By Ogaga Ariemu.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has alerted the general public concerning the existence of fraudulent websites going around on social media trying to capitalize on the Covid-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians. To this end, this statement was disclosed by NITDA in a Press Release signed by the agency’s Head Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar on 24th March, 2020 urging Nigerians to stay clear from the fraudulent websites flooding the social media promising federal government grants.
The statement reads:
“In NITDA’s efforts at ensuring a safe and secure Nigerian cyberspace, the Agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) identified a number of websites using various phishing tricks to attract Internet users.
“One of such tricks is misinforming the public that Federal Government has ordered weekly payment of allowances to all citizens above the age of 18 for observing the ‘Stay At Home’ directive. It then requires the user to complete an online form with the personal information including bank details for the payment to be effected. “While NITDA is doing everything possible to shut down the websites identified as well as sanction those behind them, we call on the general public to disregard and report any such websites to the Agency for necessary action. “As a general precautionary measure, Internet users are advised to observe the following: not to give out their personal information to anyone online; avoid clicking unknown links;
disregard offers requesting for their bank details; andknow what to do when they become victims of cybercrime. “The Agency calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the Federal Government in its efforts at containing the spread of Covid-19 in the country. We are all encouraged to strictly adhere to recommendations given by health experts, and follow updates from relevant agencies handling this outbreak. “The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
“NITDA was established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Section 6(a, b, c & m) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; provide guidelines to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure for information technology and systems application and development in Nigeria for public and private sectors.
urban-rural development, the economy and the government; and accelerate internet and intranet penetration in Nigeria and promote sound internet Governance by giving effect to the Second Schedule of the Act”. She said.