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NITDA unveils security infrastructure for online communication

By Adeyemi Adepetun
01 July 2021   |   4:04 am
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has commenced operations of the National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI).

Director-General/CEO of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has commenced operations of the National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI).

The national PKI is expected to guarantee secure communication for all online services, provide security against unauthorised access and disclosure of stored information by addressing the fundamentals of cybersecurity – confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation.

The Director- General, Kashifu Abdullahi, unveiled the commencement of the national PKI operations on Tuesday, at a the handover ceremony for Root Certification Authority (RCA), Country Signing Certification Authority (CSCA) and Country Verification Certification Authority (CVCA) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Furthermore, the deployment of the national PKI will empower e-Government and digital economy transformations through the provision of secure data exchange and authentication for electronic transactions protection which can be leveraged by the banking sector and its regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The NPKI will also aid accreditation and authorisation of web applications, which can be utilised by startups, MSMEs and corporate organizations; local and cheaper digital certificates for Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) email signing and encryption for organizations; and trust, transparency, accountability and validation services in the issuance and authentication of digital identity, passports and travel documents, stamp duty, tax clearance certificates, health test results and vaccine certificates among others.

It may be recalled that in August 2017, the Federal Government issued Presidential directives mandating NITDA to harmonise all PKI-related projects in Nigeria, in line with its mandate.

The deployment of the national PKI will therefore facilitate effective administration and regulation of the national PKI, ensuring full use and benefits of the associated PKI-as-a-Service (PaaS), including the issuance of Document Signer Certificates, the management of the Public Key Directory (PKD) via the Country Signing Certificate Authority (CSCA) Master-list. It will further enhance the use digital certificates to authenticate documents, in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).

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