By EMMA ELEBEKE
AT the just concluded world cybersecurity conference held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, IT experts, Dame Dr. Patience Goodluck Jonathan, the ITU Champion on Child Online Protection and over 1000 experts from various sectors of the economy rose up from the forum pushing for the quick passage of long awaited Cyber security bill 2013.
Why calling on the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency to pass into law the Cybersecurity Bill 2013 sent to it by the executive arm of government to protect the nation from cyber attacks from hackers, and thereby improving Nigeria image and open doors for more Direct Foreign Investment (FDI), over 1000 experts at the forum in a communique issued after forum agreed that Nigeria needs to have a cybersecurity law which will be used by government agencies and private sector organizations to plan their information technology policies and guidelines as well as a deterrent against cyber criminals.
Participants at the forum including representatives of all the Service Chiefs, Comptroller General of Immigration, National Security Adviser to the President, Foreign Ambassadors of Western and African Countries, Chief Executive Officers of Corporate Nigeria among others asked Dame Patience Jonathan to cause the communique to be transmitted to the National Assembly and ITU for immediate action.
Mrs. Jonathan who hosted the conference in her capacity as ITU’s Child Online Protection Champion was also asked to use her position as Chair Lady of Africa First Ladies to enlist the support of African First Ladies to champion the cause of Child Online Protection in their respective countries.
Also speaking, Mr. Tim Akano, West Africa Industry Partner, ITU-IMPACT said ‘’the participants resolved that institutions, corporations and nations should protect themselves against cyber attacks; that there should be a determined focus on building human and institutional cyber security capacities with all relevant stakeholders both nationally and internationally, with a view to reducing online child exploitation drastically in the next few years.
“We resolved that since cybercrime does not respect geographical boundary, fighting the menace can only be achieved through partnership with other cyber security organizations and institutions across the world.
We said there is the need for immense globally coordinated approach to the fight against cyber crime. We also called on all nations to support the programme of actualizing a safer online environment for our younger generation through the much canvassed Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.”
Former Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Ehud Barak has also called on the Nigerian government to show more commitment to the fight against the scourge by instituting a sustainable legal framework that would help in stamping out the ugly trend.
He made the call yesterday during the 2013 World Cyber Security conference held at the Banquette hall, Abuja.
He said there was limited impact of Cyber crime in the past but, since the bombing of the World Trade Centre in September 11, 2001, there had been increase of the impact on the global community.
Barak, who traced the problem to the interdependence of countries said, it has become necessary for a holistic collaboration among all arms of government and various countries of the world to come together to tackle the menace of Cyber crime in the digital society
He noted that Cyber security breaches have a profound impact on all areas of the society.
In her goodwill message, the minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, called on National Assembly to expedite action in the passage of the Cyber Security bill into law.
Omobola, who lamented the impact of Cyber crime on the youth and children said that held of those involved in online activities are youth.
“It is imperative for the youth to appreciate the dangers and benefits of Cyber crime. Beyond the protection of children, institutions and nations must protect themselves.