Minister of Defence, Haliru Bello Mohammed
By Emma Okonji
Following the growing rate of insecurity in the country, Defence Minister, Dr. Bello Mohammed , has called on experts in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to as a matter of urgency develop software solution that will address the state of insecurity in the country.
The minister who spoke in Abuja at a Defence Sector Forum organised recently by Ministry of Communications Technology and Galaxy Backbone, described the current national challenges facing the country in the area of security, as a call for all ICT stakeholders to task themselves to come up with novel solutions that bear testimony to their God-given capacity to meet the challenges of the time.
The Defence Sector ICT Forum was a Stakeholders Awareness Series (SAS) event hosted by Galaxy Backbone in collaboration with the Defence Headquarters to engender dialogue on how stakeholders in the Defence, Intelligence and Security community could leverage the benefits of Information and Communications Technology to meet contemporary security challenges.
According to the Minister, the forum with the theme: “Integrated ICT Framework for the Defence Sector: An Imperative for National Security” could not have come at a better time in the history of our dear country.
He said: “We are at a watershed in the history of our nation. When a nation is at a crossroads, it is time to break barriers and leap to higher grounds. The reason is because every nation is a bundle of talent, intellect and creativity. These inner resources are hardly exploited or harnessed to the full except there are challenges”.
Mohammed expressed the confidence that one of the areas the country should be looking up to was ICT. According to him, “the modern society is a knowledge society driven by intelligence and information, which means that Nigeria’s defence and national security sector cannot be different.”
He stated further that at critical times in the history of nations, national security challenges had given the world some of the best known technologies in the history of mankind. “Ours should not be an exception. It is time for us to begin to exploit new ways of tackling our security challenges”.
The minister expressed the view that for Nigeria to overcome the present national security challenges all stakeholders must work together to evolve new ways of doing things and build capacity in modern information and communications technology.
Mohammed said the forum was very important as it brought stakeholders in defence and information technology together, “so that we can talk to ourselves more closely and explore how we can work together to meet our challenges. The reason is that security, like knowledge, does not only have a military dimension but also a civil one.”
He added: “We need to explore all the dimensions in a manner that assembles all the building blocks from all quarters at the least possible time and cost. Together, we need to examine current technologies that will help us tackle current challenges and institute the best ways not only of acquiring such technologies but also sharing them among the defence and security community,”
He pledged that the ministry of defence would support policy initiatives that could help the country benefit from a pool of ICT resources, information, knowledge, intelligence and technologies.