Business Hilights
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SGF’s N64m website lacks key security feature that assures safety of access

The upgraded website of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, www.osgf.gov.ng, unveiled on Monday has been discovered not to have leading security feature.

Experts say before giving any information to a website, it is very important to make sure it is well secured.

One of the simplest safety checks one can use to tell if a site is secure include checking at the SSL Certificate.

Looking at the URL of any website, an expert explained that “If it begins with “https” instead of “http” it means the site is secured using an SSL Certificate (the s stands for secure). SSL Certificates secure all of your data as it is passed from your browser to the website’s server. To get an SSL Certificate, the company must go through a validation process”.

Checks at SGF’s upgraded website shows that rather than “https”, it appears thus: http:www//osgf.gov.ng.

As the site opens, click on the zero icon with (i) at the centre which starts before the web address, a dialogue box will open saying first in ‘red’ that “Your connection to this site is not secure”.

This is followed by comments in ‘black’ that “You should not enter any sensitive information on this site (for example, password or credit cards), because it could be stolen by attackers. Learn more.”

This is followed again, by two icons, one telling the number cookies and the other on site settings. Click on site setting and another dialogue box will open with the first comment being http//: www.osfg.gov.ng.

Whereas several industry analysts had expressed outrage on the cost of the upgrade, Business Hilights gathered that the N64m include procurement of laptops, training of officials and consultancy services.

Besides, the Federal Government had allocated the particular amount (N65m) for the project in the 2017 Budget.

Explaining more, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha averred that “There was a contract in 2017. The figure is in public domain. It is about N64m including procurement of laptops, training, consultancy services.

“The contract was awarded by the Bureau of Public Procurement in accordance with the Procurement Act,” Mustapha said when he was asked the cost of the upgrade.

According to him, the desire of his office to operate a functional website that will deliver information and policy thrust of the present administration formed the decision to upgrade the old website which he said was based on old technology, hence limited features and security of content.

While stressing that it was important to make information on government activities readily available to Nigerians and other stakeholders because information drives investment and development worldwide, Mustapha saw the revamped e-participation platform as the major achievement of the new website.

Features of the e-participation which readily appears on the wall of the right side of the site include easy access to the government information, submission of suggestions and lodging of complaints.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, General Services, Office of the SGF, Mr. Olusegun Adekunle, said the decision to upgrade the website was taken so that it can serve better.

Apart from adding value in the dissemination of information of government activities, Adekunle revealed that each of the six offices in the SGF’s office will have content managers before they can upload content.