about their businesses with the sense of fear and apprehension, saying that there is no day that passes without national media not carrying banner headlines of unabated criminal activities and in security at various parts of the country.

He recalled that recently too, the ICT regulator in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), expressed concern over the spate of kidnappings and related heinous crimes perpetrated by unscrupulous and undesirable elements, aside from announcing its determination to mobilize the support of telecommunications operators in devising and deploying requisite ICT tools as solutions towards tracking kidnappers and other criminals.

“With scanning systems in the sea ports, airports, border posts and inland waterways to detect movement of arms, ammunitions and light weapons across the country, would strengthen the efforts of the Police and other security agencies,” he declared.

He maintained that NCC believes the ICT sector has the wherewithal to enhance the efforts of security agencies in the country in halting the wheel of siege of the men of the underworld.

Ekuwem said that the aim and objective of the security summit is to mobilize players in the ICT sector in the country to plan and devise effective technology and systems interventions that would enhance struggle by the security forces to ensure security of lives and properties at all times.

Additionally, he said the summit has been planned to serve as a business networking roundtable for ICT services providers, public security agencies and private security practitioners.

“It will provide ample opportunity for the security practitioners to discuss their work challenges with technology providers and suggest ICT solutions that could meet their operational needs,” he said.

On the impact of insecurity to the national economy, Ekuwem said that it begets rapid retardation of the national economic development by creation of fears in the minds of investors, thereby scaring away local and foreign direct investments.

Just as he said, it diminishes the good image and reputation of Nigeria in the comity of nations, especially against the backdrop of global war against terrorism.

The summit coordinator and chief executive officer of Gamnet Solutions, Mr. Godwin Morgan, told ITRealms Online that the focus of the stakeholders’ summit is to proffer an effective national security surveillance and monitoring.

He said that with the navigation systems for tracking and location of criminal automobiles, it would ease their interception and arrest, stressing that systems for detection and monitoring of footprints and fingerprints of criminals and criminal activities even after they have left the scenes are available.

Furthermore, he said that the presence of personal identity management system for security purposes is paramount to the development of the nation, just as law on lawful interception, data retention systems on the networks and cyber security, would alleviate the challenges of the security forces in combating crimes in the country.

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