ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Why government agencies must stop using free email accounts [ICT Clinic]

Considering the unending spate of gross human rights violations perpetrated by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, a few days ago, ordered the reorganisation of the affected police department. The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, complied immediately and set some necessary changes in motion. These included renaming SARS as Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad; appointing new FSARS commanders across the states; and modifying the unit’s standard operational guidelines and procedures.
To ensure that all FSARS personnel adhere to the updated code of conduct, as well as provide members of the public with an open channel for their feedback and complaints to the bureau, the force headquarters provided contact numbers and email addresses such as DIG department – integrityxsquad@gmail.com; IGP Monitoring Unit – igpmonotoringabj@yahoo.com; Force Public Complaint Bureau – bailisfree@gmail.com, pressforabuja@gmail.com.
Take a closer look, these are all free email services being used by the nation’s police force in 2018. Isn’t this sad?
Senior Management of the Force Use Free Email for Official Purposes
The question is why should the Nigeria Police Force be using free and insecure email addresses? It is true that the official website of the Nigeria Police Force is www.npf.gov.ng and the Nigeria Police Force Portal is www.police.gov.ng, but it is surprising – no, shameful – that the Nigeria Police and all its major departments, as well as topmost officers do not use the .NG as the email addresses for official purposes.
To drive home this point, a visit to the Nigeria Police website will reveals that there is no SINGLE operational domain email available. There is, however, a PDF file (http://www.npf.gov.ng/images/AIGZONES%20AND%20COMMAND%20CPS.pdf) detailing the names, designations and contact numbers/emails of the most senior officers of the Police Management Team, (DIGs, AIGs and CP Commands). Not a single one of the 153 most senior officers of the Nigeria Police Force listed on the page has a secured .NG domain email! They all use free email service providers. Based on that PDF file, all the 60 Police Public Relations Officers of the Nigeria Police’s Force Public Relations Department also use free email accounts. This is unbelievable understanding that we are talking about the nation’s security apparatus.
Free Emails Are Not Ideal for Government Agencies
Why is the Nigeria security apparatus technologically and digitally backward? How could they use the .NG extension for their websites, but lack the digital sagacity to create .NG emails since they already have the website url? If Hillary Clinton’s email was reportedly hacked and sensitive state information stolen during her tenure as the US Secretary of State, why would the Nigerian government and foremost security agencies still be using free email services? — Finish Reading on the Punch