Adebayi Shittu, Minister of Communication and Technology on Monday said the federal government of Nigeria has in the last 13 years lost not less than N159 billion to cyber crime.
BusinessDay reports that the minister made the disclosure in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of a three-day National Computer Science conference tagged, ““Impacts of Cyber Security on African Economic Development” put together by the Department of Computer and Information technology of Igbinedion University Okada, Edo state.
Shittu noted that the lost was due majorly to Nigerians’ lack of technical knowledge to protect their online products and resources.
While advocating the need for tertiary institutions to make Information and Communication Technology (ICT) courses compulsory at all levels as entrepreneurial courses added that cyber crimes were on the increase and has impaired the security of the internet as emerging threats and attacks are being recorded on a daily basis.
“Cybercrime is a global phenomenon that has assumed the status of a multibillion dollars industry which have increased as according to a Symantec corporation report issued in 2013, with a more rapid rate in Africa than any other area of the world probably because of the lack of awareness in the area”, he said.
The minister also opined that curbing the menace of cyber crime in the country would be an enormous and achievable with the engagement of a range of stakeholders and the academia through coalitions that would work assiduously to reduce the scope and scale of cybercrime.
He advocated that a multi stakeholder approach involving government, industry and civil society within the context of African Union convention on cyberspace security and protection of personal data could also act as deterrent to the surging cybercrime.
He stated that the approach if not well tackled, could have negative impacts on the economic growth, foreign investment and security in Africa.
Shittu further added that there was need to improve relevant ICT and cyberspace officials who could help build the capacity of local law enforcement agents in cybercrime prevention and cyber security footprints.
He disclosed that the Cybercrime Act of 2015 has been passed into law to prosecute those guilty of the act; vowing that even if most issues relating to cybercrime often affects private ventures, government is ready to partner with institutions and other organizations to increase the awareness of ICT and cyberspace in other to generate possible strategies to combat and defeat cybercrime in its entirety.
He however charged the authorities of the Igbinedion University and other tertiary universities nationwide to use ICT to churn out qualified manpower for government and private sector needs.
Earlier, the vice chancellor of the institution, Eghosa Osaghae pointed out that ICT was sacrosanct in any thriving economy and efforts to curbing cybercrime should be taken into cognizance.
He however suggested that public and private partnership on ICT with tertiary institutions like Igbinedion University is also key to ensuring that adequate manpower development is achieved.