Nigeria to review cybercrime policy
3 November 2017
On Tuesday 31 October 2017, the Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime in Nigeria revealed that they believe that the current law on cybercrime in the country needs to be reviewed to meet the standard of that in developed countries. Abdulfatai Buhari, chairman of the committee, Oyo-APC, made the statement while addressing the press at a briefing.
The briefing, he noted, was to invite journalists and members of the public to a three-day conference on ICT and cyber-crime, which is set take place between the 6th and 9th of November 2017.
Buhari revealed that the conference will play an important role in effecting a review of the Cyber-crime Act. “If you remember, in March 2015 the former President signed a bill on cybercrime but when you look at the bill, it is very scanty. So, we came up with a bill which has passed through first reading,” he said.
“Our intention is that if you take the bill for second reading without the input of experts, you are just wasting your time. We need to study how other countries are implementing their cybercrime law. Most people don’t even know that we have a cybercrime law in this country. That’s one of the reasons for this conference. We want to gather every knowledge so as to prepare the bill for the second reading. By the time we are coming for the public hearing, the bill will be so rich and we’ll have something to fall back on.”
Buhari further stated that the cybercrime bill should be reviewed in order to prepare the country for impending dangers. He pointed out the spate of cybercrimes globally which brings into question the safety of Nigeria’s cyberspace. “We discussed a motion and we decided that we don’t have to fold our arms and wait until there is an attack before we act. We decided to take a preventive measure. If the developed world is been attacked day in day out, there is a need for us to strengthen our cyberspace.
“In Germany, there is a ministry entirely dedicated to cybercrime, the same thing in USA. Last year alone, the British government budgeted four billion pounds to fight cybercrime because they know the implication.”
The chairman pointed out holes in the current cybercrime act by claiming that there is no definition of who handles cybercrime and that there is no solid law (on cybercrime) in Nigeria. “The moment a database is attacked, God forbid, the country is doomed,” concluded Buhari.