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Pantami warns against opening strange emails, using pirated software

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has re-stated that the federal government is committed to strengthening cybersecurity in the country.

Dr Pantami gave this assurance on Thursday while delivering a keynote address at the Annual Cyber Security Conference organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The conference with the theme, “Strengthening the Security and Resilience of the Nation’s Communications Infrastructure” was attended by representatives from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, telecom companies, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) organisations, cyber security experts as well as representatives of institutions and agencies in the security governance sector and other relevant stakeholders.

According to the Minister, the volume of money being lost to cyber criminals globally explained the government’s commitment to securing the country’s national telecommunications infrastructure through necessary technical, legal and policy initiatives.

Dr Pantami affirmed that the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) unveiled by President Buhari on November 28, 2019, is aimed at deepening access to digital services for a more efficiently and effectively run economy. Accordingly, the Minister said the sixth of the eight pillars of the NDEPS thematically focused on ‘Soft Infrastructure’ is conceptualized to improve the cyber security architecture in the country.

“This Conference by the NCC is, therefore, fitting, as it aligns with the digital economy agenda of the government. So, as we deepen access to digital services in the country, I have to say that people need to know that once they are online, they are exposed to risks.

“For instance, just opening an email that you are not sure of the sender exposes your system and data to risks. Also, using pirated software should be avoided and we must update our software regularly to avoid being target of cyber criminals,” Dr Pantami said.

Speaking earlier, Prof. Umar Dambatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, said the maiden annual cybersecurity summit highlights the importance and centrality of collaborative efforts in the advancement of cyber security measures to provide precautions and protection of critical communications infrastructure.

According to Dambatta, “the event was designed to provide a platform for discussion on developing a joint coordination for incidence response for the communication industry, introducing cyber insurance, bridging the cyber workforce gap, strengthening national cooperation, exchange of information, and development of comprehensive strategies that will address the cyber security challenges confronting the communications industry in Nigeria.”

The EVC stated that in addressing cybercrimes and boosting cyber security, technical measures and appropriate legal instruments must be put in place to enhance the resilience and integrity of ICT infrastructure and also to safeguard our activities in the cyberspace.

While restating the Commission’s efforts towards ensuring that the Internet is safer to use, Mr Dambatta emphasized the role of education to mitigate the negative impacts of cybercrime. The EVC highlighted the measures being taken by the Commission as follows:

– Collaboration with relevant stakeholders to embark on a nationwide cyber security awareness.

– Establishmet of a Cyber Security Incidence Response Team (CSIRT) Centre.

– Collaboration with relevant security agencies in the development of the National Cyber Security Policy;

– Development of Technical Framework for the Use of Social Media Network in Nigeria.

– Development of contents for consumer awareness and collaboration with stakeholders on the development of Data Privacy and Protection Act; and

– Carrying out a comprehensive risk and vulnerability assessment of the communications infrastructure and the industry.

The EVC also informed the audience at the conference that the Commission will soon commence a multi-stakeholder process for the development of an Industry Wide Obligation of Minimum Cyber Security Provisions which will apply to all operators.

The plenary session of the conference was followed with four panel discussions focused on: Developing a Joint Coordination for Incidence Response for the Communications Industry; Developing Cyber Insurance Product Stream: Barriers and Incentives; and Regulating Cyber Security Service Provision; and Bridging the Cyber Workforce Gap.

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TCN creates Kano transmission region

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Nasiru Yusuf

THE Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has carved out a new Kano transmission region from the old Kaduna Region. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the newly established unit brings the number of TCN regional centres to 10.

The TCN believes the step will improve commercial activities in the state.

A statement issued by TCN General manager of Public Affairs Ndidi Mbah explained that the creation of the Kano Transmission Region became necessary owing to the rapid economic and industrial development being witnessed within Kano State and its environs, as well as the gradual implementation of TCN’s strategic ‘Nigerian Electricity Grid Maintenance, Expansion and Rehabilitation Programme (NEGMERP),’ which has enabled the transmission company to complete some ongoing projects and increase the number of substations within that axis.

He said the  Kano Transmission Region had, under its supervision, one sub-regional office and several work centers, all housing 13 transmission substations (TS), including the Kumbotso TS, Dan Agundi TS, Dakata TS, Tamburawa TS, Kwanar Dangora TS, Wudil TS, Kankia TS, Katsina TS, Daura TS, Dutse TS, Hadejia TS, Azare TS, and Gagarawa TS.

The new Kano region currently according to the statement has ongoing transmission substation projects which when completed would further increase bulk transmission capacity in the new region.

The new Kano Transmission Region, the company said, would deepen operational efficiency within the region and enable its engineers to readily access and resolve technical issues within the new region.

Mbah explained that prior to the creation of the new Kano Region, major decisions had to be referred to Kaduna Region for directives, and the supply of materials was sometimes delayed due to logistic issues from Kaduna.

Mbah noted that the proximity of the new region would radically reduce downtime and eliminate time lost when materials had to be conveyed from the Kaduna Region.

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DSS arrests singer accuse of blasphemy

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Department of State Services have arrested another blasphemous singer, Ahmad Abdul, whose song was perceived to create chaos in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Singer Ahmad Abdul was detained by the DSS because his free movement may likely cause violence reaction from Kano residents.

While in detention, Mr Abdul tender apology to entire Muslims, Kano state government and Islamic Scholars.

He told DSS operatives that he never thought that the song has violated Islamic teachings.

Commenting while witnessing the bail condition granted to Mr Abdul at the DSS Headquarters, Kano, the Executive Secretary of the Kano state Censorship Board Ismaila Naaba Afakallah recalled that he had received hundreds of petitions against the song from concerned citizens.

Afakallah said having realized the gravity of the song’s blasphemy, he reported the singer to DSS who swung into action and arrested him at a Hotel where he was hiding for days.

Mr Abdul Father, Abdullahi Isa thanked the DSS for their timely response on the matter which saved possible outbreak of law and order.

Also in August last year, An upper Sharia court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of the state has found one Yahaya Sharif-Aminu guilty of committing blasphemy for a song he circulated via WhatsApp.

However, the appellate division of the High Court of Kano State had on January 21 quashed the death sentence passed on Mr Sharif-Aminu and freed him.

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I’ll not run for President – Muhammadu Sanusi II

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Deposed Emir Sanusi

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The deposed Emir of Kano Malam Muhammadu Sunusi II says he is not interested in contesting for the presidency of Nigeria.

Kano Focus reports that Mr Sunusi revealed this at a Tijjnaniyya zikir held in Abuja on Thursday.

Muhammadu Sanusi said his current position as Tijjaniyya Khalifa in Nigeria is superior to the presidency.

The deposed Emir however said he is ready to help those he believe in their competence to win elections without his participation in politics.

“If we trust a candidate is out to serve the people, we will come out and help them.

“That is not joining politics but a civic duty to the nation and its citizens” Mr. Sanusi said.

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