Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu on Tuesday lamented the upsurge in cyber-crime. The minister said N127 billion is lost annually to cyber-crime and urged key players in the information and communications sector to rise to the challenge of fighting the menace.
Shittu spoke while declaring open the 26th edition of the National Conference of the Computer Society of Nigeria holding at NAF Centre, Abuja.
“National safety and security further encompasses securing the nation’s cyber space. Our growing dependence on digital infrastructure introduces and poses grave threats to national security. It is quite shocking that Nigeria loses about N127 billion which is 0.08 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), yearly to cyber-crime”.
“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.”
Alhaji Adebayo Shittu went further to stress that possibilities abound with the use of ICT to fight insecurity.
“It is appropriate that the efforts of the armed forces and the significant achievements in the fight against Boko Haram are recognized. Though the Nigerian Army is already using some technology platforms, there may be some requiring close attention by the conference.”
“The Ministry is also engaging with the Nigerian Army on possible technology collaboration to tackle the activities of insurgents and other security challenges in the country.”
“Though great strides have been made in these areas, there is still a lot to do to secure our dear nation. We all know that ICT is the globally recognized enabler in all spheres of development and it is most appropriate for NCS to step in by offering the nation an authentic platform to explore the role of ICT in national safety and security.”
“Using ICT and Geographical Information System (GIS) to tackle Boko Haram, Niger Delta militancy and other security challenges with enhanced efficiency and professionalism has become a matter of paramount importance. ”
In his remarks, the President of the Nigeria Computer Society, Prof. Sola Aderounmu noted that more pro-active steps are needed to drive the ICT industry in the country considering the enormous challenge facing the nation.