One of the major sessions at the 2012 Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria) CPN Information Technology Professionals’ Assembly was the session on “Intelligence Gathering and National Security: Using Information Technology to Confront the Current Security Challenges”.
As stated in the communique released by CPN, the session discussed and agreed on the following:
- That Information Technology (IT) tools are indispensable in the collection and processing of intelligence information.
- That poor infrastructural facilities, inadequate manpower, as well as absence of a national database are factors that are inhibiting IT contribution to Intelligence gathering in Nigeria.
- Since Information Technology profession is knowledge based, it is extremely difficult for the profession to play the role expected of it in Intelligence Gathering and National Security without a concomitant human capacity development. Therefore, there is the urgent need to invest more on IT education.
- There is little or no input to the development of Information Technology tools for intelligence gathering.
- Due to the importance of security for the survival and corporate existence of any nation, there is the need for CPN and other Information Technology organizations to collaborate and reach out to security agencies and intelligence gathering organizations with a view to developing a purpose built software and hardware to enable the nation enhance its security and intelligence gathering. This is very important for the profession and the nation.
- We should endeavor to resort to local development of IT tools that will be useful in intelligence gathering and national security because continual patronage of foreign tools can compromise our national security.
- There is need for adequate attention to be paid to human capital development in Information Technology profession so as to enable it to be impactful in Intelligence gathering and national security.
- Necessary machinery should be put in place for the setting up of a national database because the absence of a national database has been hindering the gathering and monitoring of intelligence in Nigeria.
- The session also advocated for a balance of the needs and imperatives of the private and public sectors along with individual privacy and National Security imperatives, because most Information Technology Infrastructure, Human Capacity and Finance are private sector owned in Nigeria and this can spell doom for our national security if it is not properly handled.
- The session agreed that the Information Technology profession and the security agencies have not created a synergy that is required to solve the nation’s security problems. Therefore, there is need for proper deployment of Information Technology in tackling the security challenges in the country. The security agencies have extended an open invitation to Information Technology professionals to collaborate with them through the developments of hardware and software solutions that could assist in providing solutions to the problem. This becomes imperative bec ause the country is facing several regional threats arising from instability in Guinea, Mali, Algeria, Libya, Niger, Chad, Darfur, Eritrea and Somalia and even further afield, combined with internal threats from “Jama’atu Ahlis-Sunnah Lid Da’awati Wal Jihad” popularly called Boko Haram as well and the likes of the Movements for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and others.
- Towards this end, CPN calls on the National Security Agencies to engage Information Technology Professionals by putting in place a forum that will systematically and continuously review the current and emerging Information Technology trends and assess their possible impact on our security, with a view to anticipating and proactively outlining policy initiatives, technical solutions and security coordination requirements for the mitigation of identified threats, and exploitation of opportunities, posed by such technologies and t rends.
The Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) is the body established by Nigeria’s federal government to control and supervise the practice of Computing in Nigeria.