KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT A BOOK LAUNCH TITLED – “NIGERIA: CYBERPOWER AND NATIONAL SECURITY” DELIVERED BY MR. GBENGA OLAWEPO-HASHIM

Distinguished Author, Members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am delighted to present the keynote address at the presentation of this very important book, titled: “Nigeria: Cyberpower and National Security” written by Professor Dare Ogunlana of the University of Texas, United States of America.

Nigeria may have quietly emerged as a Cyberpower unsung, unknown and unnoticed by many. The country is now home to the 6th largest users of internet in the whole world. According to verified data from the National Communication Commission (NCC), Nigeria internet users rose to 104.4million in 2021. A staggering 19million users were added between 2020 and 2021 alone. Nigeria will yet play a more strategic role in the cyber space within the next ten (10) years. As it transits to a producer of content for global consumption, as well as a key participant in the global market for outsource services alongside with India and Brazil. Nigeria has an advantage – the mastery of English language by a sizable percentage of her population. Cyber security 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.”

Professor Dare Ogunlana’s work, “Nigeria: Cyberpower and National Security” would not have come at a better time. This Giant, Nigeria, is embroiled in its most ever crucial security issues, where different strain of insecurity is at their highest points, no less cyber terrorism. Right from the introduction of the book, subtitled “The Foundation”, the reader is acquainted with the reality that cybercrime is here, with examples of the attack on Nigeria’s Vice President’s twitter account in August 2019, the Boko Haram hacking of the Department of State Security’s (DSS) database in 2012 and the Hacktivist’s assault on the Nigerian Army’s website. The ubiquity of cyber criminality is brought out in bold relief, thankfully. The author also reveals that there exists already, a strategy of containment captured in the 2014 Nigeria cyber security strategy.

In Chapter two (2), the author measures the depth of the ocean of cyber threat and in chapter 3, he presented a report of available technology to navigate and stay on top of this vast ocean of threat. Chapter four (4) is a review of how the cyber threat is played out in the era of Covid 19 pandemic, a time that has seen a phenomenal reliance on the cyber space for Business, Health, Industry, Art and Culture and everyday usage. Chapter five (5), the final chapter, contains Policy recommendations for Nigeria and for Africa in the author’s word: “Nigeria must (should) enhance its cyber capabilities to remain relevant and be respected in the global community. Gaining the cyber security to prevent, defend and fight back quickly, recover when cyber-attack thus occur”.

Permit me at this juncture, to congratulate the author for doing a good job. He has presented his work in a form, format and style ‘decision makers’ like; something you can breeze through in twenty-four (24) hours. I am not disappointed in Professor Ogunlana, whom I have been associated with as my younger brother and friend for over 2 decades. We have stayed in close contact through his evolution as a Student Union Leader, Right Activist, Diplomat, Bureaucrat and now a Counter Insurgency Expert. He is already playing the role that the enormously educated Nigerians in diaspora will play in Nigeria’s transformation.

I recommend this work to important Nigeria’s and Africa’s decision makers in business, Civil Service, State Institutions and Government. It will be useful also, as a resource material for counter insurgency specialists worldwide.

Congratulation once more, Professor Ogunlana.
Thank you all for your attention.

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