The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has called on the Federal Government and security personnel to leverage the power of emerging technologies to address security concerns in the country.
The Giri, Abuja branch of the society made the call on Wednesday at their 8th conference, annual general meeting, and presentation of awards.
The theme of the conference was: “Emerging Technologies: A Panacea for Tackling Insecurity in Nigeria.”
Dr Sadiq Umar, Director, Centre for Satellite Technology Development (CSTD), in his lecture, defined emerging technologies as innovative advancements, tools and scientific discoveries in early stage of development.
Umar said they have the capacity to significantly impact various aspects of the society, industry, and daily life.
He said that emerging and digital technologies could enhance communication, navigation, provide remote sensing and geospatial intelligence, biometric identification, among others.
Umar identified some of the prospects of emerging technologies in national security as, smart surveillance, data analytics for predictive policing, community policing with technology, border, and coastal surveillance.
He recommended that optimising emerging, digital technologies required enhanced cybersecurity capacity which would ensure investment in building cybersecurity capabilities to protect critical infrastructure and data.
“Engage in digital literacy programmes, regulatory frameworks, national, regional, and international collaborations, as well as Public-Private Partnerships.
“Nigeria stands at a critical juncture in its security journey and the integration of technology is pivotal in creating a safer and more secure nation,’’ he said.
We hope the government will play the key role in investing in Research and Development, because in as much as we want to use emerging technologies, we want to use indigenous ones. When we use indigenous ones, we are growing capacity, we are keeping confidential information at home rather than abroad, the local content perspective is very key.
Chairman of the branch, Dr George Okpanachi, earlier in his welcome address, said science and technology had undergone significant transformations in the 21st century.
According to Okpanachi, the rapid growth of science in this century has given rise to a new type of technology known as emerging technology.
“The emerging technology is constantly evolving and is closely linked to previous technologies.
“Today, sophisticated technologies are transforming every aspect of our daily lives and technology has been helping to mitigate security threats through various ways,” he said.
Okpanachi listed the technologies as Cyber security, Autonomous Drone Technology, use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to interpret Satellite Images, AI Video Surveillance and Internet of Things connectivity.
Okpanachi added that security personnel do not need to be physically present to deploy most of the digital technologies.
Dr Umar Abdullahi, National Chairman of Nigerian Institution of Space Engineers (NISEng), without undermining conventional security measures, said there was need to align with global approach of addressing security issues.
Abdullahi, also a member of the branch, said that if the country implemented emerging technologies in its security approach, it would be an opportunity for engagements with stakeholders.
“There has to be an interplay of everybody leveraging this technology, we hope the players will come up.
“We hope the government will play the key role in investing in Research and Development, because in as much as we want to use emerging technologies, we want to use indigenous ones.
“When we use indigenous ones, we are growing capacity, we are keeping confidential information at home rather than abroad, the local content perspective is very key,” he said.
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, lamented that the country had lots of unmanned land border areas through which foreigners gain access into the country.
Abubakar, represented by Air Commodore Gowon Sule, said that the only approach to checking those borders was through the use of AI.
According to him, installation of working cameras across cities, will also help check blind spots. He said that the Nigerian Air Force had always capitalised on capabilities provided by technology and engineering systems to advance the course of national security of the Nigerian Airspace for enhanced protection. (NAN)