Paradigm Initiative has stressed the need for an enduring internet freedom in Nigeria in its policy brief.
Contrary to Federal Government’s plan to curtail internet privacy, the non-governmental organisation (NGO) said in the policy brief that internet freedom was needed because more than 45 million internet users in Nigeria were on the verge of losing their internet privacy on every form of Cyber-communication.
Paradigm Initiative had earlier commenced an action to a FOI Request on the $40 million Internet Surveillance Contract by the Federal Government.
This is in connection with trending information revealing that command and control server for Funfisher, a product described by its distributor, Gamma International, as “Governmental I T Intrusion and Romote Monitoring Solutions” had been spotted in Nigeria.
Paradigm Initiative Nigeria’s Executive Director, Mr Gbenga Sesan, and Bankole Oluwafemi expressed their concerns over the intended abrogation of Internet Freedom by the FG explaining that the policy brief was imperative as its purpose was to promote advocacy towards public freedom in the cyberspace.
The brief raises pertinent issues concerning National Security and Internet Freedom, elaborates on scenarios and causes for concern and also gives recommendations on the way forward.
It draws analysis from the dawn of the democratic dispensation in the country to the contemporary administrative approach to internet freedom and the need for understanding the implications that could militate against our national growth.
Explaining why the NGO stood for internet freedom, its COD, Mrs Tope Ogundipe said “the absence of data privacy and lawful interception laws raises issues of possibility of grave abuse. A society in which perceived \enemies’ of the government could lose their fundamental rights in the name of keeping Nigeria safe cannot be said to be free and democratic. It is in the interest of all concerned that the internet surveillance and monitoring contract be annulled. Nigerians must also be sensitised to understand the direct and indirect implication of unchecked government access to the private data. Enduring internet freedom is in Nigeria’s best interest.
Traditional Ruler Makes Case For NIN Registration
Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Majesty, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, has called on Nigerians to participate in the ongoing registration exercise of the National Identification Number (NIN) in the country.
Jaja made the call in his office after enrollment in the exercise in Port Harcourt, Monday.
He said that it was necessary for every Nigerian to register, because it is part of government’s policy of developing the people and way of identifying its citizens.
The Amayanabo of Opobo Kingdom also noted that, bringing NIN centre to the traditional rulers’ secretariat was to facilitate registration of the Council members and their families.
He further explained that as traditional rulers, they must be at the forefront of government’s programmes at all time.
“Bringing the NIN centre to our secretariat is part of our assistance to government and also to let people know that the NIN registration is a very important exercise that everybody will get involved”, he said.
The monarch advised Nigerians on the need to obey government’s policies and laws and also urged for mass participation in the exercise.
He stressed the importance of NIN enrollment exercise, and called for more enlightenment campaign for the exercise.
The traditional ruler warned about the difficulties those who failed to register for NIN may face in bank transactions in the country, admitting that the process was difficult, but achievable and beneficial.
To ensure that the exercise received the desired attention, King Jaja urged local government chairmen to ensure that the exercise was done in their LGAs.
By: King Onunwor & Kiadum Edookor
Rivers NAWOJ Goes Digital, Re-Launches e-Mail Platform
The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State Chapter, has said that it has taken necessary steps to join the league of digitalised associations in the country and beyond.
This is contained in a statement signed by its chairperson, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana and Secretary, Doris Tams Morrison and made available to newsmen at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
The association disclosed that its decision informed the relaunch of its e-mail platform, river state email@example.com.
According to women journalists, the association was out to amplify the voices of the common masses, the poor and the less-privileged in the society.
“The newly sworn-in executive members observed that in the past years of existence, there has been a huge communication gap challenge, hence the e-mail platform”, it said.
According to the statement, the move to relaunch its e-mail became imperative in a bid to reach out to well meaning individuals across the globe.
NAWOJ enumerated some of its aims and objectives to include amplification of the voices of the downtrodden people in the society and advocacy against gender based violence and all obnoxious traditional practices carried out against the girl-child such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), among others.
NAWOJ called on both public and private organisations to partner with NAWOJ so as to make their goals realistic.
“We look forward to partnering and collaborating with private and public organisations on all issues affecting women, girls, boys, less privileged men and female and the downtrodden in our society”, the statement said.
By: King Onunwor
GRID3: NASRDA Charges States On Geospatial Data
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has commenced training for geospatial data producers in states within the Northern region, urging them to ensure availability of data that would enable development.
The training is organised under the Geo-Referenced Infrasturcture and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) project implemented through NASRDA in collaboration with other stakeholders.
GRID3 is part of a bigger global initiative programme aimed at improving access to data for decision making among the member countries.
Head, Cadastral Mapping and Urban Space Applications Division of NASRDA, Dr Matthew Adepoju disclosed this in an interview with the newsmen in Abuja.
Adepoju, also Chairman, GRID3 Project Implementation Team, said the training piloted in six states, including the FCT according to geo-political zone, began on April 6 and expected to end on April 30.
The states for the pilot training included Kaduna for North Central, Niger for North West, Bauchi for North East, Lagos for South West, Enugu for South East and Cross River for South South regions.
Adepoju said the North regional training started on April 6 and expected to end April 16, while the second phase for Sourthern region would hold from April 19 to 30.
Adepoju explained geospatial data as data or information that have explicit association with a location relative to the Earth or a technology that allows for mapping of locations.
The project chairman further disclosed that with the training, state governments are expected to share the geospatial data of resources in their states, their locations on the GRID3 portal.
“GRID3 Nigeria project aims to increase access to data for use by State government decision makers, donor agencies, non-profit organisations, private sector partners through the continuous availability of a robust and updated GRID3 geodatabase.
“It also aims to improve capacity of data managers to make data available to be integrated into planning processes for decision makers through capacity building activities across the country.
“The ultimate goal of the project is to ensure that Nigerian people, particularly the poor and vulnerable, benefit from an evidence-based resource distribution and data driven policy-making by decision makers,” he said.
He added that the project would also increase coordination in the collection and management of data in Nigeria through the GRID3 portal.
According to him, with Nigeria joining comity of space faring nations in 2003 and the launch of NigeriaSat-1 satellite, have provided opportunity for scientists to engage in research using remote sensing data.
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