Buhari Seeks Use Of Cyberspace To Improve National Security, Economic Growth

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a Virtual Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Kano-Katsina-Jibya-Maradi with a branch line to Dutse Railway Project in State House on February 9. 2021.
President Muhammadu Buhari

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for an overhaul of the national strategy on cybersecurity.

The President on Tuesday asked  Nigerians to explore the internet for economic growth opportunities, improve knowledge, and mitigation of crime.

“I urge the National Security Adviser to continue to coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders to ensure that our Internet and cyberspace are used for the enhancement of national security and economic progression,’’ the President said at the launch of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) 2021.

“I am confident that, together, we can pave the way for the creation of new opportunities to usher Nigeria into a bright future driven by a prosperous cyberspace and digital economy.’’

The President noted that the Federal Government had taken some major policy decisions to increase penetration of the internet in the daily lives of citizens, particularly for the utilitarian purpose, with the launch of the National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 in March 2020; National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020 – 2030; National Identity Program, Treasury Single Account and Bank Verification Number schemes.

“All these initiatives serve as enablers for tackling many of the economic and security challenges facing our country while also providing us with the platform to improve accountability and transparency in our unwavering resolve to tackle corruption.

“However, like many other countries across the globe, the growth and development of the internet is accompanied by significant problems. We are witnessing a rise in threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters, and cyber terrorists who use the internet to cause apprehension,’’ the President said.

He added that the internet and social media have witnessed a surge for the propagation of hate speech, fake news, seditious and treasonable messages, as well as the risks of breaches to personal information and government sensitive data.

“It is almost impossible to overstate the challenges. Some global events such as the rapid emergence of new technologies, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the advent of 5G technology, have further widened the scope and diversification of these cyber threats.

“In October 2020, we all witnessed an escalation in the use of the social media for dissemination of subversive messages and incitement of violence which played a part in heightening tensions, causing unrest and spurring widespread acts of looting and destruction across the country.’’

President Buhari said the Federal Government had been proactive, over the past couple of years, in taking steps to ensure progressive use of the internet and cyberspace.

“In 2014, the maiden National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy was developed to provide the necessary roadmap for the realisation of our national cybersecurity programme. This national effort paved way for Nigeria to reach numerous cybersecurity milestones over the past six years.

“Therefore, in order to build on this achievement and reposition ourselves for enhanced engagement in cyberspace, it became expedient to review the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2014 and develop a comprehensive National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 for the common good of our country.’’

According to the President, the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 will provide us with the necessary platform to effectively confront the dynamic nature of threats in our cyberspace.

“The document will also provide the framework that would enable us to harness the efforts of our private sector, academia, and industry towards progressive economic and national development.

“To this end, the document will provide the platform for technical education, digital skills acquisition, and indigenous technology production, thereby creating job opportunities for our youth and supporting our resolve to alleviate poverty and boost our economy.’’

In his remarks at the event, the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), said there had been a surge in the use of the internet, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown around the world, with increasing waves of crimes, irregular migration, and threats to border security.

The NSA noted that many platforms including banking, communication, and military had come under more threat, with personal information easily distorted and explored, necessitating a review of the 2014 National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS).

He said the reviewed document will work towards mitigating the “suffocating presence and unpredictable threats’’ of cybercrimes.

EAC Concerned About Economic Growth, Asks Buhari To Strengthen Agencies, Improve Education

President Muhammadu Buhari with members of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on February 6, 2020.

 

 

The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on Thursday raised concern about the slow rate at which the nation’s economy is growing.

The team called President Muhammadu Buhari’s attention to the situation during a meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Led by Professor Doyin Salami, the eight-member council noted that the economy was improving at a slower pace compared to that of the nation’s population.

Presenting their report, Professor Salami, supported by interventions by Council members, responded to questions by the President and his team.

They outlined some of the challenges facing the economy and proffered solutions to most of them.

 

The Way Forward

The Council asked the Federal Government to strengthen national statistical agencies, reform procurement processes, improve education.

It also stressed the need for job planning in training offered by academic institutions.

EAC also brought to the government its views on borrowing, macroeconomic stability, and the need to provide a friendly climate for foreign investment.

“We need an environment that will attract investment. People will come only when they feel confident and when they come, their exit will not be challenging,” said Professor Salami.

President Muhammadu Buhari with members of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on February 6, 2020.

 

The council also resolved to focus on legacy projects by the administration before 2023.

In his response, President Buhari gave a firm commitment that his administration would be bound by the council’s advice on economy-related matters.

He, therefore, gave the first directive from EAC’s recommendations that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, should urgently address the lapses observed in coordination between ministries and all agencies of the government.

“The lack of synergy between Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would no longer be accepted,” the President warned in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu.

He added, “We are working for the country, not for personal interests. We have the same objective of service to the people and we will resolve this.”

 

The Most Delicate Aspect

Reviewing the work of the Council since its inauguration, President Buhari said, “I am highly pleased based on what I have read in your Executive Summary with the painstaking thoroughness of your preliminary report.

“I have noted the salient points of your report and these will be incorporated in government economic policies.”

The President also spoke about the challenges facing the economy and the tasks that rest on the shoulders of the members.

According to him, the economy is the most delicate and sensitive of all aspects of national life and a little change in the matrix can lead to major disruptions in the nation’s economy.

President Muhammadu Buhari with members of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on February 6, 2020.

 

“For example, international changes in oil prices, bad harvests, conflicts in strategic global locations, a major epidemic or pandemic like the current coronavirus, tariff changes in major world economies, to mention only a few examples that readily come to mind, can significantly affect our plans,” President Buhari noted.

He also asked the EAC should now brief him more frequently, at least once every six weeks rather than once every quarter.

The President thanked the members for their patriotism and commitment in accepting the challenging responsibilities conferred on them.

In addition to Professor Salami, the Council has Dr Mohammed Sagagi as vice-chairman six economic experts as members.

They are Professor Ode Ojowu, Dr Shehu Yahaya, Dr Iyabo Masha, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, Dr Bismack Rewane, and Dr Mohammed Salisu.

The two ministers in the Ministry of Finance also serve as co-opted members.

Ghana’s President Challenges African Govts To Promote SMSEs For Economic Growth

President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo speaks during the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship forum 2018 in Lagos on October 25, 2018.

 

President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has called on African governments to promote the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSEs), in order to achieve economic growth.

According to Akufo-Addo, who was a guest at the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum 2018, which was held in Lagos on Thursday, SMSEs are crucial to a nation’s economic growth.

“Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSEs) are those that drive the economy. You hear of the big corporations. (But) Even in America, it is the SMSEs that drive the economy. That is what we also have to build.

“When we put all of these things together, we are then creating an opportunity for growth and for prosperity and wellbeing.”

According to the Ghanaian leader, Africa is endowed with rich natural and human resources to cater to for needs of its people.

He, therefore, wants other African leaders to make good use of the resources at their disposal for the prosperity of all rather than seeking foreign aids and financial assistance.

As for the employment challenges facing the continent, Mr Akufo-Addo called for a change of attitude of African youths.

He explained that 70 per cent of youths in America work toward owning their own business, while only 30 per cent of youths in Africa work toward entrepreneurship.

Akufo-Addo added, “A survey was conducted by the Ministry of Business Development together with the Ministry of Education of selected schools in Ghana. The question that was posed was ‘how many of you want to be business owners?'”

“Two per cent gave the answer that they want to be business owners contrast them to 70 per cent when the same survey was conducted in American schools. Seven out of 10 young Americans said they want to be business owners.

“That is the nature of the challenge – the changing of the mindset, the changing of the culture, the changing of the attitude. That will then compel us to go down the line of entrepreneur development.”

IMF Projects 2.1% Growth For Nigeria In 2018

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it expects Nigeria’s economic growth to continue to pick up in 2018 to 2.1 per cent, driven by the full year impact of more access to foreign exchange and higher oil production.

In its latest review of Africa’s largest economy, the Bretton Woods Institition acknowledged that the country’s overall growth is slowly picking up, but that the recovery remains a challenge.

The IMF added that low oil prices, security issues and absence of new policies still threaten the country’s economic recovery.

It, however, advised that moving toward a unified and market-based exchange rate as soon as possible while continuing to strengthen external buffers would be necessary to increase confidence and reduce potential risks from capital flow reversals.

Economic Growth: Obasanjo Urges Nigerians To Be Patient

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the efforts by the Federal Government to improve the economy, assuring that it will soon be back to normal.

The former president while speaking at a church event in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, noted that every sector of the society is feeling the pinch of the poor economy, including businessmen, market men and women confronted with poor profits.

READ ALSO: Corruption Fuelled Boko Haram, EFCC Politicised – Obasanjo

Speaking in Yoruba, the former President said, “In times like this, different things happen. Then, people will start to think that what we are experiencing present challenges as a result of what happened in the past.

“Children are graduating from schools both are unemployed, even market women are not making good sales like they do in the past. Small and big business owners are not making good profits like before too. It is only for a while,” he said.

He also pleads with the people to have faith in God as there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Nigeria’s Economic Growth Is Fragile – MPC

Amidst news about Nigeria’s exit from recession, the Central Bank Governor (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has called for the implementation of policies that will sustain Nigeria’s economic growth due to the fragile state of the growth.

This call was made during the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) bi-monthly meeting on Tuesday.

During the meeting, the CBN Governor said the committee applauded Nigeria’s exit from recession but the growth needs to be sustained as it is fragile.

“Committee applauded the exit of the Nigerian economy exit from recession but observes that the growth remain fragile and therefore hopes that complimentary fiscal and monetary policies would sustain the growth momentum.”

READ ALSO:  Financial Reports: CBN Directs Banks To Implement IFRS9

Also, the MPC during the meeting opted to leave the interest rates unchanged and focus on the slow economic growth in spite of the country’s exit from recession.

Due to the need to encourage liquidity of Nigeria’s economic system, the MPC retained the basic interest rate at 14 percent.

Emefiele during the meeting said the MPC is satisfied with the Federal Government’s directive that all state governors should pay outstanding salaries.

He said, “MPC also noted with satisfaction, the directive of the Federal Government to all states to promptly pay outstanding salary arrears in order to boost aggregate demand.

“It commended efforts to clear outstanding contractor arrears, prompt settlement of trade disputes with certain unions of organized labours, including the Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU) and health workers, as well as the of money to settle outstanding entitlement of the extra workers in defunct Nigerian Airways.”

Okowa, Wike, Udom Meet To Discuss South-South Economic Growth

Three Governors in South-South region, Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State on Monday held a closed-door meeting, discussing the economic growth of the region.

The meeting which was held at the government house, Asaba is aimed at boosting economic activities in the South – South region of the country and reviving the BRACED commission.

Governor Udom of Akwa Ibom State after the meeting disclosed that the main issues discussed at the meeting include security of the South-South region, revival of the BRACED commission and boosting economic growth.

“We are principally here to discuss economic issues as it affects the region; on behalf of our colleagues in the South-South states, we met to see how we can revive the braced commission and boost security in the region.

“There is the need for us to ensure that the area is safe, with the increase in the quantum of oil production, there is need to boost security in the region, in the interest of our region and the country,” he said.

BRACED is an acronym of the names of the six states of the South-South geo-political zone including Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta.

The commission was formed to foster economic development and integration of the oil rich region and to collectively pursue economic cooperation and integration with the sole objective of accelerating and improving the development of the region.

 

Osinbajo Asks Military To Shun Divisive Forces

Yemi Osinbajo, Military, Divisive Forces, National Unity, Acting PresidentNigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has urged the military to resist divisive forces that undermine national unity and economic growth.

Professor Osinbajo made the call on Thursday at a lecture with the participants of Course 25 of the National Defence College in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He had inspected a guard of honour mounted for him before proceeding to the Sani Abacha hall where he delivered a lecture on ‘The Economic Dimension of National Security’.

He noted that divisive forces and corruption were major threats to the unity and economic prosperity of a country.

The Vice President highlighted how the activities of the Niger Delta militants in the southern region and Boko Haram terrorists in northern Nigeria have affected the nation’s economy negatively.

He called on the Nigerian Army to resist any disruptive force that could undermine the unity and economic prosperity of the nation.

The acting president also touched on the government’s economic recovery plans where he called for the rejigging of the civil and criminal justice system.

 

Other speakers at the gathering also appealed to the military to ensure national security in the discharge of their duty.

They noted that that national security and economic prosperity are Siamese twins that cannot be separated.

Professor Says Gender Inquality Contributes To Slow Economic Growth

Professor Says Gender Inquality Contributes To Slow Economic GrowthA Professor of Counselor Education, Irene Durosaro, has identified non-recognition of intellect and capabilities of women, as one of the factors responsible for non-growth of Nigeria’s economy.

She stated this during her inaugural lecture at the University of Ilorin, Kwara state.

Mrs Durosaro lamented what she called factors responsible for subordinate status of women in the country which according to her, includes religion, cultural norms and practices, gender role socialisation and marriage institution, while calling for change of attitude in these regard.

The Professor also called on government at all levels to establish guidance and counseling centres in order to achieve positive attitudinal change and promote the development of women and men at equal levels.

“The practice of patriarch in Nigeria is perpetrated by several factors that lower the status of women.

“Although several efforts have been made to advance the rights of women, they continue to be denied, face discrimination and oppression from their male counterparts.

“In some parts of the world, females are able to free themselves if they are of high status, wealthy or educated.

“However in Nigeria, the subordination of women occur in different dimensions to educated or uneducated, rich or poor urban or rural.

“There are no barriers that protect such women from the barbaric acts. – Men and women need to collaborate in order to achieve economic development in the world,” she said.

“In the light of my presentation, I hereby recommend that federal, state and local governments should ensure they establish guidance and counselling centres at all levels of education.

“Adequate attention should be given to gender sensitive counselling in order to achieve positive attitudinal change and promote the development of men and women at an equal level,” Durosaro stressed.

Trump To Remove 70% of US Federal Regulations

Donald Trump, US immigration, extreme vetting, Fed Bank, Fed regulations
The Republican candidate says federal regulations must reduce

US Republican candidate for the November 8 presidential election, Donald Trump, says about 70% of federal regulations would be scrapped if he is elected into office.

Mr. Trump who said this on Thursday night during a town hall in New Hampshire, added that many of those regulations are clogging business processes and enterprise in America, which in his opinion have a negative effect on America’s economy.

“We need regulation but immediately every agency will be asked to rate the importance of their regulations and we will push to remove 10 percent of the least important.”

“It’s just stopping businesses from growing.”  Trump said.

The Republican candidate says he vigorously wants to streamline these regulations in a bid to stimulate economic growth and aid capital in-flows.

He specifically singled out the energy industry as an area that he wants regulations reduced.

Israel Prepares For Election

israelVoters in Israel are preparing to go to the polls in what is expected to be a tightly-fought election, to elect a leader.

Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, faces a challenge from a Centre-left Alliance that has promised to restore ties with the Palestinians and the international community.

Candidates from both parties spent Monday making one last appeal to voters. Neither side is expected to get more than a quarter of the votes.

While results could be declared soon after the close of polls, a definitive conclusion appears likely to take some time.

A lengthy period of negotiations over the formation of the next coalition government could follow.

No party has ever won an outright majority in Israel’s election, meaning it has always been governed by a coalition.

Much of the focus of the campaign has been on international issues, from Israel’s relationship with the United States to concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme.

But many of the candidates have concentrated on socio-economic problems in Israel, including the high cost of living and slow economic growth.

The future of the city of Jerusalem has been a central election issue.

Mr Netanyahu has consistently accused his centre-left challengers of being willing to relinquish Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its indivisible capital in peace talks with the Palestinians.

Palestinians seek East Jerusalem – occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war – as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

But Zionist Union party co-leader, Yitzhak Herzog, has accused Mr Netanyahu of “panicking”.

Visiting the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism, on Sunday, he pledged to “safeguard Jerusalem and its residents in actions, not just words, more than any other leader”.

Ezekwesili Asks Africans To Demand For Good Governance

Ezekwesili-Obiageli

A former Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has asked Africans to demand good governance from their leaders, insisting that it is the only way that the leaders will deliver on the campaign promises.

At the Annual conference of the Royal African Society in London on Monday, Dr Ezekwesili urged citizens of the African continent to be more proactive in demanding social change.

“The supply of governance must be matched deliberately by the demand for good governance,” she said.

Dr Ezekwesili emphasised that “Africa is rising, as we have all heard, but countries like Nigeria may be vulnerable to the external shocks of declining commodity prices if prudent management of the nation’s finances are not applied”.

Poverty And Inequality Rising

She was speaking against the backdrop of the uneven growth pattern across Africa where positive economic indices still sees many citizens on the margins.

Delivering a keynote address, Dr Ezekwesili highlighted the positive economic strides being made across the continent, including Nigeria, but argued that the pattern had also with it a paradox. “The levels of poverty and inequality rising side by side the said improvements. Thus mere economic growth cannot suffice,” she stressed.

Bursts of outrage over perceived government failings have been witnessed in various parts of the continent, a popular movement being the Bring Back Our Girls campaign for the over 200 young girls kidnapped in Chibok, Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorists in April.

But demanding for social justice and economic and political inclusion is not a simple task, as many Nigerians contend with the more demanding challenges of survival.  With the 2015 general elections drawing nearer, experts have emphasised that political apathy was not in anyone’s interest.