An upgraded digital centre of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will help Nigeria detect and mitigate potential cybersecurity risks, Minister for Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has said.
Mr Pantami, who spoke on Monday at the commissioning of the digital centre alongside other projects at the NITDA headquarters in Abuja, said the new centre is upgraded with world class equipment to perform optimally.
The digital centre unveiled contained a computer emergency response and readiness centre, and digital media studio.
The Computer Emergency Response and Readiness Centre is targeted at upgrading Nigeria’s cybersecurity in line with the administration’s plan to promote security, Mr Pantami said.
“Today there are many challenges with regards to security based on what is happening online, so with the Computer Emergency Response and Readiness team, we will be able to be the watchdog of Federal Government of Nigeria, monitor potential cyber-attacks on our country, come up with policies and strategies to prevent such attacks on our country or at least reduce it.”
He added that such impending attacks will be communicated to the affected institutions on an advisory level, in line with the digital security pillar of the national digital economy policy.
The digital media studio, he said, would aid virtual conferences, e-learning, and e-governance, and help the administration and promote economic development.
The event, which was the Phase III of Virtual Commissioning of “Digital Economy Projects for a Digital Nigeria”, also witnessed the unveiling of reviewed logo, vision, and mission statements of the agency.
The minister said the rebranding of NITDA will help shape Nigeria’s journey into digital economy, as the logo is redesigned to capture the essence of the reforms in the sector.
Mr Pantami noted that the projects commissioned were in line with the key pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.
“The reason behind changing the agency’s logo is that the world’s IT has changed from ICT to digital economy. It is no longer about IT policy but rather digital economy policy for a digital Nigeria, because the IT policy has become obsolete” Pantami explained.
Mr Pantami commended the NITDA director general, Kashifu Abdullahi for completing the project which was initiated when the minister was the DG of the agency.
He noted that before the Coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum had predicted that before 2022, 60% of the world economy would be digitalised.
The minister said the pandemic has, however, fast tracked this prediction, making it obvious that the same could be achieved before 2021.
“This has motivated us to double our efforts, so that some of the targets we initially set for 2023 have already been achieved now. In telecoms, for instance, issues like that of the right of way for critical digital infrastructure has been lingering for years, but we have been able to resolve this in our first year,” he stated.
In his address, Mr Abdullahi commended Mr Pantami for his leadership which, he said, made it possible for the agency to achieve what it did within the last one year.
He said as the IT frontline agency, NITDA, is committed to the digital Nigeria initiative of the supervising ministry under the guidance of the minister.