Nigeria is losing around 89.55bn annually to cybercrimes, according to the National Information Technology Development Agency, Mr. Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola.
He said, “As technology becomes increasingly pervasive and our dependency on it grows, our economic losses will grow exponentially unless pre-emptive measures are taken to mitigate and eliminate the capacity of cybercriminals to take advantage of our environment”.
Quoting the United States Centre for Strategic and International Studies, and information security firm, McAfee, a subsidiary of Intel, which puts Nigeria’s losses to cybercrimes at 0.08 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, Ajijola said “the country’s annual losses were equivalent to the value of its booming cement industry”.
“This does not preclude major disruptions by cybercriminals to critical national infrastructure like oil and gas, telecommunications, banking and finance, national security and government. For example, in January 2016, the infamous Anonymous hacker collective has started a cyber campaign against the government of Nigeria, accusing it of corruption, greed and theft”.
“The Nigerian Communications Commission indicates that as of September 2015, over 97 million Nigerians used the Internet on a daily basis. According to a 2015 survey by Kaspersky Lab, 45.3 per cent of the Internet users in Nigeria suffered attack in the third quarter of 2015. By implication, either you or the person next to you was hacked in some way.”
The Acting Director-General, NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, said Nigeria, like other countries, was facing many challenges such as network design, security and prevention, as well as cyber-attacks as a result of increasing use of the Internet.
“The need for effective security measures to create trust and confidence in our various platforms can, therefore, not be overemphasised,” he added.