Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Security: Digital Sense, ATCON endorse summit on ICT intervention

Stakeholders are gearing up for the first summit on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) intervention on national security, scheduled for next month in Lagos, just as some notable industry groups and organisation have endorsed the summit.

Event coordinator, Mr. Godwin Morgan said that the proposed stakeholders’ summit has been endorsed by well-meaning Nigerians at home and abroad, saying that it indeed an idea whose time has come.

Some of the organisation that endorsed the summit at the weekend included
He quoted a letter endorsing the summit from the apex telecom industry association, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), saying that the initiative deserves commendation, endorsement and support as it has great potentials to facilitate the efforts of our national security forces in combating crimes and making Nigeria a safe, attractive and preferred investment destination for the international community.

In her reaction to the idea of the proposed summit, Mrs. Nkemdilim Nweke, Executive Director, Digital Sense Africa (DSA) endorsed the initiative and announced the agreement of DSA to partner with other collaborating organizations in actualizing the laudable goals of the summit.

Citing national and public interests as the driving force for supporting the initiative, Mrs. Nweke said it has become embarrassing that Nigerians now live with kidnapping scare when they have advanced digital options to turn the tide against criminals, as it is the case in advanced countries of the world.

She also called on ICT industry players to team up and evolve appropriate digital networking that will assist the federal and state governments fight crimes effectively in our society.

Also commenting on the initiative, Prince Osuagwu, chairman, Joint Action Committee on ICT Awareness & Development (JACITAD) said the summit is a welcome development.
He also confirmed that his committee is working with the ICT sector to ensure the success of the summit leading to the implementation of an integrated ICT-based security network across the country.

Osuagwu noted that in recent times, Nigerian media practitioners have become targets of hired killers and kidnappers, recollecting the incident involving four journalists recently kidnapped in Abia State, who later regained their freedom last June.

He said that it would not have taken the mobilization of almost the whole of the security forces to Abia State to search for the kidnapped journalists if Nigeria had developed modern surveillance and monitoring technologies that would have captured and replayed footages of the criminals’ movements.

Further he observed that even the ICT sector operators have been victims of criminal activities in our society.

“Operators often complain of vandalized equipment, youths’ hostilities in some communities, theft of machines and equipment, etc. and these incidences affect business operations adversely. So, if we now come together and plan how to develop a national ICT-enabled security system, it will be easier to monitor, detect and arrest these criminals and make Nigeria a secured and safe place to do business. Everybody will be happy at the end of the day”.

Concerned Nigerians in the diaspora firmly believe the planned technology intervention will reduce the level of insecurity in the country. Dr. Clifford Maxwell, a London-based telecom expert said the move by the ICT sector in Nigeria is commendable as it will help stem the increasing rate of criminal activities that almost returned Nigeria to the dark age.

He said in advanced countries, technology has made homeland policing much easier because footprints of criminals can be traced to their doorsteps leading to arrests.
He also insisted that Nigeria cannot be recording advancements in the ICT sector yet the government at federal and state levels display helplessness in fighting crime and corruption in Nigeria, the giant of Africa.

Also, speaking in support of the planned summit, Patrick Edemson, international coordinator of Nigeria Advancement Alliance (NAA), a US-based interest group, described the initiative as a positive step in the right direction. He pledged the support of his group to ensuring the success of the initiative in anyway possible.

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