2023: NCC to partner INEC on credible polls

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The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, has disclosed the readiness of the commission to partner with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deliver free and fair elections in 2023.

Danbatta, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the commission, spoke in Abuja on Monday at a two-day workshop on Internet Governance and safeguarding the cyberspace.

Danbatta said the safe-cyberspace will deliver credible elections in the country.

The workshop was organised by the commission in collaboration with the Attorney General Alliance—Africa.

He said: “As the country prepares for the elections ahead, putting in place a strong cyber security framework alongside the digital plants, I think that is clear. With general elections ahead, we’re talking about our state of readiness, how we intend to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible elections by leveraging on information and communications technology and specifically by leveraging on the telecommunications infrastructure to achieve this.

“Effectively digitisation, ladies and gentlemen, this isn’t just about changing systems. Okay, it is about, I think, reviewing our strategies about putting the right thing in place and driving the process in a manner that desired results. In the case of elections, the desired result will be a free, fair and credible outcome of the elections. That is the objective here.

“Colleagues, resource persons here present, Nigeria, await the outcome of this symposium, especially as it is taking place on the eve of the general elections. It couldn’t have come at a better time. It is assessing our state of readiness towards the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.’’

Danbatta, who also noted that cybersecurity, was not a respecter of borders, called for a stakeholders’ engagement to address the challenges.

“Again, cybersecurity is not a respecter of borders. Cybercrime is something that goes across borders; and therefore, there is the need for collaboration such as the one that we’re having today.

“So, we need to continue to examine and re-examine the role of Internet governance against the cybersecurity challenges in creating safe cyberspace.

“We work with government, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and the Civil Society to provide legal training and strengthen the rule of law specific to each country or institution’s needs,” he said.

Earlier, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) from the Attorney General Alliance—Africa, had emphasised the positives of cyberspace, and noted that its use was well pronounced during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Idigbe, who also noted that cybercrime was not a respecter of borders, called for a strong collaboration to create a safe cyberspace.

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