Nigeria’s First Lady, Patience Jonathan was on Monday appointed the champion for Child Online Protection by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Geneva.
ITU launched the Child Online Protection (COP) initiative in 2008 as part of the overall thrust to strengthen cyber security. It brings together partners from various sectors to ensure a safe and secure online experience for children around the world.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Dame Patience Jonathan highlighted the importance of intervening in the “worrisome challenge of cyberspace insecurity, especially with regards to our highly vulnerable children”.
Noting that children and youth are among top users of cyberspace and that the future of humanity depends on them, Dame Patience Jonathan said, “I pledge to join hands with ITU to secure the children of the world from the dangers of cybercrime.”
“Dame Patience Jonathan has demonstrated deep interest in activities of children and young people,” ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said. “Under her guidance, the Government of Nigeria is now taking extensive steps to ensure a safer online environment for children. ITU is looking forward to collaborating even more closely with Nigeria to build a better future for our children.”
Earlier, the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission Mr Eugene Juwah signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ITU to set up a Regional Cyber security Centre in Nigeria. This Regional Centre will facilitate collaboration on combating cyber threats at the regional and national levels—with an emphasis on activities related to protecting children online.
Mr Anuj Singh, Director of the Global Response Centre of IMPACT, made a presentation on the COP-X platform designed to share information and resources on Child Online Protection worldwide. IMPACT – the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats – is the operational home of ITU’s Global Cyber security Agenda (GCA).
The high-level delegation of Nigeria included the Minister of Communication Technology Ms Omobola Johnson; Minister of Women Affairs Hajia Zainab Maina; and the Minister of Youth Affairs Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir as well as Senators Helen Esuene and Esther Nenadi Usman; and Members of the Nigerian House of Representatives Stella Dorgu and Peace Nnaji.