FG Steps Up Fight against Cybercrime, Launches National Coordination Team

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The federal government on Tuesday stepped up its fight against cyber criminals in the country with the inauguration of the Global Action Against Cyber Crime (GLACY) Project National Coordination Team in Abuja.

The team, headed by George-Maria Tyendezwa of the Federal Ministry of Justice, is to support the Council of Europe in the multi-sector coordination and implementation of the GLACY programme in Nigeria.

Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who inaugurated the national team in Abuja, on Tuesday, expressed optimism that the GLACY project would “Close the gaps and strengthen the efficacy of criminal justice stakeholders in the fight against criminalities in the on-line environment”, which he said was crucial for both political and economic development of Nigeria.

The AGF, who was represented at the occasion by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Umar Mohammed, told the delegation of the Council of Europe, who were in Nigeria on an initial assessment of theGLACY project that the Federal Government has already taken steps, through domestic policies and legislation to fight cyber crime in the country.

He said, the country has started implementing the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy which was adopted In February 5, 2015.

“The Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ng-CERT) has been commissioned and now in operation. The Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015, signed into law on 15th May of the same year, outlines the legal and institutional framework needed to drive the nation’s preparedness to fight cybercrime and protect Nigeria’s national interest in its engagements in cyberspace and has also made provisions for effective international cooperation.

“The Cybercrime Advisory Council was inaugurated on April 20, 2016 to reinforce implementation of the Act. The process of approval for full accession to the Convention on Cybercrime is at an advanced stage”, he said.

The chief law officer of the federation however noted that gaps still existed in capacity building and that considering the fast evolving technological advancement, the widening threat landscape and the borderless nature of electronic crimes, cyber capacity building cannot be over emphasised.

“The way forward is through multilateral cooperation and collaboration. It is in this light that we welcome this initial assessment visit to identify and define the priorities that criminal justice authorities in Nigeria have to face to pinpoint which area to cover through the capacity building of the GLACY Project through direct consultation with stakeholders and to formally inaugurate the requisite GLACY – National Coordinating Team that will support the council of Europe in the multi-sector coordination and implementation of the GACY- Programme in Nigeria”, he said.