Stakeholders have raised alarm for government to meticulously protect the country’s critical National intelligence infrastructure and assets from foreign hands, even as the United States banned use of the Russian security software, Kaspersky by its public sector.
The US this week banned the Kaspersky software from all government establishments due its risky ties to Russian intelligence that threatens the US national security.
Indigenous software stakeholders have repeatedly warned that foreign software in the country’s sensitive space including the immigration, census, identity management services poses risk to the country. Many Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) use foreign IT companies to manage their internal operations in a way that the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), umbrella body for local software companies, exposes the country to foreign manipulation.
Foreign software products are threat to the security of the country and it should not be condoned by the governments, said President of ISPON, Mr James Emadoye to IT Edge News.
He insisted that the country’s critical infrastructure and database ought to be managed by only Nigerians, because there are some areas that foreigners shouldn’t gain access to and one of those areas is software.
“The codes they know it, the database they have it, and so they are a threat. Imagine that Nigeria puts the whole of its budget in the hands of a foreign software company that means that that foreign country can deal with Nigeria at any time. Information is power, when you put the whole of your life details in the hands of someone else, then you are in trouble and not only that they can just put a code and hold you to ransom, so foreign software remains a threat,” said a concerned Emadoye.
“Why would you put your national database in the hands of foreigners, they wouldn’t let you get close to that in their country; they will not. So Nigeria must rethink what they are doing. For example, you want to do national population census and you are using foreigners when you have thousands and thousands of capable people who can do it locally? It’s not done and it should not be done and I do believe that Nigerians and the government of the day will listen and ensure that it doesn’t happen,” he concluded.
Similarly, the Country’s IT clearing house, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has repeatedly harped on the need for government to look inward and reduce over dependency on foreign IT goods and services. NITDA and ISPON saves software import hurts the country’s FOREX chest.