NCC Restates Commitment To Digital Economy
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has stated that the Commission is irrevocably committed to boosting the nation’s digital economy through responsive regulations.
Danbatta gave this assurance at the Commission’s 2021 Annual Cybersecurity conference, organised in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in Abuja, recently.
The theme of the event was “Building Trust in the Digital Economy through Cybersecurity and Sensitization on the Implementation of the National Cybersecurity policy and Strategy (NCPS).”
Represented by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management (ECSM), Adewolu Adeleke, Danbatta said the Commission would continue to be at the forefront of ensuring sound cybersecurity culture built on people, process and technology to bolster digital economy in the country.
Emphasising the centrality of information sharing with stakeholders, the NCC boss urged telecom consumers and the public to take advantage of NCC’s pervasive communications campaign planned to create awareness and sensitize the public about the wiles of cyber criminals.
“Our various cybersecurity awareness initiatives and campaigns are helping the public to understand the risks in digital space and how to reduce the vulnerabilities that adversaries can benefit from.
“Our collective resolve is to continuously boost trust and confidence in our digital economy by ensuring adherence to sound cybersecurity culture and hygiene, internally and with external partners as well as stakeholders”, he said.
He explicated on the increasing dynamics in the digital space by informing the audience that the Commission recognizes the importance of ensuring and instituting appropriate cybersecurity measures to derive meaningful gains from the emergent digital economy.
Danbatta asserted: “The growth of digital economies is changing how “trust” is valued by institutions, businesses, and the public. The increase in technological advancement has also resulted in increase in cybercrimes, as well as identify theft and fake news campaigns that have introduced fresh dimensions that affect the notion of trust in the digital era”.
The NCC Chief Executive noted that trust and confidentiality promote a healthy digital environment, as gleaned from global best practices in order to guarantee the privacy and integrity of digital data.
He said to improve digital trust and confidentiality, the digital economy should be built on trusted technologies and partnerships, ensuring strong cybersecurity that rides on public’s confidence, security, privacy and safety to bolster responsive regulations, transparency, accountability and digital governance.
“Acceleration of innovations and enterprise in the digital space amplify vulnerability opportunities, which malicious parties are quick to exploit, thereby slowing down the gains of digital economy”, he said.
Speaking further, Danbatta affirmed that the launching of NCC Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC CSIRT), which is the telecoms sector’s version of the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team (ng. CERT) was a testament of the Commission’s resolve to promote a healthy digital environment in the telecom sector.
He also called on cybersecurity stakeholders to key into the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) 2021, and accelerate the adoption of its various components as cybersecurity is a collective responsibility and no single government, business or individual is immune or can do it alone.
Infrastructure Deficit, Insecurity, Limit Maritime Contribution To GDP – Expert
A Maritime stake holder, and Chairman of Sifax Group, Taiwo Afolabi, has attributed maritime industry’s minimal contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to infrastructure deficit, insecurity on the nation’s waterways, low level of technology adoption, and deployment in the sector.
Afolabi made this known at the 5th Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime (TAAM) conference organised by the Maritime Forum of the faculty of law, University of Lagos.
Afolabi noted that other hindrances are foreign exchange bottleneck and inconsistent policies.
“These have limited the ability of the sector to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.
“If well harnessed, the maritime industry has the potential to become a major revenue earner for the country, particularly with the declining oil revenue.
“The lessons of the last few years as a nation should not be lost on us. The non-oil sector is increasingly becoming the mainstay of the country’s economy. We have funded our national budget in the last few years majorly without proceeds from oil but from other sectors.
“The days of our over reliance on oil is behind us now and it’s about time we focused on transitioning from an oil-dependent economy to non-oil reliance.
“The maritime sector, I can say without any fear of contradiction, will play a crucial role in this economic transitioning if more attention is committed to the industry.
“Judging by the potentials of the industry, we are of the opinion and belief that Nigeria’s maritime industry can rank among the best in the world.
“It will only take careful planning, progressive policies, generous funding, enabling environment, friendly economic policies, manpower development and massive infrastructural development”, he noted.
Loans Repayment Default: DMO Exonerates Nigeria
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has refuted the claim by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that Nigeria has defaulted in repaying its Chinese loans.
SERAP had in an earlier statement hailed the judgement that ordered the present regime led by President Muhammadu Buhari to account for how it spent $460 million obtained from China to fund the Abuja Closed-Circuit Television project which later was not implemented.
The NGO also quoted a report in its statement saying “Nigeria has failed to repay loans for which penalties stand at N41.31bn”.
But DMO in its refuttal said the statement is ‘false’ as Nigeria has not defaulted in its loan repayment.
It said, “Nigeria is fully committed to housing its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations”, DMO said on Monday.
SERAP had sued the Federal Government following a 2019 disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that “Nigeria was servicing the loan”, adding that she had “no explanations on the status of the project”.
She reportedly said, “We are servicing the loan. I have no information on the status of the CCTV project”.
Giving his judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with SERAP that “there is a reasonable cause of action against the government. Accounting for the spending of the $460 million Chinese loan is in the interest of the public. It will be inimical for the court to refuse SERAP’s application for judicial review of the government’s action”.
The presiding justice also said the Minister of Finance is in charge of the finance of the country and “cannot by any stretch of imagination be oblivious of the amount of money paid to the contractors for the Abuja CCTV contract and the money meant for the construction of the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)”, SERAP said.
CBN Names Four Firms To Print Cheques
Nigeria’s apex banking institution, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has named four local firms for the printing of cheques, excluding the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NPSMC) PLC.
The list of the approved firms for the printing of cheques was contained in a circular issued by CBN.
The circular, which was signed by the Director of Banking Services, Sam Okojere, said the approved firms include Superflux International Limited, Tripple Gee and Company, Yaliam Press Limited, and Marvelous Mike Press.
“The re-accreditation of Cheques Printers and Cheque Personalisers is in line with the relevant qualification criteria”, CBN stated.
The circular also revealed that seven banks were approved as personalisers of cheques: they are Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, First Bank Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Ltd, Providus Bank Ltd and Wema Bank Plc.
It further disclosed that all accredited printers and personalisers had been duly notified and certificates issued.
The Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc is the sole printer of N200, N500, and N1000 new notes.
Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc and Euphoria Group Limited were accredited and approved on Thursday, 04 December 2014, in a letter REF: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/02/033.
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