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Cybercrime threats rising in Nigeria ― Buhari

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An address delivered by President and Commander-in-Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), during the unveiling of National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today

PROTOCOLS:

Today, we are unveiling the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 just one week after the bill was signed into law.

However, like several other countries across the globe, the growth and development of the Internet is accompanied by significant problems. We are witnessing a rise in threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters and cyber terrorists who use the Internet to cause apprehension.

We are also observing a surge in the use of the Internet and social media for propagation of hate speech, fake news and seditious messages, as well as the risks of breaches to personal information and government sensitive data. It is almost impossible to overstate the challenges.

All these initiatives serve as enablers for tackling many of the economic and security challenges facing our country while also providing us with the platform to improve accountability and transparency in our unwavering resolve to tackle corruption.

“However, like many other countries across the globe, the growth and development of the internet is accompanied by significant problems. We are witnessing a rise in threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters, and cyber terrorists who use the internet to cause apprehension.

It is almost impossible to overstate the challenges.

In October 2020, we all witnessed an escalation in the use of the social media for dissemination of subversive messages and incitement of violence which played a part in heightening tensions, causing unrest and spurring widespread acts of looting and destruction across the country.”

Some global events such as the rapid emergence of new technologies, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the advent of 5G technology, have further widened the scope and diversification of these cyber threats.

Therefore, in a bid to ensure that we effectively embrace and harness the benefits of the digital revolution while effectively combating the heightening risks of cyber threats, the Federal Government of Nigeria has been proactive, over the past couple of years, in taking steps to ensure progressive use of our Internet and cyberspace.

In 2014, we developed our maiden National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy to provide us with the necessary roadmap for the realisation of our national cybersecurity programme. This national effort paved way for Nigeria to reach numerous cybersecurity milestones over the past six years.

Therefore, in order to build on this achievement and reposition ourselves for enhanced engagement in cyberspace, it became expedient to review the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2014 and develop a comprehensive National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 for the common good of the country.

The National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 will provide us with the necessary platform to effectively confront the dynamic nature of threats in our cyberspace. The document will also provide the framework that would enable us to harness the efforts of our private sector, academia and industry towards progressive economic and national development.

To this end, the document will provide the platform for technical education, digital skills acquisition and indigenous technology production, thereby creating job opportunities for our youths and supporting our resolve to alleviate poverty and boost our economy.”

I, therefore, unveil the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 as the overarching policy and strategy framework for driving Nigeria’s cybersecurity efforts towards the attainment of our national objectives and commend the efforts of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno and his staff as well as other stakeholders for the remarkable work in developing the document and contributions towards strengthening the development of cybersecurity in Nigeria.

I am confident that, together we can pave the path for the creation of new opportunities to usher Nigeria into a bright future driven by a prosperous cyberspace and digital economy.

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