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Cybersecurity: NCC inaugurates incident response facility

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has inaugurated an incidence response facility aimed at addressing incidences of cybercrimes, protecting telecoms infrastructure and encouraging increased participation in nation’s digital economy.

KANO FOCUS reports that the NCC Center for Computer Security Incident Response  is the Commission’s industry-specific intervention, whose objectives are aligned to the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) published by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The NCPS requires each sector to establish a computer incident response team provides requisite services to the stakeholders and players within each sector.

The overall mandate of the NCC-CSIRT is to ensure continuous improvement of processes and communication frameworks to guarantee secure and collaborative exchange of timely information while responding to cyber threats within the sector.

Speaking during the commissioning of the project in Abuja at the weekend, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, described the Center as a strategic step in boosting cybersecurity in Nigeria and commended the Board of NCC and Danbatta-led Management of the Commission for ensuring successful implementation of the project.

Pantami noted that the commissioning of the Facility marks an important milestone in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, and described it as a significant measure in the support of national efforts at protecting the information and communication technology infrastructure in the country.

“The creation of the Center is in line with the provisions of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) document published by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), which was recently updated and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in February 2021. In keeping with the principles enshrined in the policy, each sector is expected to establish a sectoral Computer Incident Response Team (CSIRT) that provides requisite services to the constituents within that sector,” the Minister said.

In his address at the event, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Danbatta stated that, considering the increasing growth in Internet usage, especially as a consequence of the outbreak of the pandemic, the Commission observed a rise in cyber incidents and criminal activities.

“Thus, the Commission recognises that with the borderless nature and pervasiveness of these incidences, relentless and concerted attention is required to protect Internet users as well as the Critical National Information Infrastructure and ensure they are resilient”, Danbatta said.

The EVC emphasised that the NCC-CSIRT has been structured to operate within the framework of the NCPS and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) to assist the Nigerian communications sector with the management and coordination of cyber security incidents and threats. He noted that the CSIRT is established as a proactive step towards building trust, and safety needed for growing the digital economy.

“The CSIRT’s services will commence with four main thrusts, namely: monitoring, incident management, communication, and alert and warning. The devices for handling these four areas will be scaled up and expanded as the Centre’s operations grow in order to enhance the digital economy  and ensure it yields great dividends to the Nigerian citizens,” Danbatta said.

Danbatta explained that the key mandates of the CSIRT, which will be achieved through collaborative effort with relevant stakeholders, organisations and agencies, include assisting the sector in the defence and response to major cyber threats and attacks targeted at the members within the sector, providing information, technical as well as policy advisories to the constituency to strengthen the defensive and response capabilities to cyber threats. The Centre is also to liaise with other sectoral CSIRTs as well as local and international security frameworks to protect the communications sector and  the general wellbeing of the Nigerian people.

Other mandates of the NCC-CSIRT, highlighted by Danbatta, are to provide guidance and direction for the constituents in dealing with issues relating to the security of critical infrastructure in their possession; and to periodically assess, review and collate the threat landscape, risks, and opportunities affecting the communications sector and provide advice to relevant stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno who was represented at the event by Samad Akesode, has also acknowledged the establishment of NCC CSIRT as a clear demonstration of the Commission’s resolve to join hands with the Federal Government in mitigating any risk that will emanate as the country embraces advanced technology to facilitate digital transformation in the country.

According to Monguno, by establishing the CSIRT, the NCC has taken a step that could only be described as impeccable and timely, and in conformity with the highest standards and international best practise which aligns with the requirement of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.”

Leadership of the National Assembly, including the Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Oluremi Tinubu and the Chairman, Committee on Telecommunications in the House of Representatives, Akeem Adeyemi also profoundly applauded the Danbatta-led NCC for taking a leading position for sectoral implementation of the NCPS and improving security of cyber space for all.

Others, who delivered goodwill messages, commended the Commission, and spoke about the significance of the CSIRT project to national economy and national security, include the Permanent Secretary, Federal Minustry of Communications and Digital Economy, Bitrus Nabasu as well as other heads of agencies in the Ministry.

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Sheikh Mahy Niasse denies urging Emir Sanusi to step down

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Supreme leader of the Tijjaniyya Ibrahimiyya Sect, Sheikh Muhammad Mahi Niasse, has debunked a letter making the round that he appealed to the Reinstated Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II to step down and follow his grandfather’s footsteps.

KANO FOCUS reports that this was just as the organisation said: “This is the second time these kinds of letters have been forged against our Global Tijjaniyya leader; the same things were done during the previous administration of Umar Ganduje, but this time around, anybody who is behind it will have himself to blame.”

However, in a counter letter written in Arabic and translated to Hausa, signed by the Commissioner of Religious Matters of Kano State and who also doubled as the Nigeria spokesperson of the Global Tijjaniyya Leader, Sani Auwalu Ahmad Tijjani, the purported letter asking Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II to step down is a forged one and does not emanate from their leader.

The letter reads: In fact, the purported letter touches on the integrity of our leader, who sees Muhammadu Sanusi II as his disciple in Nigeria and a person of humble background with sound religious character.”.

He said, “We have given those behind the purported letter to, within 24 hours, show themselves and explain from where it’s emanated and to whom it was sent; otherwise, we will not hesitate in taking legal action against them.”

He said already that security has been detailed on the matter, and anybody who is behind it will soon face the full wrath of the laws, “because we ask him to be arrested and prosecuted duly.”

Tijjani stated that they will not allow the continued destruction of the names of their religious leader and will always link him to things that he has never written.

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NUP presents Gov Yusuf with Outstanding Governor of the Year award

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….Acknowledged him as the “Most friendly Governor for pensioners

The national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners has bestowed upon the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, the title of the most pensioner-friendly Governor of the year.

This was contained in a statement issued by governor’s spokesperson Sunusi Bature Dawakin Tofa on Thursday.

In presenting the accolade to the Governor, the national chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Mazi Godwin Ikechuku Abumisi, expressed that it was incumbent upon the union to acknowledge the Governor due to his steadfast dedication to the welfare of pensioners in the state.

“Your Excellency, you shine brightly as a beacon of support to our members.

“Over the past year, you have authorized and disbursed eleven billion naira to clear the backlog of pension gratuity payments.

“This milestone is unparalleled; no other governor has accomplished such a feat within a single year since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.”

In their messages of goodwill earlier, the state chairmen of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Kano expressed gratitude to the Governor for his unwavering commitment to addressing the pension liabilities amounting to N43 billion left by the previous administration.

Responding to the honor, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf reiterated his unwavering dedication to supporting pensioners by the settlement of their gratuities and the timely disbursement of monthly pension allowances.

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Kano emirate tussle: Police ban Sallah durbar

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Kano State Police Command has prohibited the planned Durbar celebrations by both dethroned Emir Aminu Ado Bayero and reinstated Emir Muhammad Sanusi ll.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Durbar, a traditional ceremony typically held a day after Sallah, involves the Emir riding on horseback through major areas of Kano city.

Despite both Emirs having made preparations and requested security permission from the state police command, the police have denied their requests due to potential security concerns.

The Kano State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Haruna Kiyawa, confirmed the ban in a statement issued on Thursday.

The statement, titled “Ban on Durbar Activities and Other Security Restraints During Sallah Festivities,” emphasized that the police command has issued security advisories to residents in preparation for the forthcoming Sallah celebrations.

The police decision aims to prevent any potential conflicts or security breaches that could arise from the ongoing emirship dispute.

The Kano State Police Command congratulates Muslim faithful and all law-abiding residents of the State for witnessing yet another Eid-El-Kabir Sallah period and assures that adequate security deployments have been put in place to ensure no breakdown of law and order in all parts of the State before, during and after the festive period.

SP Kiyawa added “This is part of the commitment to sustenance of the peace by the Kano State Police Command in conjunction with all the relevant security stakeholders.

He state that “in furtherance, a ban has been placed on ALL DURBAR activities throughout the State for the upcoming Eid-El-Kabir celebrations”.

This measure is taken as a result of series security reports obtained and wide consultations made with relevant security stakeholders to ensure the safety of the larger community.

However, worshippers are advised to conduct their normal Eid Prayers at the various designated Eid praying grounds, traditionally done in the past.

On a final note, the Command encourages continued collaboration and cooperation from all stakeholders to collectively work together to build a safer and more secure environment.

The Command also urges everyone to keep reporting any suspicious movement of person(s) or item(s) they come across to the nearest Police Station or through the following Kano State Police Command emergency contact numbers:- 08032419754, 08123821575, 09029292926.

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