NIMC: National Cybersecurity Policy will Address Security Lapses

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By Emma Okonji and Nosa Alekhuogie

The Director, Legal, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Hadiza Dagabana, has said the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy Document that was recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, will address several security issues in the country, including the enhancement of capacity building and infrastructure development within the country’s security architecture.

Dangbana, who is also a member of the committee on National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy, spoke about the importance of the document yesterday on ARISE NEWS Channel, the broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers.

The National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy Document, is the review of the 2014 document on cybersecurity, which sets a clear direction for the progressive use of the country’s cyberspace. It highlights priorities in dealing with the new forms of cyberspace criminalities and terrorism in the country, while promoting digital skills acquisition that will promote job creation among Nigerian youths, and to boost the economy.

According to Dagabana, “The document is a review of the 2014 document that looked at the existing security lapses in the country. It is also an improvement on the previous security documents, designed to promote security in different sectors of the Nigerian economy. The document assigns roles and responsibilities to all critical sectors of the economy and how to carry out the implementation processes of specific roles as it applies to cybersecurity and safety in cyberspace.”

She further explained that the policy document would enhance capacity building among industry players and develop critical infrastructure across the country, adding that the document seeks to build collaboration between the industry and the academia, in such a way that educational courses and curriculum are designed in line with industry needs to enable institutions of learning to graduate students that are industry ready and employable.

“The policy document recognises the role of the Ministry of Education to design educational curriculum that are geared towards developing the right technology skills that the industry needs, as well as the creation of a cybersecurity training institute that will be able to develop capacity for auditors and inspectors who will implement the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy Document,” Dagabana said.

She said the policy document would recognise Nigeria’s sovereignty and would ensure the protection of personal data because a lot of activities are carried out in the cloud technology space. She assured Nigerians, that through the legal backing of the document, government would ensure that data generated from Nigeria and owned by Nigerians, would be hosted within Nigeria, in order to grow the country’s local traffic in the cyberspace.

Responding to questions raised about whether government data from several government agencies were hosted in Nigeria, Dagabana said she could confidently speak on behalf of NIMC, where she works. She said all data on the NIMC database are hosted in NIMC’s headquarters in Abuja, with backups in other locations across the country.

Speaking on the global digital threats, Dagabana said all security architectures in the country were built bearing security in mind. She however said the policy document would empower different sectors of the economy to report all security breaches to enable other sectors to be conversant with security attacks in order to proffer solution that would mitigate such attacks. She stressed the need for organisations and government agencies to always fortify their networks and be security conscious at all times.

Dagabana who also spoke about the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), which was fashioned after the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) law, and currently being managed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), explained that the policy document would also address data protection regulation, even though there is a draft bill, seeking for data protection law and not regulation, as Nigeria currently has.

In the area of e-Commerce, Dagabana said the policy document would address the existing e-Commerce policy in the country, with a view to making online shopping safe for all Nigerians.