Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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NIGERIA DATA PROTECTION REGULATION PERFORMANCE REPORT - 2019 TO 2020

On the 9th of October 2020, there was the Public Presentation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation Performance report for the period 2019 - 2020 at the Auditorium Digital Economy Complex, Mbora, Abuja. The unveiling of the Report was done by the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, flanked by Dr. Abubakar Saidu, the Chairman, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Governing Board, and the Chief Executive Officers under the FMCDE. Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami delivered the keynote address at the presentation, endorsing the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation Performance Report 2019 -2020 from NITDA. He stated that the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), supports in the development of the Nigerian digital economy and the NDPR aligns perfectly with the Nigerian developmental regulatory pillars under ‘The National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS)’.

At the presentation of the report, Dr. Abubakar Saidu delivered the goodwill message. Mallam Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, CCIE, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, NITDA spoke on the achievements recorded from the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation. He reminded the audience that the NDPR was issued by the Honourable Minister Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami in 2019, which was a turning point in the history of data protection in Nigeria. He also remarked that the NDPR has created 2,686 jobs. It was reported that the Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs) earned over N2.0Billion in the first year of implementation of the NDPR.

For more details of the report, kindly visit:   

https://nitda.gov.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/FINAL-NDPR-Performance-Report-2O19-2O2O.pdf

vNIGF 2020 REPORT

 

The 9th Edition of the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (vNIGF2020) organised by the NIGF-MAG with the theme: "Achieving Inclusive Digital Economic Development in the Post-COVID 19 Era", held online on 23rd and 24th September 2020. The Nigeria Internet Governance Forum-Multistakeholder Advisory Group (NIGF-MAG), comprises of the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy (FMCDE), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), and other local Internet stakeholders.

Members of the public from the private sector, government, civil society organisations, and inter-governmental organisations, academia as well as internet end-users and stakeholders from the Nigeria Internet community convened virtually for the 9th Edition of the annual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The NIGF stakeholders observed that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the critical importance of digital technology, in fostering inclusive national development, discussed ways to address the various challenges and opportunities for inclusive digital development amongst other goals.

The Honourable Minister Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy (FMCDE), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantanmi FNCS, FBCS, FIIM delivered the keynote for the event. Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)  Engr. Ikechukwu Nnamani the 1st Vice President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON),

Anriette Esterhuysen, the UN  IGF MAG chairperson,  gave goodwill messages.

The vNIGF 2020 was chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr. Istifanus Musa.

Other key industry leaders including the Founder and CEO MainONE Ms. Funke Opeke; Chair of the Global IGF MAG, Anriette Estrehuysen; Coordinator, West Africa IGF, Mrs. Mary Uduma;  Prof Adenike Osofisan (University of Ibadan), and her counterpart from Swansea University Dr. Nnenna Ifeanyi Ajufo, a digital expert at Google, Mrs. Titi Akinsanmi; High Tech Centre for Nigerian Women and Youths, Dr. Wunmi Hassan and Coordinator, YouthIGF, Uffa Modey spoke at the event.

Mr. Mohammed Rudman, President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), gave the closing remarks and the vote of thanks to all the dignitaries, speakers, and participants who attended the vNIGF 2020.

The virtual conference was preceded by the Youth Internet Governance Forum (YIGF) and the Women IGF (WIGF) on 23rd September 2020. The WIGF was in collaboration with the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITDA), with the theme ‘’Women, COVID-19 and the Internet”. The WIGF held to create a forum for women to discuss issues concerning ICT, Internet Policy Space in Nigeria, and how technology interwinds with Gender-Based Violence (GBV); Women Domestic Violence. The WIGF was graced by eminent speakers; Mrs.Uduma Mary (Coordinator WAIGF), Prof Adenike Osofisan (University of Ibadan) who delivered the keynote of the vWIGF, the Executive Secretary/Secretary to the Board of Nigeria Internet Registration Association(NiRA), Mrs. Udeagu Edith, Dr. Nnenna Ifeanyi Ajufo (Swansea University), Mrs. Ede Ene, Mrs. Haruna Ado Maryam, Ms. Saadah Aliyu founder, Shamrock Innovation Hub.

As a panel speaker, Mrs. Edith Udeagu said that to achieve women inclusion in the Internet space, stakeholders should develop and implement smart policies that will be beneficial to women such as, equal opportunity for the girl child, make the Internet more affordable for women and give more opportunities for women to engage in ICT. Expanding internet access for women would benefit the Nigerian Community as informed Nigerian women, who are connected to the Internet and educated will be able to contribute more towards economic and social development.

Images from the 2020 vNIGF

Promoting the Digital Inclusion of the Girl Child

Promoting the Digital Inclusion of the Girl Child’ was the title of the keynote address delivered by Prof Adenike Osofisan, a member of NiRA Board of Trustees,  at the Women IGF 2020 on Wednesday, 23rd September 2020. The Women IGF 2020, with the main theme of “Women, Covid-19, and the Internet”, was a pre-event of the virtual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum 2020 (vNIGF2020). This pre-event was organized by the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum in Conjunction with the Centre for Information And Development (CITAD). Prof Osofisan commenced her keynote address by stating that “Promoting the Digital Inclusion of the Girl Child” is very dear to her heart and it is a “Right Turn Paradigm”.

She said that ‘A right turn paradigm is a solution that comes from innovation and thinking outside the box. The “Right turn paradigm” is performance-oriented, rather than merely being about sex or rank.  The Digital inclusion of the Girl Child must be addressed as a stand-alone goal of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in order to truly conquer gender inequality, injustice, and poverty in the Twenty-First Century’.

Prof Osofisan stated that ‘Promoting Digital inclusion of the Girl Child will go a long way towards achieving many of these seventeen goals of the MDGs’. The education of a Girl Child is of utmost importance as the girl child grows up to be a woman.

The keynote address spoke on the digital divide, or technology gap, being the difference between groups with access to technology and the Internet and those without. In the world, the gender digital divide in access to the Internet was reported as high but with the Internet gap being the largest in the African continent. The paper addressed the impact of the digital divide which can negatively impact countries’ potential for economic growth and development.

Prof Osofisan acknowledged the efforts of some young Nigerian women that have programs targeted towards the Girl Child with respect to promoting the digital inclusion of the Girl Child. She concluded by stating that there was the need to have more initiatives targeted towards the Girl Child only in order to promote the digital inclusion of the Girl Child because there still exist many challenges inhibiting her progress in the digital world. She mentioned the need to provide more capacity-building projects to help the Girl Child harness fine tech, apps, mobile and digital platforms to improve their lot in life.

Prof Osofisan ended her presentation by stating “Through Digital awareness programs and campaign, Digital Opportunity, the know-how and understanding basic IT skills, Digital opportunities and Digital empowerment, we can achieve a world where women and girls can live and lead without fear or discrimination. The Girl Child will then have a right to be safe online and be free to speak up without harassment. We can create a world, where the Girl Child and women can play a significant role in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

HOW THE INTERNET CHANGED LIVES DURING COVID 19

The Internet is a key factor in today’s economy and more people and businesses are on the Internet especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. People and organizations all over the world have had to adjust to new ways of work and life by finding creative ways to stay healthy, remain connected, and move forward. There was a dramatic shift and an increase in Internet usage, with an impact on all aspects of work and life. The tragedy of COVID-19 forced creativity in individuals.

The outbreak of the covid-19 changed the way the Internet was viewed and how the Internet worked. Before the outbreak of the covid-19, most people worked offline and preferred human interaction in their day to day activities, like eating out, going to movie theatres, places of worship, etc.  In the past, some people refused to use the Internet for financial transactions.

With the advent of the coronavirus, more people were pushed to their devices for work, play, and connection to others. School activities went virtual. Those who didn't have provisions for online work and schooling were caught off guard. Devices were acquired or enhanced for online work and schooling. Financial transactions were conducted mostly online. Those who could not conduct financial transactions online were left with the short end of the stick.

With the ban on public gathering, people entertained themselves via streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. People sought new ways of connecting with family and friends and applications that enhanced digital communications.

Meetings were held online and are still being held via several media platforms like ZOOM, Google Hangout, Google meets Microsoft teams, etc. The educational institutes made use of the Internet and are still using educational sites like Google Classroom and Edmodo. With the current rise of covid-19 cases worldwide, people had gone back to being online.  Business People who had physical shops moved online for easy access to their customers.

Even though organisations and individuals are investing more in digital technologies for their businesses, most people still prefer to have human interaction and can not wait for the vaccines and cures for covid-19.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), being one of the major players in Nigeria cyberspace, advises Nigerians to always strictly adhere to all cybersecurity guidelines and best practices. Individuals are advised to own their roles for their protection in cyberspace, as more people go online for various reasons. We are all responsible for every action we take on the Internet, be it financial activities, e-commerce, etc.

Since 2003, the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month has become an annual campaign every year. The month of October has been recognized as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). The awareness is aimed at educating the public about the importance of cybersecurity. At the forefront of cybersecurity awareness in Nigeria is the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE). Two of the agencies under the FMCDE, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have been creating awareness and educating Nigerians on the importance of cybersecurity. Recall that it was reported that as of August 2020, Nigeria has 149.8 Million Internet users. The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer of  NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated the need to be cyber security-conscious to guarantee online safety for Internet users is everyone's business and not reserved for a group of people. See full Press release: https://bit.ly/34xLUgu

As the world celebrates Global Cybersecurity Month,  we need to secure all devices used on the Internet at home and at work. We are all aware that fraudsters can find basic information about individuals online and would use the information to trick individuals into divulging personal, financial or security information. We all need to be vigilant and be security conscious whilst on the Internet and not divulge online sensitive information.