By Ralph Chris-Izokpu
The federal government has been charged to explore the lastest Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in combating the security challenge in the country.
The Programme Manager, Unveiling and Rebranding Nigeria Initiative, URNI, Abdulkadir Lawal, made the call in an interview with journalists at the weekend in Abuja.
Lawal who spoke on how the initiative can assist the government in addressing insecurity challenges confronting the country said, “basically, URN initiative is to project the image of the country, so as to showcase the nation in her best light of the dignity, identity of the country and not to hide our passports anymore when we travel out of the country”.
Lawal said, “we can’t imagine what the internet could do if we go online to project the good image of our country very well.
He called on the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, who is the body that regulate communication in Nigeria, to set up a platform (s) where Nigerians can lay complaints about threat to our national security.
He said the perpetrators of these evil acts are not aliens from space.
“Therefore, there is need to create a central data base to link National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, and the necessary security outfits whereby, Nigerians can alarm such information.
According to him, “we also have to adopt the ‘Multiple Identification System which is a novel in the world of technology employed by many countries where in cases of search of an individual or group of persons, the central data base immediately opens up and starts to trace such images and give detail footages of such information. It’s simply a rapid exchange of information between the government and the people”
Speaking further he said, “we the citizens of Nigeria must show patriotism to our country by making sure that we expose those criminal activities whenever noticed and these are areas which we think we can assist in advising the government and the people because we must think Nigeria first, as Nigerians and to state the truth, we are all connected in the country, so if all of us work collectively, we would start building up a better Nigeria.
Asked if the government has done enough to tackle the security situation in the country, Lawal said, “I think the government is trying its best, but, more should be done like bringing in technology to combat the menace, with modern infrastructure like what is known as, Geographical Information System, GIS,.
“If the government can complement its efforts with the GIS, the issue of insecurity will become history, as it’s a special information system that goes beyond tracking events but also tell you where those things take place all around the biosphere.
Also asked if it has been ever been used before in Nigeria, he stated that, “it has only been operative in the area of land surveillance by Abuja Geographical Information System but it has not been fully implemented into the security system and if its integrated with Computer Aided Dispatch System, CADS, which gives information about caller locations and once it is integrated with the GIS, the combination will produce the caller’s identity and location. GIS even analyses information for drones.
Also, “through our Information Technology initiative, we are employing the social media platforms to retell the Nigerian story which is almost being misconstrued around some part of the world. Our history, socio-cultural existence, achievement and our resources need to be showcased to the world.
“Aside that, we are also launching ‘Good Governance Tool’ to assist the government reach communities to enable Nigerians become active players in the activities of Government, he noted.
According to the programme Manager of URN, a collaboration of the IT and GIS will go a long way to even solve issues of abandoned projects in the country.
“Truly, we understand that the government is doing enough by trying to buy equipment and arms to combat insurgency but as you would have known, the citizens need to also be involved.
Because when you are fighting a war without support from the people around you, it would be discourage even to those at the theatre of war. So, we have to support the members of the armed forces in various possible ways to serve as morale boosters for their selfless services to the nation.”