Nigeria loses about N89.55bn ($450m) annually to computer and internet-related frauds; consultant to National Information Technology Development Agency, Mr. Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola, has said.
Ajijola said this in an opening remark at the NITDA Public Sector Cyber Security Hands Capacity Building Workshop for IT officers in Ministries, Departments and Agencies organised by NITDA which opened in Abuja on Wednesday.
Quoting the United States Centre for Strategic and International Studies and information security firm McAfee, a subsidiary of Intel which puts Nigeria’s loses to cybercrime at 0.08 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, Ajijola said the country’s annual losses to cybercrimes was equivalent to the its booming cement industry.
He said, “As technology becomes increasingly pervasive and our dependency on it grows, our economic losses will grow exponentially unless pre-emptive measures are taken to mitigate and eliminate the capacity of cybercriminals to take advantage of our environment.
“This does not preclude major disruptions by cybercriminals to critical national infrastructure like oil and gas; telecommunications; banking and finance, national security and government. For example, in January 2016 the infamous “Anonymous hacker collective has started a cyber-campaign against the government of Nigeria, accusing it of corruption, greed, and theft.
“The Nigerian Communications Commission indicates that, as at September 2015, over 97 million Nigerians used the Internet on a daily basis. According to a 2015 survey by Kaspersky Lab, 45.3 per cent of the internet users in Nigeria suffered attack in the third quarter of 2015. By implication either you or the person next to you was hacked in some way.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Acting Director General of NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, said Nigeria, like other countries, was facing many challenges such as network design, security, and prevention, as well as cyber-attacks as a result of increasing use of the internet.
“The need for effective security measures to create trust and confidence in our various platforms can therefore not be overemphasised,” he added.