By JESSICA DOGO
ABUJA- The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, has inaugurated a committee for cyberspace and Information and Communication Technology(ICT) infrastructure protection ahead of the general elections.
The Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr Reuben Muoka, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
Muoka said that the committee would advise the Federal Government on appropriate measures to take in protecting the nation’s cyberspace and ICT infrastructure from potential attacks especially during the elections.
The minister said that the constitution of the committee was on the directive of President Mohammadu Buhar.
Mouka said that the committee would work to coordinate computer security centres in the ICT industry in collaboration with other relevant institutions towards intercepting potential cyber-attacks.
He said with the increased role of ICT in online activities, in line with the Electoral Act, as amended, the committee would assist the nation in conducting a free, fair and credible elections.
Mouka quoted Pantami as directing the committee to work round-the-clock from Feb. 24, till Monday morning, Feb. 27, 2023.
“The committee will also ensure it receives complaints around any attacks to critical infrastructure and ensure such complaints are escalated to relevant institutions, public or private, for necessary remedial actions.
“Our main responsibilities in this Committee are more of advisory. Firstly, when it comes to intercepting potential attacks that may come to our cyberspace.
“The Committee will coordinate the NCC’s Computer Security Incident Response Team at NCC; the Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team at the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Galaxy Backbone’ National Cybersecurity Centre.
“These three centres must work together, complement each other and ensure they intercept any potential attacks on our cyberspace particularly, on our Critical Infrastructure during the election.
“So that we can either take action or provide necessary advice to the government,” he said.
The minister said the committee would work closely with institutions such as the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),
Others are: Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), among others, to collectively safeguard Nigeria’s cyberspace from potential attacks or cases of vandalism and fibre cuts during the election.
“The challenges of protecting our cyberspace is a collective national responsibility. It is a national assignment.
“As a sector, we would play our own responsibility objectively and professionally. We would work collectively rather than working individually as agencies since we are in the same sector,” Pantami added.
Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Prof. Adeolu Akande, expressed gratitude and assured their readiness to work hard towards delivering its mandates.
Akande would ensure advisory capacity to the Federal Government and other relevant institutions, the protection of the nation’s cyberspace and ICT infrastructure during the elections.
“The committee members will do everything in their capacity to deliver on their Terms of Reference,” he said.
Other members of the committee are: Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Kashifu Abdullahi.
Others are: The Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Mohammad Abubakar, and the Special Assistant to the Minister on Digital Economy, Prof. Aminu Ahmad, key directors in the agencies. among other CEOs in the ministry. (NAN)