by Ugochi Emmanuel
It is an undeniable fact that the Internet has become an indispensable element of our everyday life, for that reason, our children and youths are not excluded; they are highly involved in the use of new technology applications, especially since it provides opportunity for research, learning, communication, entertainment, and business for those with entrepreneurial minds
It is against this background that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has commenced a nationwide cybersecurity awareness campaign.
The campaign which took off at a conference attended by students from 24 private and public secondary schools held inside the 650-seater conference hall of the NCC Head Office Annex at Mbora District, in Abuja.
The event had in attendance, the the Minister of Communiations and Digital Economy, represented by his special Adviser on Technical Matters, Dr Femi Adeluyi, Represntative of the Minister of Women Affairs, Princess Jummai Idonije ,the representative of the Minister of Education, mallam Abubakar Isah. Other attendees are the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Federal Capital Territory Universal Basic Education Board (FCTUBEB), the Federal Capital Territory Secondary Education Board (FCTSEB) as well as Management and other staff.
Addressing the students and other participants at the event, Pantami, who commended the NCC leadership for the cybersecurity awareness initiative, stated that as Federal Government is driving digital economy, through the ministry and its agencies, especially the NCC, it also places primacy on proper and continuous education of end-users of telecom services.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the NCC-sponsored cybersecurity enlightenment programme has its specific interest in online protection of the youth especially the children both in public and private schools.
Danbatta further explained that the pervasiveness of the Internet and the proliferation of mobile phones make it difficult for parents and guardians to effectively monitor the online activities of their wards in comparison to the old system of connecting to the Internet via desktops and laptops.
He noted that in as much as the Internet provides countless opportunities for children, it also exposes them to potentially harmful content. He referred to a United Nation’s report on Nations Populations Estimates and Projections, which looked at Nigeria’s population from 1960-2019, indicating that children and youths constitute a large portion of the country’s population. The report further indicates that the median age of the country is 18.4 years as of 2019.
To ensure the realization of the objective, Prof. Danbatta said the Commission had commenced the process of establishing a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team, CSIRT exclusively for the Communications sector in conformity with the cyber security strategy contact for international coordination of Cyber security incidents in Nigeria. The EVC informed that the is also collaborating with key cyber security stakeholders to foster and engender a robust cyber security environment for effective protection of the country’s ICT infrastructure and networks.