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By  Adam Alqali

How, or perhaps, the need  to govern the net is increasingly becoming  ever pressing .And the debate appears to have gained momentum in Nigeria as well.

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), a nonprofit organization in conjunction with the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) has held the first ever Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in the North West geopolitical zone in Kano on Tuesday.

The event which took place at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training had as participants various stakeholders in internet governance including regulators, academics, cyber enthusiasts as well as members of the civil society and the media.

In his opening remarks, YZ Yau, the Executive Director of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) said the idea behind the forum was to create awareness as well build the capacity of citizens in the area of internet governance. “The Internet is now a critical resource which hosts some of the most important services for our growth and development, hence the need to properly govern it,” he said.

While Delivering the paper Understanding Internet Governance, Dr Bashir Galadanchi of the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Bayero University, Kano defined internet governance as “the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programs that shape the evolution and use of the Internet”

He added that our lives today were, more or less, dependent on the Internet infrastructure since communication networks, entertainment channels, financial transactions and most importantly free access to information depends on the internet.

Dr Galadanchi said everyone could contribute by finding out what’s at stake in terms of government policies and joining in on the debate. He described the internet as “the most important infrastructure today, we not only use it for countless day to day activities we depend on it, and it plays an influential role in the evolution of our society. So speak up and participate in the Internet Governance discussions,” he urged.

In her paper titled National and West African Regional Perspectives on Internet Governance, Mrs Mary Uduma, chairperson, Nigeria Internet Governance Forum said whereas the dialogue on Internet Governance in Africa had been on since 2002, it was until 2012 that the first multi-stakeholder meeting on internet governance issues called Africa IGF (AfIGF) began.

“The IG process started in Nigeria in 2006,” said Mrs Uduma “and it was spearheaded by the government. In 2012, the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) was reconvened as a multi-stakeholder initiative.”

She explained that the Internet Governance Forum in Nigeria was driven by a group of individuals representing various institutions and sectors under the name Local Multistakeholder Advisory Group (LMAG) adding that the NIGF, as a multi-stakeholder entity, amongst others, consisted of various stakeholders including NCC, NITDA, and NIRA whose collaboration she said was fully endorsed by the Government through the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology (FMCT)

She said the theme for NIGF 2015 conference was harnessing the Potentials of Internet Governance for Sustainable Development in Nigeria adding that contributions and input from the forum were presented to the government and other policy making organizations, to help ensure that the recommendations made were considered and possibly implemented.

Uduma said outcomes of such forums were usually sent to the global and african IGF secretariat which she said give them “a clearer picture of the happenings within the Nigerian IG system.”

In his presentation, Internet Governance in Nigeria: Nigerian Communications Commission’s Perspective, Prof UG Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) described internet governance as development and application of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programs by government, private sector, civil society, academia, etc, that shape the evolution and  use of the Internet

By  Adam Alqali

How, or perhaps, the need  to govern the net is increasingly becoming  ever pressing .And the debate appears to have gained momentum in Nigeria as well.

Delivering paper  Government Perspectives on Internet Governance, Emmanuel Edet, who represented the Director General of the Nigeria Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA) at the event said the primary function of any government was to ensure the safety and security of its citizens as well as provide the foundation for economic growth and comfort after meeting their basic necessities of life adding that the interest of the government in the internet governance space was not different from this.

Of Paramount consideration to the government,” he said “Is the stability of the Internet. We recognize that the Internet is now a critical resource which hosts some of the most important services for our growth and development as a country.”

He added that security and privacy are issues which were critical in the use of the Internet adding that this must be given adequate and serious consideration since groups and nations were using cyberspace as the new realm for crimes, terrorism and warfare.

Amongst others, Edet identified as the way forward the need to encourage the Nigerian technical and academic community to participate in the international intergovernmental organization that set technical standards for the Internet; support innovations on the internet through schemes like the Incubation Centres and Demo Africa Projects of NITDA as well as promote access to the internet through encouraging development of infrastructure and considerable reduction in the cost of access to the Internet.

In his presentation, Reverend Sunday Folayan, President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) said in the past, security threats which spread relatively slowly were easy to pinpoint, eradicate and contain but now with the “Internet of Everything”,threats have reached unparalleled level of complexity.“Data security and privacy on the net must not be ignored,” he said.

“Protection of information must be top priority for individuals, organizations and the government. High profile incidents have exposed vulnerabilities in government, educational facilities, and corporate organizations.”

Like other countries of the world, he said Nigeria also has “The Cybercrime Act 2015” to protect its citizens and address some of the cybercrime issues adding that security data protection and information security should both be a priority. “Businesses must overcome data and privacy hurdles. Companies must address crucial issues around ownership and security if we are to capitalize on the benefits of a connected future,” he said

Source http://newsdiaryonline.com/citad-nigf-host-first-north-west-internet-governance-forum/

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