With the theme, ‘Together For a Better Internet’, the global Safer Internet Day (SID) & Cyber Responsibility 2019 as converged in Nigeria by the Center for Cyber Awareness and Development (CECAD) has reiterated the need to create more awareness on the necessity to build security around the use of the internet, noting that a greater percentage of the Nigerian population are not cyber-secured.
Speaking in Lagos at the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) Secretariat, venue of the CECAD event, stakeholders elaborated on the roles of government, service providers and the public in the growth of the internet in Nigeria and called for a well-laid out plan to empower youths, secure children and build infrastructure that will ensure the growth and safety of Nigeria’s cyberspace.
According to the CECAD Project Coordinator, Mr. Hilary Damissah, with four billion people online globally, about 850 thousand websites are hacked daily, thereby creating security concerns in the global internet space.
He further noted that for Nigeria to achieve better internet experience together, there is a need to address issues bordering on infrastructure, security, availability, content and quality of service. Damissah acknowledged that the internet, which has become “humanity’s first companion”, when applied in education, medicine, economy and other sectors, will form a key growth driver in any country.
According to the Executive Secretary of NiRA, Mrs. Edit Udeagu who represented the President, Mr. Sunday Folayan, it is very important to keep children safe on the internet because they can easily be connected and exposed to dangerous vices quickly on the internet.
While applauding CECAD for the awareness campaign, Mrs, Udeagu noted that NiRA has joined the campaign by propagating the hosting of sites locally where they can easily be monitored and issues are addressed quickly.
The representative of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the event, Mr. Aminu Abdullahi, while noting that cybercrime and internet insecurity become effective when the people are not properly sensitized, assured that the NCC will do all in its power to ensure that internet in Nigeria is made safe.
While enumerating the dangers inherent in an unsecured internet space to include cyber-bullying and harassment, Identity theft and hacking, among others, Chairman of the Nigerian Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), Mr. Emma Okonji called for collaboration among stakeholders in the bid to address internet insecurity.
During the Panel Discussion, the panelist made up of David Alozie of Disruptive Africa; Yemi Odutola from W-Tec; Editors of Cyber Era and IT Realms, Clifford Agugoesi and Remmy Nweke, stressed on the need to start investing time and resources on the internet. They talked about the need for growth policies from the federal government.
Mr. Remmy Nweke, while applauding efforts from the telecom regulator, the NCC, charged Nigerians to contribute their quota by securing the infrastructure around them.
Mr. Yemi Odutola tasked the federal government on putting up policies that will help telcos and internet service providers roll out their services profitably and set up infrastructure.
In his contribution, former Public Relations Manager for the Nigerian Postal Service, Mr. Taiye Olaniyi noted that whilst internet has been very beneficial to the youths, CECAD should further the safer Internet campaign to high institutions of learning, sponsor researches, and award students’ excellence as a means of enlightenment.
The Safer Internet Day (SID) is globally recognized as a day to celebrate the importance of the internet in our daily lives.