NCC Pledges Advancements in Digital Inclusion, Security, Innovation

Nigerian Communications Commission says it will raise the bar in the area of digital inclusion, enhanced security of cyberspace and innovation.

The Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC), of the Commission stated this at the ongoing Parliamentarian Africa Internet Governance Forum (AFIGF) hosted by NCC in Abuja, Nigeria, with the theme: “Transforming Africa’s Digital Landscape: Empowering Inclusion, Security and Innovation.”

He said that in today’s Nigeria, the financial inclusion strategy of Federal Government was telco-driven.

According to him, the idea behind leveraging the telecommunications infrastructure strategy is because of the pervasiveness nature of telecommunications infrastructure.

“Before the mobile money penetration was 1 per cent but not anymore because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) gave licences to four of our network operators. As we speak today, the Payment Service Bank (PSB), the digital financial inclusion index has risen to about 70 per cent,” he explained.

He reiterated that the Unsupplementary Structured Service Data (USSD) code which drives transactions in the banking sector today was made available by NCC.

“Nowadays Nigerians do transfer without having to go to the banking halls to fill tellers which used to be the way we are doing it before. This important intervention is provided in all the six geopolitical zones of the country. It is a continuous exercise and intervention,” Danbatta gave assurance

He stated that as a Commission, NCC has a number of initiatives driving the national system of innovation.

NCC Boss said that NCC empowers the younger ones, the middle age and mature Nigerians outside this bracket to innovate by providing Interventions of computer systems and mifi.

On security of cyberspace, he said the Commission established a Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team (NCERT) in its efforts to secure the country’s cyberspace.

The EVC said this provides advisory on how telecommunication companies can take measures to protect themselves from malicious attack within the cyberspace.

“We even grade the nature of attack to malicious, light, heavy etc, Danbatta said.

The Secretary General of AFIGF, Hon. Samuel George, member Ghanaian Parliament, said it was important to have a unified African cybersecurity approach to an African problem.

George said that the African Union (AU) data and policy framework had the synchronised ability to share information with the Nigerians and other African countries.

“Our military and security intelligence that just deals with security, intelligence gathering and all of that should be able to share critical information with a Nigerian military sector. If there is a risk that covers both Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria and they do not have similar protocols, then it affects this conversation.

“And that’s why as an African continent, we need to ratify this convention because the things that were topical eight years ago in 2015 are mundane now, technology has moved on. So, we will need to catch up with it,” George said.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson, (AFIGF), Lillian Nalwoga said at the regional level, there has been the Africa cyber security conventions, adding that more countries were needed to be able to ascend.

Nalwoga said without determination, it would be a little bit difficult to be able to address cyber-crimes at a regional level.

She also said that African countries need to have some sort of harmonisation of cybersecurity laws in their various countries to aid fight cyber-crimes.