Following the rise in cybercrime in recent times, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has said that the federal government is now ready the expand its horizon to protect the nation’s cyberspace.
The Minister reiterated government’s commitment to address the growing rate of cybercrime during a keynote address he delivered at the NGSecure Infosecurity Conference put together by DIFENSORE in Lagos recently.
Shittu added: “Our cyberspace is being exploited to aid radicalism and violent extremism and government have realised that those tasked with the responsibility to protect our cyberspace can no longer function within a framework of the past.”
According to the minister, to address emerging cyber threats, “the government has setup computer emergency response teams through the Office of the NSA and NITDA. Additionally, to further improve the nation’s preparedness to secure the cyberspace, the Cybercrime Advisory Council has also been inaugurated. The council is expected to facilitate the implementation of the Cybercrime Act, 2015, as well as the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy.”
He however said there was a need for accelerated Information and Communications Technology (ICT) development to foster inclusive development and address rising youth unemployment and other developmental challenges.
Shittu assured organisers of the conference of his support and collaboration to fight the ills in the country’s cyber space. “Nigerians should therefore feel free to submit to me any realistic blueprint for my dispassionate consideration and immediate implementation,” he said.
The minister also said government’s proactive measure was necessary because Nigeria’s growing dependence on digital infrastructure poses grave threats to national security as the country loses about N127 billion which is 0.08 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), yearly to cybercrime.
He identified software piracy, identity theft, electronic fraud, online spam, intellectual property theft and malware attacks as capable of having devastating and far reaching consequences on the economy.
Shittu urged the gathering to view Information Technology (IT) for national safety and security beyond a narrow focus on the usual security concerns and expand the scope to see IT for national safety and security as an outstanding and indispensable revenue earner, job creator, youth developer, innovation enabler and growth stimulator.