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Olawepo-Hashim harps on secure cyber space

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Global energy executive, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has stressed the importance of security in Nigeria’s competitiveness in the cyber market, insisting that the country could play a more strategic role in cyberspace within the next 10 years.

Speaking during the launch of Nigeria: Cyberpower and National Security, a book authored by Professor Dare Ogunlana of the University of Texas, at the weekend, Mr. Olawepo-Hashim said the book would not have come at a better time than now, as Nigeria was faced with the multifarious problems of insecurity.

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Saying that Nigeria might have quietly emerged as an unsung cyber power, the former presidential candidate noted that the country hosts the 6th largest users of the Internet in the world.

“Based on verified data from the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), the country’s internet users rose to 104.4 million in 2021. A staggering 19 million users were added between 2020 and 2021 alone. Nigeria will yet play a more strategic role in cyberspace within the next 10 years. As it transits to a producer of content for global consumption as well as a key participant in the global market for outsourcing services alongside India and Brazil. Nigeria has an advantage – the mastery of the English language by a sizable percentage of her population.

“Cybersecurity, therefore, becomes an important question of her competitiveness in the cyber market; the cyber market is the immediate future of Nigeria beyond oil and the Lekki Peninsula would be the world’s ‘Silicon Island’,” he added.

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The book, he asserted, would not have come at a better time this giant, Nigeria, is embroiled in its most crucial security issues, where the different strain of insecurity is at their highest points, no less cyber terrorism.

Having flipped through the book, Olawepo-Hashim said right from the introduction, subtitled ‘The foundation’, the reader would get acquainted with the reality of cybercrime in the country, citing the attack on the Vice President’s Twitter account in August 2019, the Boko Haram hacking of the Department of State Security (DSS)’s database in 2012 and the hacktivist’s assault on the Nigerian Army’s website.

Although he said the ubiquity of cyber criminality was brought out in bold relief, “the author revealed that there exists already, a strategy of containment captured in the 2014 Nigeria cybersecurity strategy. He measures the depth of the ocean of cyber threat just as he presented a report of available technology to navigate and stay on top of this vast ocean of threat.”


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