At its meeting on December 8, 2021, the Federal Executive Council approved the Advanced Digital Awareness Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI) as well as the deployment of a regulatory mechanism to help the telecoms industry.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim, had earlier presented memos (Pantami). Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta, Prof. Sahalu Junaidu, and Mr. Yakubu Gontor, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), were also present.
By fostering the practical application of technology in research, teaching, and learning in tertiary institutions, the ADAPTI aims to bridge the digital gaps that present in academia..
The authorized initiative calls for the delivery of 6,000 digital tablets, with the following goals:
- Promoting the understanding and application of information and communication technology (ICT) throughout the country, particularly in tertiary institutions;
- Providing access to information and communication technology (ICT) tools;
- promoting self-development as a means of economic empowerment; and
- Increasing the demand for telecommunications products and services.
The ADAPTI will be implemented by NCC and will align with several pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, including Digital Literacy and Skills, Solid Infrastructure, Digital Services Development and Promotion, Digital Society and Emerging Technologies, and Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.
The deployment of regulatory mechanisms to monitor, detect, and prevent SIMBox and Call Masking Traffic within the country’s telecoms business was also approved by the Federal Executive Council. These hardware devices have high-end configurations/specifications to provide smooth, optimal performance, taking into account the volume of data influx from the four major mobile network operators (MNOs). The following are some of the systems’ derivable benefits:
- Establishment of a system to track SIMBOXING in the industry on a continuous basis;
- Detection of SIMBOXING incidents in all MNO networks around the clock, in near real time or real time if possible, and reporting in the appropriate formats;
- Calls from SIMBOXES are effectively blocked, as are the SIMs used for the activity across all operators;
- Implementation of a Call Masking/Calling Line Identification (CLI) Spoofing System to track Call Masking/CLI Spoofing in the industry on a continuous basis;
- Detection of Call Masking incidents in the entire MNO network, 24 hours a day, in near real time or real time if possible, and reporting of the same in appropriate formats; and
- Preventing successful call routing to the called subscriber by blocking Masked/Spoofed CLI calls at the origination stage.
The adoption of SIMBoxing and Call Masking has caused a hurdle in providing the telecoms industry’s key security information demands. The difficulty will be addressed by the implementation of these systems. The implementation also aligns with the NDEPS Soft Infrastructure pillar.
The Honourable Minister, the Ministry, and the telecommunications ecosystem are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his unwavering support. Nigeria will continue to be positioned to harness technology in order to become a leading digital economy, according to the Ministry.
Dr. Femi Adeluyi is the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy’s Technical Assistant (Research and Development).