Senate Laments Cyber Threats to Digital Economy with $500m Annual Loss

Senate Laments Cyber Threats to Digital Economy with $500m Annual Loss

•Says national cybersecurity not effectively funded

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

The Senate has expressed concerns over the annual loss of $500 million to various forms of cybercrimes across the federation, warning that if the national cybersecurity programme was not effectively funded, the gains of digital economy would be defeated.

Consequently, the upper chamber resolved to review and amend the Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention) Act, 2015 with a view to putting an end to the exploitation of Nigeria’s digital space by cybercriminals and certain individuals with misguided intention.

President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, expressed the concerns yesterday at the inauguration of public hearing on the 2023 Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 at the Senate Complex, Abuja.

The inauguration was at the instance of the Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber Security, Senator Shuaib Afolabi Salisu; Chairman, Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Shehu Buba Umar and all members of their committees.

In its report, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), had claimed that Nigeria “is losing $500 million dollars annually to all forms of cybercrime including hacking, identity theft, cyber terrorism, harassment and Internet fraud.”

At the inauguration of the public hearing on Wednesday, the senate president lamented that certain individuals with misguided intentions “are exploited cybercrime laws by tarnishing the reputation of Nigeria.”

Akpabio, represented by the Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, observed that it was imperative to establish a comprehensive legal framework to deter, investigate, pursue and prosecute cybercriminals.

“In this age of rapid technological advancement and widespread internet usage, cybercrime has emerged as a grave menace to our society, economy and personal security.

“It is imperative and strengthening the existing laws on cybercrime prohibition and prevention. In the past, certain individuals with misguided intentions exploited our weak cybercrime laws, thereby tarnishing the reputation of our country.

“They engaged in a wide array of illegal activities, such as hacking, identity theft, fraud, harassment and cyber terrorism. These crimes not only inflicted significant financial losses upon our country, but also invaded our privacy, disrupted critical infrastructure, and eroded trust in our digital systems,” the senate president said.

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