By Emeka Aginam & Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—THE Minister of Communication, Mr Adebayo Shittu , has disclosed that Nigeria loses about N127 billion annually to cybercrime.
Shittu, who stated this yesterday at the ongoing national conference of the Nigerian Computer Society, NCS, with the theme, Information Technology for national safety and security, told the gathering that the above figure represented 0.08 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products, GDP.
While urging the use of Information and Communication Technology ICT, tools and Geographical Information System, GIS, to tackle Boko Haram, Niger Delta militancy and other security challenges with enhanced efficiency and professionalism, the minister expressed concern that Nigeria’s growing dependency on digital infrastructure posed grave threats to national security.
Shittu, who warned that the trend had to be reversed immediately for national safety, said: “Many Nigerians now have access to internet facilities. Our citizens now use the enormous opportunities this digital infrastructure brings to work, transact business, campaign, communicate, learn, interact and relax. Today banking, commercial and other critical services are being provided online.
“Evidence, however, abounds on growing electronic fraud and threats to digital databases both in private and public sector. Without safety and security, growth is impossible. Information Technology for National Safety and Security as the conference theme, is highly relevant as it aligns with the national safety and security priority of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Securing lives and properties is both an enabler and an imperative for growth and development. Threats emanate from local and global terrorism which strikes fear and shatters the much needed national peace and security.
“Nobody, no organization can perform optimally under a cloud of fear. Uncertainties and raised anxieties strain our economy and society. We must, however, acknowledge successes recorded so far in the fight to keep Nigeria secure.”