Minister orders Nigerian agencies to begin standard certification

Minister of Communication, Dr Isa Pantami
Minister of Communication, Dr Isa Pantami

Nigeria’s Minister of Communication Isa Pantami has directed agencies under the ministry to start the ISO certification process to improve cybersecurity in the country.

Mr Pantami gave the directive during the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency Iso 27001 award ceremony on Tuesday in Abuja.

The agencies include the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Nigerian Postal Services(Nipost) and Nigeria Communications Satellite (Nigcomsat).

He said the aim of the certification is to combat cybercrime in the country.

“The idea of the ISO certification is to improve security and safety in the country,” Mr Pantami said.

“We should be concerned about our security and the only way is to set standards.”

He said the Nigerian government would love to sustain the growth in Africa, because these governance structures ensure Information assurance for citizens and businesses.

“To achieve this, I know there is a national framework on information security to drive process improvement and a roadmap is being developed by NITDA,” he said.

He advised NITDA to effectively regulate and encourage other MDAs on information security.

“It is pertinent to remind the Management that ISO 27001 is a management standard, which implies that top management must support it firmly, in shared responsibilities to sustain this standard.”

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Meanwhile, the director-general NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, said the agency is developing a national framework on information security.

He said this will drive process improvement and continuous security awareness in organisations, whether public or private.

“The roadmap will establish some timing component to the attainment of strengthened cyberspace that would be reckoned with locally, nationally and in the comity of nations,” he said.

“We have lined up some laudable projects for coordinating cybersecurity efforts in private and public organizations, in an effort to improve our resilience and limit the incidence of cyber threats and loses thereto in Nigeria.”.
NITDA became part of the ISO 27001 when Mr Pantami was its head.

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 is the Information Security Management System (ISMS) Standard, reckoned as the third most recognised certification standard, judging from statistics computed by ISO in 2018.

ISO 27001 is globally considered as a stable and sustainable endeavour that helps organisations to curtail information security and cyber incidences.

Considering the ever-increasing and devastating consequences of data breaches and other cyber-related threats, ISO 27001 has turned out to be the panacea for institutionalising structures for perpetual and consistent checks on the management of information assets of organisations.

2016 to 2017 saw global certifications to ISO 27001 standard increase steadily at 20 per cent.

However, in growth rate, Africa (74 per cent to 224) and Central-North America (63 per cent to 564) were the first and second respectively, while Asia-Pacific has the highest certifications of 23 per cent and 14,704, were recorded.

The implication of this is that the realisation of the value addition to information security is becoming more prominent globally, Africa inclusive.

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