In a bid to create an enabling environment for business, the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has urged the federal government to embark on a sensitization campaign with the public on the Cyber Crime Law.
The Cybercrime Act which was signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan states that “any crime or injury on critical national information infrastructure, unlawful access to computer systems, cyber-terrorism, among others will be punishable by law.”
While security agencies work to contend with cyber-offenders, stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry state that successfully protecting consumers online will aid in the development of the local economy.
Speaking on the subject, Marek Zmyslowski, Managing Director of Jovago Nigeria said that, “One of the biggest challenges e-commerce companies face is e-fraud. Although there is a consistent rise in internet penetration, we have found that many of businesses around the world are yet to invest in applications that adequately secure the data of clients. If we as a continent, are going to have the ‘first-mover’ advantage, then we will need to pay closer attention to ICT security.”
Based on a report released by the Nigeria Communications Commission, although the country has the largest online population in Africa with over 70 million people connected to the internet, less than 27 percent of travellers use online payments while 73 percent choose to pay at the hotel due to fraud.
In 2014 alone, financial institutions across the country lost over N159 billion to e-crime.
As oil prices struggle to make a comeback following strategic moves by OPEC to protect market share against further drop in prices, the tourism and hospitality sector is yet to take advantage of the abundant opportunities for expansion.
“Tourism is a powerful catalyst for economic and social development,” says Derek Hanekom, chairman of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) working group, “More than one billion tourists travel to destinations around the world every year. The economic activity they generate supports jobs, reduces poverty and creates mutual understanding among people from different cultures” and this why Nigeria government should pay attention to the industry.
While in 2015 alone, the sector has contributed more than 3.1% to GDP as published in the national income accounts of the Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria still ranks at the bottom of the World Economic Forum 131st out of 141 countries.
Given the nation’s cultural resources and natural assets, the country’s slow development of the tourism industry appears to be a missed opportunity for diversifying the economy and creating employment opportunities.