Cyber attacks: Upgrading CERRT will save Nigeria — Pantami

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By Gloria Akudoro, Abuja.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has said that the establishment of Computer Emergency Response and Readiness Team, (CERRT) will reduce cyber-attacks and make Nigeria’s Cyberspace safer.

The Minister stated this while inaugurating the Nigeria Communications Commission’s Computer Emergency Response and Readiness Team CERRT.

He said the project was strategically built-in line with Digital Economy Policy and Strategy of President Muhammadu Buhari for a Digital Nigeria.

According to Pantami the facility was initiated and executed in accordance with International best practices and meet the needs of the present reality of mitigating and reducing further attacks on the country to a bearable minimum.

This, he said, will go a long way in complementing the efforts of the administration in tackling the high wave of insecurity in the country and put the economy on a better footing as well as boosting the anti-corruption war.

“The CERRT is in alignment with the three priority areas of President Muhammadu Buhari which is to promote security.”

He stated further that “Today there are many challenges with regards to security based on what is happening online. With CERRT Teams, we will be able to be the watchdog of the Federal Government, monitor and protect cybercrime  attacks on our country.”

The Minister added that, “What we want to achieve with these projects is to ensure that these key areas are in tandem with President Buhari’s Digital transformation policy.”

“Part of what we agreed with stakeholders is to build Digital Economy. The journey started in October 2019, which led to the approval for the launching of the Digital Economy Policy for Digital Nigeria. Now it is no longer about ICT but Digital Transformations,” Prof. Pantami stated.

He said, “For us, there is need to rebrand all parastatals because they are key to our goals. It gives impression and projects the vision and mission of the organizations. Prior to this NCC and NITDA were mandated to create independent department for Digital Economy.

“With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are trying to fast track the entire policy and see how we will be able to attain them by 2025 rather than 2030 earlier scheduled, though, some had already been attained but we are optimistic that they are achievable.”

Earlier in his address the Executive Vice Chairman Nigeria Communications Commission Professor Umar Garba Danbatta alluded to the importance of the Centre to the nation’s security measures, the digitalisation of the country’s economy and the rebranding of the Commission.

Prof. Danbatta said with establishment of the Centre, the Cyber space will be insulated from frequent attacks and save the country from loss of huge resources.

In his goodwill messages, the Chief Executive Officer, National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE said there will never a more perfect time of this digital center than now adding that “last year, there was a disruption to the country’s journey to digital economy, as COVID-19 sent us off the streets, we rushed to our systems and smart phones to keep in touch with loved ones for education, entertainment and any other transaction we cannot do physically. The new normal made us to understand how convenient the online life is.”

Kashifu noted that the most important thing is to secure our digital space so that people will have trust in it.  He added that the Centre is the kind of facility that will help in achieving that.

He congratulated the Minister for the milestone, and also extended same to the management and staff of NCC for ensuring the security of the nations telecommunications infrastructure.