The National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), said on Tuesday in Abuja that cyber crime had negatively impacted on the image and economies of Africa.
Dasuki, who was represented by Director of Communication, Office of the NSA, Ambassador Haruna Mohammed, said this at the presentation of the “Draft Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Blueprint for Nigeria’’.
PKI is a collection of security technologies, procedures, processes and policies that collectively provide a framework for addressing, using cryptography, the fundamental security issues of piracy, authentication, integrity, non-repudiation and access control in data communication.
Dasuki said the availability of a trust worthy mechanism for authentication of identity, integration of electronic information, non-repudiation of actions and security of information, were key requirements in development of interactive services between public administration and customers.
He described PKI as a foundation for secured electronic commerce, Internet security, security-authentication, encryption and repudiation.
“In view of the daunting challenges caused by the incessant telecom and regulated crimes in Nigeria, the need to effectively curtail and mitigate the current security challenges associated with the use of Internet and other electronic communication devises cannot be over emphasised.
“Cyber crime incidences and statistics and figures from some African countries, most particularly, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa have damaging impact on images and economies of these countries.
“Nigeria is equated to be one of the leading cyber crime perpetrators in the world. There is today, increasing dependence on computer systems and networks in Nigeria- citizen, government and businesses to run critical services.
“The ease with which these systems can be compromised to the detriment of all cannot be ignored. ’’
Dasuki said it necessitated the Federal Government to initiate some strong measures, through his office, to protect infrastructure that have impact on the nation’s economic development and collective security.
These infrastructures, according to him, include computer systems, networks and all critical infrastructures.
“Some of these measures include the establishment of a full functional national digital and forensic laboratory in the office of the NSA. This avail the security agencies a platform for detail investigation into cybercrime in the country.
“Two, the establishment of a national Computer Emergency Response Centre for the management detection, response and analysis of all activities in the Nigeria service place.
“Work on search centre has already begun in earnest and scheduled to be completed before the end of this year.
‘Three, as some of you may already be aware, the office of the NSA, drafted a comprehensive Security Bill in 2011, which have been forwarded to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for review and transition to the National Assembly as executive bill after consideration by Federal Executive Council.’’
Dasuki congratulated the National Information Technology for developing the PKI for the country, saying that the implementation would go a long way to enhance security in the country.
He, however, stressed that PKI should not been seen as replacing all other security technology, rather as a complementary means to achieving security in the country.
“PKI is another tool, which is security architecture that has been introduced to provide increased level of confidence for exchanging information over increasingly insecure internet.’’
Dasuki urged the stakeholders to deliberate on issues on integration of PKI companies, application managements, digital certificate, ensuring capability and getting users to key into the PKI.
Ekiti Poll: Improve On BVAS Innovation, Group Urges INEC
A socio-cultural group, the Ladies of Substance, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on the innovation of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to ensure it performs optimally during the 2023 elections.
The group’s Team Lead, Mrs Mojisola Akinbohun, told The Tide’s source in Ado-Ekiti recently that it would make future elections in Nigeria to be credible.
Akinbohun said the use of BVAS for Ekiti election showed a significant improvement over the previous elections.
“This is a great opportunity for INEC to showcase its preparedness for the 2023 general elections with the test of functionality and effectiveness of the BVAS. I commend INEC for its quick response to resolving all challenges observed during the election in Ekiti,” she said.
Akinbohun disclosed that the group had deployed its members to monitor the election across some loycal Government Areas for independent monitoring.
She said that there were tremendous improvements in the timely arrival of election materials to the polling units as well as responses to any issue raised by the electorate.
The team lead said the group, however, observed cases of vote buying during the election, adding that it remains a monster in the electoral system in the country, which must be checked.
Akinbohun also commended the electorate that shunned and resisted attempts and temptations to sell their votes to political agents during the election in the state, and lauded the security for their presence, which ensured utmost calm and peace within and around the polling units and some local governments visited by the group.
The Team Lead said the group observed that there was an impressive turnout across the council areas the group monitored.
She commended the people of Ekiti for their maturity, especially for putting behind the string of violence and not entertaining fears against early predictions that the election might be marred by violence.
Firm Wants Blockchain For Dispute Resolution
A Fintech Software Engineer ing Firm, Appzone, has called on banks to adopt blockchain technology for increased visibility and transparency to resolve dispute claims between customers and financial institutions.
Co-founder of Appzone, Mr Uche Elendu, said in a statement that it was needed, with the increased rate of fraud and dispute claims between customers and financial institutions across Nigeria.
Elendu noted that the adoption of blockchain technology was not only to decentralise the process of moving money from one bank to the other .
According to him, it would help to increase the level of visibility and transparency of the procedure.
“As more Nigerians get financially included, customers have continued to move away from cash and checks toward electronic payments,” he said.
This trend, he said, is a positive development for banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to him, card and online transactions grow as well as the number of disputable transactions and the incidence of fraud, putting pressure on dispute processes.
“Financial institutions across the continent have continued to evolve, leveraging technology.They have metamorphosed from the days of a heavy analogue process to a more digitised era.
“With the continuous increase in the volume of banking transactions, it remains pertinent to continuously adopt newer and more sophisticated technology infrastructure to remain dependable, especially with payment settlements.
“For us at Appzone, we are firm believers in blockchain technology,” he said.
He continued that its decentralised nature not only made it faster, cheaper, and transparent, but also makes it sophisticated enough to enable real-time settlement.
Elendu said having rolled out Zone – Africa’s first blockchain platform for payment processing in 2021, partner banks that had onboarded have seen a drastic change in their payment settlement process.
He said that Zone’s innovative architecture would reduce complaints from customers and provide banks with an opportunity to deliver delightful experiences on payment channels while also driving down costs.
He further stated that it developed in line with Appzone’s recent evolution into a payment infrastructure company.
Noting that Zone is Africa’s first decentralised payment network.he said t allows inter-bank transactions to be processed directly between banks on the vlockchain without the involvement of any intermediary.
According to him, with Zone, players in the industry should expect a reliable and scalable payment network that enables frictionless and instant payments, within and between every African country.
The Tide’s source reports that Appzone Layer-1 Blockchain network digitises Fiat payments, and enables the transition to digital currencies while connecting previously excluded financial institutions into an all-inclusive payment ecosystem.
‘FinTechs Important In Ecosystem Growth In Africa’
A financial expert, Dr Segun Aina, says policy makers and financial regulators need to evolve with the growth in financial technology companies (FinTechs) space to establish a sustainable ecosystem and financial inclusion in African countries.
Aina said this at a two-day virtual forum of the 2022 Maiden CABS FinTech, organised by the Community of African Banking Supervisors (CABS) in partnership with Africa Fintech Network (AFN).
The forum had the theme: “Opportunities and Challenges of FinTech Development in Africa.”
Aina, former President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said the future was bright for the continent, especially for the growth of FinTechs.
The banker said the AFN was committed to making contributions that would positively impact the growth of the ecosystem.
He noted that there was need to work directly with the Association of African Central Banks, particularly the committee of African banking supervisors to achieve such impact.
Aina said the financial subsector had recorded an unprecedented growth with huge investment, mostly by foreign investors.
He said FinTechs were trending with presence in different countries and also contributing to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“As people continue to embrace digital banking, FinTech startup became bigger in terms of valuation (market value) amid challenges of corporate governance”, he said.
According to him, this is evolving despite the opportunities that abound across the entire FinTech ecosystem in Africa.
Aina, however, noted that regulators were attempting to catch up to FinTech as they had realised the need to play in the digital innovation space.
He also said FinTechs and startups in the same space had gained prominence in the last 10 years, which was driven by advancement, enabled by internet and mobile phones.
This development, he said, had made banks to set up FinTech subsidiaries, while their former senior regulators serve on the boards of fintech companies.
The former CIBN boss said mobile money indicator showed that 500 million people subscribed to mobile phones in Africa and 245 million use mobile internet.
Aina also said the continent continued to record the highest year-on-year growth in internet penetration and with the support of funding from outside Africa.
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