Bayero Agabi

Emma Okonji

The Director of Centre for Cyber Awareness and Development, Dr. Bayero Agabi has called on the federal government and the National Assembly to increase cybersecurity awareness at all levels of government.

Speaking at the recently held First Legislative Conference on ICT and Cybersecurity in Abuja, organised by the Senate Committee on ICT and Cybersecurity as part of events marking the 2017 Cybersecurity week, Agabi stressed the need for government to encourage cyber responsibilities by internet users through advocacy and public education.

According to him, “There is need to adopt effective communication as a weapon of choice in order to change people’s actions and behaviours in the cyberspace. We need to encourage cyber responsibility by internet users at the local, regional, national and international levels. This can be done through advocacy and public education. This will also reflect positively in the government’s attempt at modifying ‘cyber behaviour’ of internet users on sundry platforms.

“We must adopt effective communication in the form of constructed messages, as the weapon of choice in order to change people’s actions and behaviours in the cyberspace.”

Agabi said the mandate to dissuade people from misuse of the internet should be another focus of both the federal government and the National Assembly members.

Other speakers at the conference also called on the government to establish policies on patronage of Made-in-Nigeria ICT content as well ensure policy consistency in cybersecurity and other ICT issues.

Stakeholders at the conference also called for a review of the Cybercrime Act 2015 to fill the identified gaps and create an agency for the regulation and enforcement of the Cybercrime Act. They canvassed for the establishment of a Commission to coordinate policy and training in digital literacy as put together by the National Digital Literacy Council. They called for women participation in digital literacy programmes and cyber security issues through relevant agencies and institutions. Participants also raised the need for the establishment of an ICT Fund of 5 per cent of the national budget by 2019 to fund ICT infrastructure, cybersecurity issues and Digital Literacy Commission for training and certification of Nigerians.