The Director General, Delta State Innovation Hub (DS-IHUB), Chris Uwaje has blamed the National Assembly (NASS) members that are responsible for the country’s laws formulation, for Nigeria’s late adoption of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).
Uwaje, who spoke to THISDAY about the danger of the current cyberspace war, said the IPv6 has been widely adopted by developed and most developing nations, but expressed his dissatisfaction that Nigeria is yet to fully migrate from IPv4 to IPv6, a development, he said, would slow down technology development in the county, and create loopholes for cyber attacks.
IPv6 is the most recent version of Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the internet.
An IP address is essentially a postal address for every internet-connected device, without which, websites will not be able to locate and send information at every search to access the website.
“Very soon, IPv6 will become the absolute prefix to the internet and Nigeria/African nations must take advantage of this awesome opportunity by advancing IPv6 strategic plans,” Uwaje said.
Citing the global e-Readiness result that was released in 2016, where Nigeria was ranked 119 out of 139 countries surveyed on the global scale, Uwaje said: “Policy makers are late comers to emergence of new technologies, and their inconsistent policies have deprived Nigeria from early adoption of IPv6, describing the situation as national leadership challenge that must be urgently addressed.
Looking at the challenges, he said lack of inclusiveness strategy on the part of the lawmakers, has created huge gap and disconnect between the government, the industry and the academia.
This situation he said, has resulted in the limited capacities and capabilities of service providers to timely engage the challenges.
He called for increased public awareness to bridge the gap by creating an uninformed user community and stakeholders group that will meet regularly on ICT research, development, and funding that will boost local content capabilities.
In addressing the latest issue on weaponisation of the cyberspace, which is prominently noticed in some of the largest
Uwaje said: “Available reports and metric on IPv6 adoption in many countries outside Africa informs that there is a conscious steady migration from IPv4 to IPv6 growth, based on strategic plan focusing on its enormous economic opportunities, benefits and potential risks. The US, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and Greece are all above 20 per cent, and a number of others such as Malaysia, Ecuador, Portugal, and Peru close behind.”
Uwaje, a former President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), advised the National Assembly members to retool the country’s vision for ICT development, in line with global technology trends.
According to him, “Our national ICT vision and mission should be focused on software engineering and innovation development to ensure national ICT competitiveness and future survivability.”
He encouraged government to engage the challenges of digital minds, change digital regime, and work towards digital revolution, which is all about knowledge economy, by invigorating digital local content strategies for national adoption.
“To accelerate the diffusion of mobile economy, the implementation of the National Broadband Plan should be intensified and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should be encouraged to engage constructive IPv6 transition and migration,” Uwaje added.