By Emeka Aginam
Non-passage of the anti-cyber crime legislation by law makers has again attracted condemnations among stakeholders in the Nigerian ICT sector even as Nigeria was 3rd in a recent report by the Internet Crime Complaint Center which tracks the prevalence of cybercrime globally.
Last week, with the support from the World Bank, Civil Society Fund, Microsoft and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria has launched a petition to the National Assembly requesting cybercrime legislation in Nigeria as part of the ongoing internet safety, security and privacy initiative for Nigeria program.
In furtherance of the petition, Microsoft in collaboration with PIN have begun an internet campaign to obtain signatures for an online petition that will be forwarded to legislators for the required cybercrime legislation the country needs, even as it called on the Nigerian youths to play a key role in the advocacy support.
The initiative, it was learnt will be supported by a six-month grant from the World Bank’s Civil Society Fund for the advocacy work required to lobby for cybercrime legislation.
Microsoft, it was further learnt will participate in the initiative through its Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria (MISSPIN), a social campaign that directs the spotlight to the issue of internet safety while also providing a platform for other industry players to work together.
For the Executive Director of PIN, Gbenga Sesan, who spoke to IT Journalists last week during the flagging of the online campaign, he warned that cybercrime will remain unabated among the youths especially unless there is legislation, adding that there are other areas the youths can be engaged other than fraudulent activities in the internet.
“We want cybercrime legislation now. It has taken a long time. Fraudulent activities have remained unabated because there is legislation on that. The prevalence of cybercrime among a sizeable number of young Nigerians goes to show the need for immediate concern, especially with the recent boom in mobile service provision and online payment platforms in Nigeria. We are asking Nigerians to call on the leadership of the National Assembly to accelerate the passage of the much-needed bill.” Sesan added.
Part of the ways Microsoft engages students globally in productive activities, according to Shina Oyetosho, DPE Lead, Microsoft is through Imagine Cup students software competition which he said prepares the youths for software incubation. According to him, there was need for public and private sector working together to eliminate cybercrime and foster legitimate economic opportunity for Nigerians.
On the support of the World Bank in the fight against cybercrime globally especailly in Nigeria said to be growing in geometric progression, Dele Oladokun, Communications Associate, World Bank Nigeria said that youths engagement in cybercrime is worrisome. “The youths can involve in the fight against cybercrime by engaging in other productive activities including software prgraming.