Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Federal Government has said that the estimated annual cost of cybercrime to Nigeria is 0.08 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), which represents about N127 billion.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Munguno (rtd), stated this on Monday during the inauguration of the Cybercrime Advisory Council at the Office of NSA (ONSA), Abuja.
Munguno, who is the Chairman of the 31-member Council, lamented that the cost of the crime to the nation is quite significant, saying that the “activities of hackers and cyber criminals in recent times have threatened government presence, economic activities and security of Nigerians and vital infrastructure connected to the internet”.
He said: “The 2014 Annual report of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), shows that, between year 2013 and 2014, fraud on e-payment platform of the Nigerian banking sector increased by 183 per cent. Also, a report published in 2014 by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, UK, estimated the annual cost of cybercrime to Nigeria at about 0.08 per cent of our GDP, representing about N127 billion.
“Global tracking of cyber-attacks indicate that Nigeria is among countries with high cases of software piracy, intellectual property theft and malware attacks. The situation is a serious challenge to our resolve to take advantage of the enormous opportunities that Internet brings, while balancing and managing its associated risks.”
According to him, the situation was made possible due to lack of awareness of cyber-security and poor enforcement of guidelines and minimum standards for security of government websites, particularly those hosting sensitive databases of Nigerians.
The NSA, emphasised the need to take serious action to protect our national cyberspace as a national security requirement.
Munguno added that the importance of serious action to protect the nation’s cyberspace, increased tremendously with growth in number of Nigerians connected to the internet, from less than a million in 2003 to over 80 million in November 2015.
He warned that “any serious attack or interference to the operation of Nigerian cyberspace will have negative impact on national economy as well as on public health and safety”, adding that “our national cyberspace has become a critical information infrastructure and protecting it, is a matter of importance”.
Munguno listed some of the common cyber-crimes in Nigeria to include: computer virus and malware infections, identity theft and privacy invasion, fraudulent electronic transaction, and theft of intellectual property.