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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Nigeria loses N127bn annually to cybercrime – Shittu


 
The Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu has said that Nigeria loses an estimated N127 billion, which amounts to 0.08 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) yearly, to cybercrime, reports ITRealms.

He made this disclosure in an address to the 26th national conference of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) which opened Tuesday on the theme: Information Technology for National Safety and Security at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.

Shittu also said that for them in the ministry, national safety and security further encompasses securing the nation’s cyber space, noting that growing dependence on digital infrastructure introduces and poses grave threats to national security.

According to him, more Nigerians now have access to the Internet, hence citizens nowadays use the enormous opportunities this digital infrastructure brings to work, transact business, campaign, communicate, learn, interact and relax.

“Today, banking, commercial and other critical services are being provided online,” he declare, stressing that evidence however, abounds of growing electronic fraud and threats to digital databases both private and government.

He pointed out that in view of the critical nature of the economy and government activities, it is obvious that protection from different types of cyber and terrorist attacks is required.

“Software piracy, identity theft, electronic fraud, online spam, intellectual property theft and malware attacks can all lead to devastating and far reaching consequences,” he noted.
Additionally, Shittu said that the activities of hackers and cyber bandits are known to aid radicalisation and violent extremism, especially among the youth.

In order to address emerging cyber threats, he said, the Federal Government has set up computer emergency response teams through the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

And to further improve the nation’s cyberspace, Shittu said FG recently inaugurated the Cybercrime Advisory Council, underlining that the council is expected to facilitate the implementation of the Cybercrime Act, 2015, as well as the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy.

Earlier in his welcome address, NCS president, Prof. Adesola Aderounmu, said that the protection of life and property is the major function and responsibility of any government, stressing that globally, no nation is excluded from the challenges of insecurity.


He also said that a more proactive Information Technology (IT)-led approach to combating this menace is needed in a country like Nigeria.

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Pix 1: Shittu speaking at NCS Confab 2016 and with members of the NCS and past-president and exco.

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