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Nigeria tackles exploitation of its cyberspace

Nigeria tackles exploitation of its cyberspace.

The Nigerian government has announced a fresh bid to reinforce cybersecurity in the country, beginning with a review of the national cybercrime policy and strategy.

Speaking at NGSecure Infosecurity Conference in Lagos recently, the country's Minister of Communications Adebayo Shittu said cybercrime is on the rise in Nigeria. "In view of the critical nature of the economy and government activities, it is obvious that protection from different types of cyber and terrorist attacks is required. Our cyberspace is being exploited to aid radicalism and violent extremism and government have realised that those tasked with the responsibility to protect our cyberspace can no longer function within a framework of the past."

Shittu said that cybersecurity emergency response teams have been set up by the National Security Adviser (NSA) and Nigeria's National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

He also announced the inauguration of Nigeria's Cybercrime Advisory Council which will be in charge of the government's National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy, and oversee the full implementation of the controversial Cybercrimes Act of 2015.

This law governs any crime or injury on critical national information infrastructure, sales of pre-registered SIM cards, unlawful access to computer systems, Cyber-Terrorism, among others.

However, the legislation has been hampered by a lack of commitment, as well as criticism from stakeholders for what they believe to be 'inherent fundamental flaws' within the legislation.

"The challenges manifests in the area of enforcement, compliance, cybercrime investigation, the cybersecurity funds, the conflict arising from the National Security Agencies Act which cannot be amended except by the constitution and others," said Basil Udotai, the managing partner, Technology Advisor and the pioneer Director and Head of the Directorate for Cybersecurity (DfC) at the Office of the NSA.

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