Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has revealed that 66 attempts by hackers from Europe to gain access to virtual meetings of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) were thwarted.
Speaking in Abuja at the 19th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023), the Minister said all the cases were reported to the appropriate authorities for record and actions.
Pantami further revealed that about 108 virtual federal cabinet meetings has been held since the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions in October 2020 to formalise government online meetings including those of the FEC and the Council of State.
He also disclosed that N47 billion would have been spent to hold physical meetings if virtual meetings were not implemented.
Pantami who also revealed that 2.2 million jobs had been created in the nation’s digital sector in the last three years, blamed the challenges in telecommunications to infrastructure deficit and vandalisation of fibre optic cables.
The Minister further revealed that about 3,000 cases of vandalisation of fibre optic cables were recorded in several locations across the country in just one year.
He placed the broadband penetration as of November 2022 at 46. 2 per cent, and quarterly revenue generation from the ICT sector at N408 billion.
On why kidnappers who use telephone calls to reach families of captives for ransom negotiation are yet to be arrested despite the SIM card registration, Pantami said;
“This falls under cybercrime. Cybercrime is under the office of the national security advisor and other security institutions.
“Our role in cyber security is to ensure we minimize the possibility of a criminal deploying technology to commit a crime. So our work is proactive. At the same time, if the crime is committed and our intervention is required officially then we are going to intervene.
“So, here when it comes to minimizing the probability of criminals committing a crime, we need to reintroduce the national NIN and civil registrations. Two, we enforce the NIN registration. NIN registration is by our law in Nigeria, NIN is mandatory for all citizens.”