With the increase in cybercrime in Nigeria, professionals in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector are emphasising the need for the government to do more to discourage the crime in order to save the country’s Internet services. They say the crime affects the reception of the Internet by Nigerians who mostly view it as a tool for fraud.
Speaking in Lagos on Friday, Samuel Adeleke, the president of the Internet Service Providers Association of Nigeria (ISPAN), said that low penetration of Internet in Nigeria is a major challenge that has affected the development of the country.
“It is a shame to say that an average Nigerian is a novice when it comes to the use the Internet and that is why we condemn the misuse of the Internet because what most people use it for is to chat, send emails and at best to download some programmes.
“We are not an Internet hungry nation; we need to change our attitude in this direction. There is need for Internet ratification and also the need for active involvement of Nigeria both in perceptive and as well as influencing decision makings.”
Cyber fraud
Mr. Adeleke explained that one major factor that affects Internet penetration in Nigeria is cyber crime.
“When we talk of various aspect of Internet management in and outside Africa, we are sure to say that Nigeria is not fully actively involved like other countries such as Ghana or South African in terms of Internet penetration. There is need to influence public perception of Internet usage from the bad use. Just a few make good use of it for developing applications for better life.”
“Our thinking as Nigerians is that the Internet is only used by a few and those that use it do it for cyber crime ‘yahoo, yahoo’ rather than trying to find a way for getting more people to use it for development purposes,” added Mr. Adeleke.
No policy on Cyber security
Also speaking on the issue in an email response to NEXT on Sunday, Jimson Olufuye, the president, Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) said the lack of policy to tackle cybercrime is a major problem to the sector.
“Major issues of cybercrime are identity theft, hacking, spamming, phishing, sabotage through cyberstalking etc. In Nigeria non- availability of legislative frameworks to tackle cybercrime and assure cybersecurity are concerns.
“I do not think the issue can be easily solved; it’s going to be a part of us just like normal theft, robbery etc. Now is the time for the federal government and regulators put in place appropriate legislations on cybersecurity to mitigate the crime. They need to be involved in public enlightenment on the issue and emphasize the implications of such ventures,” said Mr. Olufuye.
Earlier this year, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) launched a toolkit for cybercrime legislation in order to reduce cyber-related crimes globally.
Mr. Olufuye urged Nigeria to associate with the Union in making use of the toolkit to check cybercrime in the country.
“I think that the Nigerian ICT sector should associate with the ITU body in order to join force by implementing the use the toolkit to reduce cybercrime. There is need for professionals to advocate for appropriate policies and legislation against cybercrimes.
‘Digital amnesty’
Mr. Adeleke, however concluded that there is a need to educate Nigerians to avoid such cybercrimes through digital amnesty.
“There in need for digital amnesty, this is not say that we can handle cybercrimes, but we want to be able to educate Nigerians on the use of the Internet because it involves job creation, youth development, public awareness and providing an alternative use of the Internet,” said Mr. Adeleke.

Source: Next  (234next.com)


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