NigComSat chief: foreign ICT a security risk

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

The proliferation of foreign ICT in the country is capable of threatening the security of Nigeria, NigComSat Limited has warned.

NigComSat Board chairman Prof. Turner Isoun was speaking in Abuja shortly after a meeting of the board.

He frowned on the proliferation of foreign vendors, arguing that when foreign equipment vendors propose and supply security solutions to the nation’s security, para-military and critical infrastructure bodies, it could constitute a serious threat.

Isoun warned that the practice exposes the nation "to a myriad of potential security threats from otherwise restricted data being exposed to numerous vendors. This predicament is particularly worrisome, not only because of the present state of national insecurity but also because NigComSat limited is the only government agency mandated to act as a clearing house and solution provider for security related ICT solutions to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and institutions."

The board chairman said NigComSat Limited currently manages the National Public Safety Communications Systems (NPSCS), a national safety network, adding that a network upgrade has already commenced on the infrastructure.

Isoun said the move is to protect the nation's territorial borders and other key infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines.

“All government agencies should direct their ICT needs to NigComSat Limited or through the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology within the next four weeks, he directed, adding state governments who are interested in providing security solutions for their respective states to liaise with NigComSat Limited for effective planning and integration into the NPSCS.

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