The Nigerian government loses over N172bn to cybercrime annually. The federal government has estimated the annual cost of cybercrime to Nigeria to be 0.08 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), which represents about N127 billion.
This was revealed by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Munguno (rtd), during the inauguration of the Cybercrime Advisory Council, at the Office of NSA (ONSA), Abuja.
Munguno who doubles as the Chairman of the 31-member Council, bemoaned that cybercrime is a burden to the nation’s economy- “activities of hackers and cyber criminals in recent times have threatened government presence, economic activities and security of Nigerians and vital infrastructure connected to the internet. “
He added that: “The 2014 Annual report of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), shows that, between year 2013 and 2014, fraud on e-payment platform of the Nigerian banking sector increased by 183 per cent. Also, a report published in 2014 by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, UK, estimated the annual cost of cybercrime to Nigeria at about 0.08 per cent of our GDP, representing about N127 billion’’.
“Global tracking of cyber-attacks indicate that Nigeria is among countries with high cases of software piracy, intellectual property theft and malware attacks. The situation is a serious challenge to our resolve to take advantage of the enormous opportunities that Internet brings, while balancing and managing its associated risks.”
He warned that “any serious attack or interference to the operation of Nigerian cyberspace will have negative impact on national economy as well as on public health and safety”, adding that “our national cyberspace has become a critical information infrastructure and protecting it, is a matter of importance”.
He further appealed to government, organizations, private sector and civil society to cooperate and collaborate with the Federal government in developing “ways of countering the threats” which includes the review of the Evidence Act 2011 to accept electronic evidences in court.
Cybercrime has been a source of financial leakage to the economy and a dent on the nation’s image.