Growing concerns over the rise of cybercrimes in Nigeria have now led to the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the nation’s top opposition party, condemning the government’s reluctance to outlaw the crimes, as recently voiced by the country’s ICT stakeholders.
This follows a report by HumanIPO last week on concerns over the lack of lawmaking to outlaw cybercrimes in Nigeria.
In a statement issued by the ANPP’s national publicity secretary, Emma Eneukwu, the party said it was shocked at the recent spate of cyber threats that were targeted at the Nigerian Defense, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies.
Eneukwu said Nigerians are now afraid that the cybercriminals may frustrate the ongoing cashless policy of the nation’s apex bank – the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“With many businesses going online and Nigerians being encouraged by the government to embrace mobile phone, e-payment and internet banking, our great party is worried about the safety of the users of these services and the truth that our great nation is not prepared for the threats and vulnerabilities of the information age,” Eneukwu added.
When a law on cyber crimes is enacted, the opposition chieftain said it will serve as a deterrent to cyber criminals. He however noted that the current lawless regime has put the society at risk of experiencing what he described as “the mushrooming of diverse offenders”.
With the enactment of a law, an atmosphere for fair punishment of defaulters will be created in addition to discouraging those who are just forming their plans.
He also noted the ease with which cybercrimes can now be perpetrated via readily available Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) such as BlackBerries and other smartphones, tablets and iPads.
Eneukwu further urged the Nigerian government to task its various committees on ICT to update the nation’s cyber security framework to align with the global trends with special emphasis on the evolving security threats.
“We [therefore] call on the National Assembly to hasten the harmonisation of the Nigerian Cybercrime bills, in order to safeguard the nation’s banking sector, security and social interface. We believe that no matter the resources and personnel voted to the war against cyber-crime in Nigeria, without a well-structured enabling legislation, the fight will end up as mere words, at worst, and as another white elephant venture as best,” Eneukwu said.