Deploy ICT to fight insurgents, NCS urges govt

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has called on the government of Nigeria to explore the application of the available tools of information communication technology (ICT) at combating rising insurgency in the country.

NCS President, Prof David Adewumi, said technologies such as satellite geographical mapping of the entire areas of the country where insurgents operate lawlessly could help unravel the mystery surrounding the abduction of about 300 school girls in Chibok.

He expressed the readiness of the professional body to partner with the Federal Government and its relevant security agencies in tackling the problem.

Aside from NigComSat 1R, Nigeria, through former state-run but now moribund telco, Nigeria Telecommunication Limited (NITEL) owns a substantial share in Sat 3. While the university don argues that the former has capacity to connect the whole tertiary institutions in the country to the internet, the former could be used to fish out the criminals wherever they may have taken refuge.

He said: “Satellite technology can be used to find out or locate or co-locate objects in very long distance. There is the Sat 3 that is in orbit. This satellite facility is not being fully utilised because it has the capacity to locate to the minutest details where ever those insurgents might be in the forest. It can also be used for agric purpose. One thing that is clear is that we have not deployed enough technology to fight insecurity in the country.

According to him, the entire Sambisa forest in Bornu State where the insurgents have been operating from could also be mapped for computer simulation.

“The Sambisa forest, as large as it may be, could be mapped and simulated using computer simulation technology. The NCS therefore recommends the immediate and appropriate use of ICT tools to tackle the insecurity in the land. Federal Government must as a matter of priority establish a National Biometric Database Programme. There is a need to address and extract functional information from the present databases maintained by Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Police, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the banks and others. . Furthermore, other ICT devices such as surveillance cameras, social network analysis, biometry surveillance data mining, satellite imagery, internet protocol (IP) devices should be employed professionally to checkmate insecurity in the country.

He said:  “Government has not lived up to its responsibility of funding the development of the ICT sector in the country by providing the basic infrastructure. There are quite a number of ICT facilities that are supposed to be used even by local government areas and state government. There is need to deploy the simplest technology such as the Wireless Hidden Surveillance Camera. I don’t think government is deploying enough of ICT tools to tackle the security challenges in the country.”

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