The National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI), which was yesterday launched by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) comes with four key provisions that empower e-Government and digital economy transformations.
The four key provisions are that the National PKI will 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); and accreditation and authorization of Web applications which can be utilized by startups, MSMEs and corporate organizations.
Others are that 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.
NITDA had in a statement signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, revealed that the commencement of the national PKI operations was unveiled by its Director-General, Mal. Kashifu Inuwa.
The ceremony was done in a Key Generation and Handover Ceremony for Root Certification Authority (RCA) for Country Signing Certification Authority (CSCA) and Country Verification Certification Authority (CVCA) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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 cybersecurity – confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation.
The Federal Government had in August 2017, issued Presidential directives mandating NITDA to harmonize all Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) related projects in Nigeria, in line with its mandate.
The deployment of the national PKI 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 of digital certificates to authenticate documents, in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).