The consultant of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola said that cybercrime is causing havoc to the nation, stripping Nigeria’s coffers of about of about N90 billion ($450 million) every year.
Mr. Ajijola said this in a formal address on Wednesday during an opening ceremony of the Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Nigeria Team (CERRT.ng) awareness campaign and capacity building workshop organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in partnership with the Malaysia Cybersecurity Agency, in Abuja.
According to the report, titled “Net Losses” which was released by the United States Centre for Strategic and International Studies, and information security firm McAfee, a subsidiary of Intel, reads:
“Net Losses: Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime; Economic impact of cybercrime II” shows that 0.80 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP, equivalent to the Cement sector, is lost to cybercrime.
“Nigeria’s GDP in 2014 was $568.51ii billion; this amounts to an annual loss of $450 million; equivalent to N89.55 billion annual direct losses to the Nigerian economy, at the CBN exchange rate of N199 to $1.”
Ajijola explained that unless pro-active measures are taken to curb and eradicate the capacities of cybercriminals, the countries economic losses will continue to grow along with technological debasement.
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.
He also cited a 2015 survey, by Kaspersky Lab, which revealed that 45.3 per cent of the Internet users in Nigeria suffered attack in the third quarter of 2015, adding that 3,599 Nigerian websites with Nigeria (.ng) domains were hacked between April 13, 2015 and Feb. 1, 2016.
Nigeria like other countries encounter internet related challenges, said Acting Director-General, NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji; in network design, security and prevention, as well as cyber-attacks due to the 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.”
Despite significant fall in the value of financial frauds recorded in 2015, Nigerians still lost about N2.25bn to the activities of fraudsters. And in 2014, fraudsters made 1,461 attempts to steal N7.8bn, but succeeded in stealing N6.2bn.