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Applause as NITDA launches operations of Nigerian National Public Key Infrastructure



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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), on Tuesday, launched the operations of the National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI).

A statement by the head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, NITDA, Mrs Hadiza Umar, said the commencement of the national Public Key Infrastructure operations was unveiled by the Director General, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.

The ceremony took place at the Conference Room of the Digital Centre, NITDA’s Corporate Head Office. It was performed by Veridos Germany and witnessed by the Director General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB) and representative of the Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), among others.

The statement added that “The deployment of the national Public Key Infrastructure will therefore facilitate effective administration and regulation of the national PKI, ensuring full use and benefits of the associated PKI-as-a-Service (PaaS), including the issuance of Document Signer Certificates, the management of the Public Key Directory (PKD) via the Country Signing Certificate Authority (CSCA) Master-list. It will further enhance the use digital certificates to authenticate documents, in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).

“As key to the rollout of digital economy services in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS), the national PKI will guarantee secure communication for all online services, provide security against unauthorized access and disclosure of stored information by addressing the fundamentals of cyber security – confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation.

“Furthermore, the deployment of the national PKI will empower e-Government and digital economy transformations through the provision of: “Secure data exchange and authentication for electronic transactions protection which can be leveraged by the banking sector and its regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Accreditation and Authorization of Web applications which can be utilized by startups, MSMEs and corporate organizations; Local and cheaper digital certificates for Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) email signing and encryption for organizations; and Trust, transparency, accountability and validation services in the issuance and authentication of digital identity, passports and travel documents, stamp duty, tax clearance certificates, health test results and vaccine certificates among others.

Recall, in August 2017, the Federal Government issued Presidential directives mandating NITDA to harmonize all Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) related projects in Nigeria, in line with its mandate.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is the apex regulator for Information Technology in Nigeria under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.