- FG Woos Foreign Investors into ICT Sector
Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has said 70 percent of cyber attacks carried out by hackers in Nigeria’s Information Communication Technology (ICT), space were successful.
According to him, studies carried out by the ministry showed that 3,500 cyber attacks unleashed in the country resulted in lose of $450 million.
The minister made the disclosure at the 8th Cybersecurity, Technology Optimisation and National Development, organised by Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA), forum in Abuja.
Shittu, said maintaining a hitch free cybersecurity space required the engagement of Information Technology specialists and expertise.
Meanwhile, the minister, during a courtesy visit to his office by the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Morteza Rahimi, urged Iranian business men and other foreign investors to take advantage of Nigeria’s huge market and high return on investment to invest in the country’s ICT sector.
He said: “I am convinced ISACA has those skills; you have the knowledge; you have the professionals; you have the approaches, techniques and strategies.
“Permit me to say that you sitting here are the professionals Nigeria is counting on to conquer the cyberwars and crimes in the country. If the country fails, then you have failed and ISACA has failed in Nigeria.”
He however, said that he was not unaware that ISACA recently introduced CyberSecurity Nexus (CSX) to equip professionals with expert skills and competencies to counter cyber terrorism in the country.
“At this juncture, may I emphasize here that though these certifications are very important, but your practical involvement, the demonstration of your expert knowledge in facilitate a secured cyberspace in Nigeria is our utmost demand.
“I can assure you that if our cyberspace is safe, investors will come; e-commerce will be given much priority; and most transactions will be done without stress and above all, the quality of life will increase. This is what national development is.” Shittu said.
According to him, the share of telecommunications in total real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined throughout 2010 to 2014, but in the last five quarters, growth in telecommunications has been higher, meaning the trend has reversed.
Shittu added: “The total number of subscribers as of the end of June 2016 stood at 149,803,714, and internet users for the same time stood at 92,181,978 – the biggest internet market in Africa.
“The ICT sector contributed 12.62% to the total nominal GDP in the 2nd quarter of 2016, up from its 12.25% contribution in the 1st quarter.”
According to him, government is redoubling efforts to increase ICT’s contribution to our GDP, as we consider it to be a veritable alternative to the oil sector whose contributions have dwindled over the past year.
He said: “The electoral process today also involves use of electronic card readers. The use of CCTV is very common in most organizations and even households today.
“Mobile communication and e-mailing and social media communication are now the order of the day. Use of computers and other office support systems are obvious in all offices today.
“Electronic commerce and online malls are very prevalent. Electricity and transportation had also gone digital, using prepaid. This developmental approach, as good as it is, is faced with war with cybercriminal elements.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Communication (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has inaugurated the 3rd Steering Committee of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) ICT Centres of excellence network for Africa.
He admitted that having gone through the proceedings of the previous meetings, he noted with delight the important decisions that were taken by the delegates towards advancing ICT capacity development in Africa.
“The role of ICT as a growth enabler is no longer debatable. Evidence abound in the developed economies that ICT is the biggest driver of economic growth in the 21stcentury.
“I am a strong believer that African countries can harness the massive opportunities of the digital era by consciously investing not only in ICT infrastructure but in developing the requisite knowledge and skills through capacity building”, he said.