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Monday 27th March, 2023

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NITDA Mulls Partnership With Army To Establish Simulation Centre

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, NITDA Director-General (right) with Major General Garba Sani Abdullahi (left) during the visit…..

The National Information Technology Development Agency has indicated its willingness to form an alliance with the Land Forces Simulation Centre Nigeria (LFSCN), a formation of the Nigerian Army, to establish a simulation Centre for the military.

Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, NITDA Director-General, disclosed this when he hosted the Director General, LFSCN, Major General Garba Sani Abdullahi at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja.

The DG observed that the adoption of technologies in executing warfare has become pronounced more than ever before as war are not being fought by physical presence but through technology.

“We can work with you to develop a simulation centre where arms and ammunition could be simulated and used for training,” he said.

Mallam Abdullahi stressed that NITDA is organising Innovative Challenge for youths to come up with home grown innovations, adding that “we can integrate the idea of coming up with simulating military hardware for the centre.”

He said further: “We are working on innovation challenge. We can call on people to compete and bid for such ideas and we work with them to develop something. NITDA will be willing to assist the startups to come up with solutions that can be developed into products.”

Abdullahi further stated that the Agency would as well help the formation to build the capacity of its personnel on identified area of skill gaps.

“On capacity building, we can do that. NITDA’s mandate empowers us to build the digital skills of Nigerians. We urge you to work with our team to identify your capacity building needs. We can do some training online through our virtual learning platforms and some could be done physically.

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“We have a lot in common because technology makes your work efficient and effective. We do research and develop the IT sector. Our regulations cut across all sectors because everybody needs technology to survive.  So you can avail us the type of digital capacity you would want to build so we can come up with it or develop a generic curriculum for you in those areas,” he said.

A group photograph of NITDA management and the LFSCN delegation during the visit…

Earlier, Major General Abdullahi said that the Centre decided to visit NITDA to advance discussion on possible areas of interventions it could get from the Agency, adding that war is now technologically fought than before.

The Army General said that new strategies to prosecute war are now accelerating the acquisition of digital skills, adding that simulation training has become imperative in order to save resources for government.

He said, “a trainee soldier would require 10,000 rounds of ammunitions before he could perfect shooting and the resources to provide that is not available hence the need to adopt simulation for training.”

General Abdullahi sought the intervention of the Agency on provision of hardware and software ICT systems, development of customised software-based simulation systems, and research industry linkage to assist LFSCN in building adequate capacity of its staff towards the creation of localized simulation platforms.

Other areas are joint NITDA/LFSCN technology acquisition programmes which could be achievable through organisation of conferences and workshops that are aimed at promoting development of indigenous simulation systems and provision of adequate internet bandwidth support for the centre to enhance simulation activities.

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NITDA, World Bank Train 200 Women On Content Creation

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Photo Session with NITDA DG, Kasifu Inuwa; Executive Director of NATVIEW TECH, Nuradeen Maidoki alongside participants of the Digital Skills Training

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in collaboration with NATVIEW and World Bank has successfully rounded off a pilot digital skills development programme called “Gina Mata, Gina Al-Umma”, designed to identify, prepare, and connect disadvantaged girls and young women with emerging skills in the knowledge economy.

The programme which is part of activities to celebrate International Women’s Day and given the dire need to position young women for global participation in the Gig economy is geared towards integrating gender-intentional learning outcomes focused on technical training, soft skills, and right-based learning for young women interested in the tech ecosystem.

At the closing ceremony of the four-day event, the Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, noted that the training programme which is hinged on creating potential economic opportunities, increasing livelihoods, and access to better lives through the Gig economy is in line with the Agency’s mission to place Nigeria on the path to attaining 95% digital literacy by 2030, in alignment with the National Digital Economic Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020–2030.

The DG who recognised the fact that women are underrepresented in the technology sector avowed that with programmes like the Gina Mata, Gina Al-Umma programme, NITDA aims to bridge the gap by providing young women with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the digital economy.

“At NITDA, we are very excited about this partnership with the World Bank, which is in line with our initiative of one million software developers and skills by the end of 2023; Our core mandate is to develop and regulate the information technology sector in Nigeria because we believe that the future of our nation lies in the development of its human resources, and as such, we are committed to providing access to training and development opportunities for all Nigerians,” Inuwa stressed.

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Inuwa who seized the opportunity to thank the World Bank for driving the initiative and the implementation partner, Natview Technology, acknowledged the importance of partnerships in achieving the organisation’s goals, noting that Natview Technology has a proven track record of delivering quality digital skills development programmes, and expressed thanks for the execution of the pilot training programme.

“Ladies and gentlemen, as we round off this pilot today, let us remember that the digital economy holds vast opportunities for economic growth and development. However, to fully realize these opportunities, we must ensure that all Nigerians, regardless of gender, have access to the necessary skills and knowledge,” he said.

The NITDA Boss urged all the young women who participated in the training to take full advantage of the opportunity to make significant contributions to the digital economy and Nigeria’s development.

Inuwa reiterated NITDA’s commitment to ensuring that the entire citizenry is empowered with information technologies through the development of a critical mass of proficient and globally competitive IT manpower.

According to him, NITDA remains poised to actualise its mandate through strategic and inclusive stakeholder management, local and international partnership, and efficient utilisation of resources in the interest of Nigeria.

The Director-General who later presented certificates to the participants congratulated them and expressed the hope of seeing the positive impact of the programme on the lives of young women in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Natview Technology, Nuradeen Maidoki who earlier welcomed everyone to the closing ceremony described the Fasaha: Gina Mata, Gina Al-umma (“Building Women, Empowering Communities”) being implemented by Natview Technology as part of the firm’s contribution towards driving digital literacy and skills across Nigeria.

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While appreciating NITDA and the World Bank for delivering digital competency beyond Nigeria, Maidoki said through the initiative, Natview hopes to create a pipeline of highly skilled female technologists who can contribute to innovation and growth in Nigeria’s technology industry as the firm believes that by empowering young women with digital skills, it can create a more inclusive and diverse technology industry that reflects the richness and diversity of the society.

“During the 4-day launch, 200 young women were selected to participate in the digital content creation training. Beyond the digital content creation training, these young women also received skills training that will enable them to participate in the gig economy, which creates a platform for them to earn income from home,” Maidoki noted.

“The goal of the programme is to train and equip at least 800 girls and young women with digital skills and competencies to be globally competitive in the remote workplace. The pilot launch focuses on training 200 women around digital content creation and marketing while in the future, an additional 600 young women will be integrated from four Northern Nigeria states (Borno, Gombe, Kano, Zamfara) with high FCV cases,” Maidoki added.

 

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UK-Nigeria Tech Hub And Google Collaborate For Startups

-To Award $3 Million Cloud Credit To Women Founders

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A panel session at the programme marking the International Women’s Day by UK-Nigeria Tech Hub and Google, held in Lagos

The UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, a pillar of the UK government’s broader Digital Access Program (DAP), has announced a collaboration with Google for Startups, Africa.

This collaboration will see the two entities award $3 million in Google Cloud credits to women founders in Nigeria.

This support will subsidise cloud technology-related costs for startups, allowing them to focus on innovation, customer acquisition, and growth.

The joint effort by UK-Nigeria Tech Hub and Google for Startups Africa will help promote digital inclusion and jointly support technology businesses run by women founders.

To commemorate International Women’s Day in March, the two organisations co-hosted an event in Lagos, on Friday, bringing together women founders, investors, and ecosystem stakeholders.

The event aims to help women founders understand the technology funding landscape and position themselves to secure funding for their startups.

Country Director, UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, Justina Oha said, “We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Google for Startups, which comes at a time when the world is celebrating International Women’s Day.

“This partnership is a testament to our commitment to supporting women founders and helping them reach their full potential. Partnerships like this are one of the great ways that stakeholders can come together to advance Nigeria’s tech ecosystem at an accelerated pace.”

Head of Startup Ecosystem Google Africa, Folarin Aiyegbusi speaking on the collaboration, said: “We are excited to partner with the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub to empower women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. This collaboration is a unique opportunity to provide women founders with the support and resources they need to scale their businesses and contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem.

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“At Google for Startups, we are committed to supporting startups and entrepreneurs around the world, and we believe that empowering women founders is key to building a more diverse and inclusive tech industry.”

 

 

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Nigeria Recorded Over 1.4 million Cyber Attacks On 2023 Guber Elections Day- Pantami

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami on Wednesday disclosed that Nigeria recorded a total of 3,834,244 cyber-attacks before, during and after the gubernatorial election of March 18, 2023, out of which over 1.4million was recorded on election day.

In a release signed by Dr. Femi Adeluyi, Senior Technical Assistant (Research and Development) to the Honourable Minister, Prof. Pantami provided the breakdown of the attacks as follows:

Friday 17th March 2023 1,046,896
Saturday 18th March 2023 1,481,847
Sunday 19th March 2023    327,718
Monday 20th March 2023    977,783

“During this period and as previously reported, a series of hacking attempts were recorded, including Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), email and Internet Protocol Spoofing (IPS) attacks, SSH Login Attempts, Brute force Injection attempts, Path Traversal, Detection Evasion, and Forceful Browsing, originating from both within and outside Nigeria,” the Minister disclosed.

Recall that on March 14, 2023, the Office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy released a Press Statement regarding the activities of the Ministry and its parastatals before, during and after the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

“As a follow up to that and in line with the Ministry’s mandate as well as in our efforts aimed at supporting the initiatives of securing the Nigerian cyberspace, the Honourable Minister directed the Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Role for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure to further enhance the cyberspace surveillance activities of the three cybersecurity Centres of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB),” the statement further read.

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The statement disclosed that based on the Honourable Minister’s directives, the Committee provided close oversight on the activities of the cybersecurity Centres, from Friday 17th March 2023 to Monday 20th March 2023.

The statement further quoted the Minister as saying that the activities of cyber threat actors on Nigerian cyberspace during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections were much lower than those during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

“This is neither surprising nor unexpected as, Nigeria being Africa’s largest democracy, the Presidential and National Assembly elections are bound to attract more attention of everyone, including cyber threat actors, than during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections,” the Minister stated.

Recall also that the Committee, inaugurated by the Honourable Minister on the eve of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, was charged with the following responsibilities, among others:

  • Monitoring of Telecommunication Infrastructure for the successful conduct of the 2023 General Elections;
  • Developing and implementing plans to enhance the resilience of critical digital infrastructure against cyber threats;
  • Designing procedures and using technologies to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber-attacks, as well as developing the ability to quickly recover from any damage that is done;
  • Developing a comprehensive risk assessment, analysing the nation’s current cybersecurity capabilities, and identifying gaps that need to be addressed; and
  • Providing professional advice to the Government on the effective utilisation of digital technologies in the conduct of the 2023 General Elections.

Prof. Pantami who expressed confidence that the implementation of some recommendations as well as measures taken to fortify Nigeria’s cyber defence mechanisms might have helped in this, reiterated that these attainments would not have been possible without the continued support of President Muhammadu Buhari, in particular, and the administration in general, towards ensuring Nigeria’s successful transition into the digital economy.

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