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Lagos state government sets up cybersecurity center to respond to internal threats

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The Lagos State Government said it has established a Cybersecurity Operations Centre (CSOC) to serve as the hub for monitoring, detecting, and responding to cyber threats in real-time in the state.

The Commissioner for Science, Innovation and Technology Mr. Olatunbosun Alake, disclosed this at the Year 2024 Ministerial Press Briefing held on Monday.

According to him, the centre will employ advanced technologies and a team of cybersecurity experts to ensure the state’s digital infrastructure is safeguarded against potential attacks.

Alake noted that the state has also established a cyber-security council, made up of experts from both public and private sectors, charged with the responsibility of making recommendations to the government, planning, refinement, and implementation of policies, programs, and training initiatives regarding its cybersecurity endeavours.

To achieve a broader strategy to improve overall security and governance within the state, Alake said the government is also partnering with leading cybersecurity firms and international organizations to provide the state with access to cutting-edge technologies and expertise while enhancing its capacity to defend against sophisticated cyber threats.

According to a statement from the state, Alake also spoke on the Data Protection Compliance Project of the government, saying that Lagos has embarked on sensitization and awareness workshops for all Heads of Accounts, Procurement, Planning, Legal Officers, Medical Directors, Body of Permanent Secretaries, Cabinet members, Head of Cadres Statewide and for 43 MDAs; as well as the establishment of 70 Data Protection officers in various MDAs.

“The Commissioner averred that the objectives of the data protection compliance project are to safeguard the rights of natural persons to data privacy and foster safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data; prevent manipulation of personal data and ensure that Nigerian businesses remain competitive in international trade with best practice,” the statement read in part.

Speaking on the State’s MetroFibre, the Commissioner said the project seeks to achieve a 24-hour driven economy that would allow companies to operate in a safe and secure environment, thereby creating a more conducive environment for business, jobs creation, and increasing the GDP of the state. He added that the state has implemented 2,700km of unified fiber ducts across the state in Phase I, while Phase II of the project comprises an additional 3,300km of unified fibre ducts across the State.

“On the Safe City Project, Alake said it also involved Building a digitised 24/7 city which would allow companies to operate in a safe and secure environment thereby creating a safer and more conducive environment for businesses, more jobs, and increasing the IGR of the State.

“He said the Safe City project involves the deployment of Intelligent Video Cameras in strategic locations in the State with the execution and completion spread over points in time, in Phases I, II, and III, respectively, adding that 450 surveillance Cameras have been deployed at strategic locations across the city,” the statement added.

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Rivers crisis: Caretaker chairs denied access to offices as police barricade LGA secretariats

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Officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have continued to barricade the 23 LGA headquarters of Rivers state.

On Tuesday, the Rivers police command announced the take over of the council headquarters following clashes between supporters of Siminalayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, and Nyesom Wike, his predecessor.

The crisis ensued after youths stormed the LGA secretariats to dislodge the elected chairpersons, whose tenure ended on Monday.

Following the expiration of the chairpersons’ tenure, Fubara ordered the heads of local government administration to immediately assume control of the 23 council areas of the state.

Despite the governor’s directive, some of the former LGA chairpersons reportedly attempted to resume duty at the council secretariat, but they were chased away by youths.

During the clash at Eberi-Omuma community in Okuama LGA, a police officer and one vigilante member were killed.

On Wednesday, Fubara swore in the caretaker committee chairpersons for the 23 LGAs.

Some of the caretaker chairpersons could not access the council offices because armed police officers remained stationed at the LGA headquarters.

Speaking in an interview on Channels Television on Wednesday, Darlington Orji, caretaker committee chairman of Ikwere LGA, said after the swearing-in ceremony, he could not access the council because it was barricaded by police officers.

Orji said the police officers said they were acting on the orders of Kayode Egbetokun, inspector-general of police.

Over the past few months, Rivers has been engulfed in political crisis due to the rift between Fubara and Wike.

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FG busts 1,618 civil servants with fake employment letters

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The Federal Government has announced that over the past year, it has identified 1,618 civil service officers with fake employment letters and removed them from the Integration Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS).

Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of the Federation’s civil service, revealed this during a media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, June 19.

The event was part of the 2024 Civil Service Week, themed “Education an African fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education System for Increased Access to Inclusive Lifelong, Quality and Relevant Learning in Africa.”

Dr. Yemi-Esan explained that through physical verification conducted by various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), the previously inflated federal civil service workforce has been reduced from over 100,000 to 69,308 verified employees now on the payroll.

She also mentioned that besides discovering ghost workers with fake employment letters, the verification exercise caught some civil servants who had left the country for better overseas opportunities.

These individuals returned for the verification process weeks later, claiming they were unaware of the schedule, and were given an additional two weeks to complete their verification.

According to the Nigerian Tribune, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation said instead of waiting for the two weeks in addition to the days they had already spent in Nigeria, “a lot of them tendered their resignation letters because no UK organisation would afford to give two additional weeks in the country to perfect the verification process.”

Regarding the widespread corruption in the public service, Yemi-Esan stated that her office has been collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to eradicate corruption from the system.

She also highlighted efforts to enhance the Federal Civil Service for better and more efficient service delivery to Nigerians, expressing confidence that the entire service would be fully digitised by the end of 2025.

Yemi-Esan revealed that the current administration has made significant strides in transforming and digitising work processes.

“From the service-wide perspective, all MDAs, all other ministries are also running with the digitalisation programme and there are different stages of implementation, but they have a mandate for all to achieve full migration by the end of 2025,” she said.

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Sanwo-Olu pledges to arrest Fouani brothers’ kidnappers, assures Lagosians of enhanced security

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has vowed to arrest the perpetrators behind the recent kidnapping of three Lebanese nationals, including Muhammed Fouani, the Managing Director of Fouani Nigeria Limited.

The Governor emphasized that his administration would not tolerate individuals with malicious intentions in the state.

He reassured Lagos residents, particularly business owners and religious tourists, that stringent security measures are being implemented to ensure their safety.

These assurances were contained in an official statement by Gboyega Akosile, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Lagos State Governor, on the Lagos State Government’s website on Wednesday.

“Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday vowed to arrest perpetrators behind the recent kidnapping of the three Lebanese nationals, including the Managing Director of Fouani Nigeria Limited, Muhammed Fouani, saying his government would not condone people of evil intentions in the State.

“He assured Lagos residents, particularly business owners and religious tourists, of adequate security in the state, saying his administration is committed to making the State peaceful, attractive and homely,” the statement read in part.

Furthermore, Governor Sanwo-Olu clarified that the kidnapping of three Lebanese nationals occurred on the waterway en route to Ikorodu, not around Five Cowry in Falomo as reported in the media.

He assured the public that authorities are actively pursuing the kidnappers and taking decisive actions to apprehend them.

The Governor emphasized that security forces are thoroughly combing all necessary areas to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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