The recent nomination of General Godwin George Umo (rtd) as one of the ambassadorial nominees by the federal government has been commended by Information and Communications Technology (ICT) stakeholders.
Chief Executive Officer of Teledom Group and former President of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, who spoke on behalf of ICT stakeholders, commended the nomination, given the antecedents of Umo, whom he said is a seasoned ICT professional whose techno-managerial trajectory has traversed the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police Force and Para-military institutions.
According to Ekuwem, “The Nigerian ICT industry is agog with positive expectations over the breaking news of the nomination of Umo by President Muhammadu Buhari for ambassadorial appointment. Umo, a former Commander, Corps of the Signals of the Nigerian Army, is a seasoned ICT professional whose techno-managerial trajectory has traversed the organisation of simulation exercises for the Nigerian armed Forces, the Nigeria Police Force and Para-military institutions.”
“These days, the world over, cybersecurity has gained the centre stage in national security surveillance, operations and response preparedness. Terrorist or enemy nations may want to cripple critical national information infrastructure like telecoms, banking, national defence and military, political and democratic institutions, legal and judicial institutions of other nations at worst or, at best, attempt to influence their political discourse and electoral outcomes.”
“The Nigerian ICT industry therefore commends President Muhammadu Buhari for this insightful nomination of General Umo for ambassadorial appointment. The Nigeria ICT industry hopes that his eventual posting will be appropriately effected to enhance our cybersecurity awareness and deep knowledge of same with appropriate schemes for cybersecurity threat and breach response and preparedness in our country,” Ekuwem said.
Highlighting Umo’s duties while at the helms of the Army Signal Corps, Ekuewem said his duties included the formulation of communications and ICT policies for the Army as well as the coordination and implementation of training on communications and ICT. He was saddled with the onerous task of advising the Chief of Army Staff on all communications and ICT matters including communications and ICT equipment procurement to ensure network seamlessness, interoperability, compatibility and commonality.
He called on the Nigerian armed forces to support the nomination, while urging Umo to use his vast experience with military intelligence to protect the cyberspace of Nigeria as a country, irrespective of the country he may be assigned to.
“The Nigerian armed forces, gallant as the officers and men are, must rise up to the challenge of the new frontier in warfare, namely cyberspace. Otherwise, should the cyberspace front not be gallantly manned, the country’s territorial space may be threatened by external forces,” Ekuwem said.
Giving his antecedents while in service, Ekuwem said Umo’s task further included attendance of conferences and seminars on telecommunications and ICT as well as liaising with ICT organisations to evolve current best practices for the Nigerian Army.
According to him, Umo worked on the establishment of the Nigerian Army Wide Area Network Infrastructure ( NAWANI ), rationalised the Nigerian Army Communications Assets and the establishment of the Nigerian Army Signals e-Learning Centre.
Before assuming duty as Commander, Corps of Signal, General Umo served as Director of Communications in the Defence Headquarters where his duties included the formulation of joint communications and ICT policies for the Nigerian Armed Forces. He coordinated training on communications and ICT in the three services to ensure the realization of Defence ICT Policy objectives. Gen. Umo, while in service had held many command and administrative positions.
For example, he was Diretcor of Standards and Combat Readiness as a Brigadier General. He was a member of Presidential Panel on Pipeline Vandalism. He once served as Commander, ECOMOG Signals Command and Chief Communications Officer of ECOMOG where he supervised the design and implementation of communications plan for all the participating contingents from Nigeria, Ghana, Siera Leone, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Benin Republic and The Gambia, constituting a force level of 10,000 troops.