THE USE OF DATA IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 WILL BE IN LINE WITH APPROPRIATE REGULATIONS
The attention of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, Honourable Minister of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE), has been drawn to reports of devious schemes perpetrated by some unscrupulous persons claiming they have access to personal data of Nigerians such as SIM databases, bank verification numbers or any other personal records of Nigerians. The Ministry also notes the concerns of well-meaning stakeholders on the privacy implications of government’s legitimate use of private data to check the spread of COVID-19, provide palliatives to vulnerable members of society and prevent criminal activities accentuated by the global health crisis we are currently dealing with.
A CALL FOR EXTRA VIGILANCE AS CYBERCRIMINALS EXPLOIT COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly transformed how we interact as individuals. In particular, there has been an appreciable migration of several meetings, lectures and other form of interactions to online platforms.
Furthermore, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM notes that the implicit requirement of social distancing has increased the adoption of online platforms and e-payment systems. This, no doubt, is a positive development that will support our implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. However, this migration to home-based unsecure digital platforms, often with outdated security systems, can make users more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
COVID 19: Dr Pantami Holds Video Conference Meeting with World Bank
In line with the Digital Nigeria drive, the Honourable Minister of Communications and
Digital Economy of Nigeria, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM today held a video conferencing meeting with the representative of the World Bank on "The Role of Digital Technologies in the Fight Against #COVID-19: Early Lessons from the Frontline".
NO LICENCE HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR 5G IN NIGERIA
The attention of my office has been drawn to the public concern about the health implications of the deployment of Fifth Generation Mobile Networks (5G) in Nigeria. Based on available records at my office and the earlier report received from the regulator, I would like to clarify as follows:
- The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), of which I am the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G;
- No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country;
- A 3-month study trial commenced on the 25th of November, 2019 in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria;
- As part of the study trial process, I directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that a team of experts, security agencies and other stakeholders fully participate in the trial process and my office also invited these agencies to participate in the trial; and
- The trial process has been concluded and the study and reporting process is currently ongoing.
GALAXY BACKBONE DEPLOYS TELEPRESENCE FACILITIES AT 123 LOCATIONS AND HAS ADDITIONAL CAPACITY TO SUPPORT MORE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS
At this critical stage of efforts to limit the spread of the COVID -19 in the country, the Federal Government is applying measures to safeguard its personnel by using Telepresence facilities deployed by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE), through the Galaxy Backbone (GBB) Limited, a parastatal under the ministry.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM has earlier directed GBB to utilize its highly secure Government-wide Telepresence and Collaboration facilities, to ensure government functions continue while maintaining social distancing. They have complied by positioning their Telepresence and Collaboration facilities to ensure productivity, enhance security and reduce the cost of communication during this period.