Pantami Assures Of 5G Rollout, Bags SAEMA Award For Championing Cybersecurity

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, has disclosed that Nigeria is ensuring that 5G technology is not exploited after it goes into effect.

Pantami spoke when he received the Security and Emergency Managememt Award (SAEMA) for his implementation of policies against cyber attacks and online crimes.

The award instituted by Emergency Digest was presented to the Minister by the Executive Secretary Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC), retired Air Commmodore Yusuf Anas.

The CCC boss said: “Under the  leadership of Dr. Ali Pantami, the Ministry established an international standard Computer Emergency Response and Readiness Team (CERRT) at NITDA Headquarters targeted at upgrading Nigeria’s cybersecurity to promote national security.

“As watchdog of the federal government, the Computer Emergency Response and Readiness Team (CERRT) helps Nigeria to monitor potential cyber-attacks, detect and mitigate potential cybersecurity threats on the country.

“Similarly, the ministry has upgraded and added more Emergency Communication Centres (ECCs) undertaken by Nigerian Communication Commission (CCC) for tackling insecurity through activating emergency numbers in cases of emergencies across many states.

“The ministry has also provided necessary technology to enable security agencies to effectively tackle insecurity in the country.”

The investiture was made at the sideline of an official presentation of a book, titled, Digital Innovation for Economic Prosperity in Nigeria by  Image Merchants Promotion Limited, the publishers of PRNigeria and Economic Confidential.

While commending the Emergency Digest and CCC, the organisers of the award, Dr. Pantami said that the government would continue to provide technological tools for tackling insecurity in the country.

His words, “Technology has been addressing (security) but in our own area, we are not security agencies. The security agencies are the ones that are supposed to leverage on the technology to do their own work and we have been mandated to give them all the necessary support.

“Since my first day in office, we have been giving them (security agencies) support.  Any support they need in technology to do their work.

“It is their work to leverage technology.  It is not our duty to say this is what to achieve.  What they require, we have provided 100 per cent, not even 99 per cent and we will continue to do that.”

On the 5G technology deployment, the minister said that the Draft Policy would be presented to the federal Executive Council (FEC), after the working Group set up on the it concludes its assignment.

He said that the government started the process in 2020 but was confronted with the COVID-19 conspiracy theory.

According to him, following the confirmation by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that the two were not related, the conspiracy theory has been destroyed intellectually and scientifically.

“In spite of that, we set up a Working group to study the effectiveness. Accordingly, people from technology, health, environment and security.  They have been working for over a year on the policy of deployment of 5G in Nigeria, so that we can be on the same page and be sure there is no vacuum that others can exploit to the detriment of the citizens of our country.

“So we are on the same page and I think the policy will soon be presented before the Federal Executive Council.  When it is approved, the National Frequency Management Council will assign Spectrum to NCC and NCC will release it to operators for deployment.”

Speaking on the book presentation, Dr. Pantami said the author, Inyene Ibanga provided insights into Nigeria’s digital economy and the Ministry’s approach towards developing it.

He observed that digital innovation has led to a shift from the traditional economy into the digitalized one, and this digital transformation of the economy has led to economic prosperity in Nigeria and around the world.

The minister urged Nigerians to develop the habit of reading, as according to him, “Readers are leaders” and that all noted world leaders were people who spend quality time reading.

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