The Nigerian Senate has begun the process of amending the Cybercrime Act, 2015.
Speaking during a one-day public hearing on the Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 at the Senate Complex in Abuja, Senate President Godswill Akpabio discussed how cybercriminals cause financial losses to Nigeria.
He emphasized that it was imperative to establish a comprehensive legal framework to deter, investigate, pursue and prosecute cybercriminals as certain individuals have exploited loopholes.
Akpabio stressed that there is a need to strengthen existing laws on cybercrime prohibition and prevention to keep up with technological advancements.
In this age of rapid technological advancement and widespread internet usage, he noted that cybercrime has emerged as a grave menace to society’s economy and personal security.
Certain individuals with misguided intentions exploited weak cybercrime laws in the past by engaging in illegal activities such as hacking, identity theft, fraud, harassment and cyber terrorism.
These crimes inflicted significant financial losses upon Nigeria while invading privacy; disrupting critical infrastructure; eroding trust in digital systems.
While making a case for additional funding for cybersecurity to protect Nigeria’s digital economy during his remarks at the public hearing on Wednesday Senator Akpabio warned of dire consequences should issues relating to national cybersecurity continue being treated lightly.
During its presentation at the public hearing held by Senate joint committee on ICT & Cybersecurity and National Security & Intelligence the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) claimed that Nigeria loses $500 million annually due to all forms of cybercrimes including hacking identity theft among others.
On his part, Chairman of the Senate Committee on ICT and Cyber Security Senator Shuaib Salisu explained why they were amending The Cybercrime (Prohibition And Prevention) Act Amendment Bill 2023 while challenging stakeholders invited for inputs into bringing diverse perspectives effectively addressing emerging threats while strengthening existing provisions
In their presentation before lawmakers during same event organized by senate joint committee earlier today The Nigeria Union Of Journalists called for amendment Of Section 24 Of The Cyber Crime Act arguing that it undermines freedom of expression/press freedom which is enshrined under section thirty-nine (39) of our constitution
Senator Shehu Umar who sponsored bill expressed concerns about alarming rate of exploitation/growing threat posed by cybersecurity across sectors adding high cases placed demands/reviewing country’s law noting current provisions are not effective enough.
“If we must survive as a federation,” said Umar “the current weak approach towards enforcing national cybersecurity directives must be examined/prioritized among other considerations.”
At present time EFCC ICPC NITDA CBN/Nigeria Police funding concentrates fighting against limited Acts governing them.