Experts urge FG to enforce local web hosting – New Telegraph

Following the announcement by the federal government of an alleged attacks by hackers on the country’s cyberspace during the Presidential and National Assembly polls on February 25, a number of Information Technology (IT) experts have charged the government to enforce hosting of Nigerian websites locally and intensify its effort to safeguard the country’s cyberspace by domesticating cyber security and data protection.

It was gathered that more than 70 per cent of Nigerian websites are hosted in foreign countries. The experts urged the government to make sure the cyberspace is strongly protected to record credible results of 2023 general elections, calling for training of more experts to safeguard the cyberspace.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, had on Tuesday, disclosed that over 12 million attempts were made by hackers on the country’s cyberspace during the February 25 polls. The minister, in a terse statement, signed and released by his spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, noted that a total of 12,988,978 attacks were recorded, originating from both within and outside Nigeria. “It is worth noting that the Centres successfully blocked these attacks and/ or escalated them to the relevant institutions for appropriate action,” he said, adding that the conclusion was reached with the help of high tech professionals, who monitored Nigeria’s cyberspace before, during and after the polls. However, the experts said there is need to host Nigerian data locally and train indigenous tech expert on cyber security and data protection. It was gathered that over 70 per cent of Nigerian data are hosted in foreign countries, making the cyberspace vulnerable to attacks. The Chief Executive Officer, Icecool Contracts Limited, Mr. Destiny Amana, who is an accredited registrar, said the country risks severe cyber attacks and loss of money hosting a majority of its websites out the country. He said: “Most of these sites are hosted outside Nigeria and there are many reasons for this. The first reason is because there aren’t many web hosting companies that have the capacity to host locally in Nigeria because of the high cost of bandwidth. Power issue is another thing, if you need to run a server round the clock without any downtime. “If you decide to host your servers in Nigeria by hook or by crook, there are companies that will look after your power and data issues in their data centres. But if I come to the data hosting company, they may pass on the cost of power, Internet bandwidth and manpower for monitoring the servers. The cost incurred for that will be nothing less than N500, 000 a month; and for one year, N6m ($19,672) will keep your server up.” While sharing his experience, the Chief Executive Officer, Pinet Technology, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, explained that the quality of service when websites were hosted in the country was better than those hosted outside Nigeria. Citing the benefits of local hosting, he observed that websites with video content perform better when their servers were hosted in the country. Ajayi said: “The cost of hosting abroad is cheaper than the cost of hosting in Nigeria and businesses are looking for cost-effective service and that makes people to prefer hosting their services abroad. The service quality when you host abroad is not as great as when you host in Nigeria.” Meanwhile, the National Information Technology (NITDA) said it is forging more partnerships and initiating different developmental programmes and projects geared towards achieving the stated target, stating that it has agreed to collaborate with other companies to train the wider ecosystem on cyber security and data protection.

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