NITDA urges Nigerian youths to join in fight against cybercrime


By Ogaga Ariemu

As part of the proactive efforts to stymie cybercriminals, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Abdullahi, has urged Nigerian youths who have technological expertise to join in the fight against cybercrime, he also said that the agency is providing thousands of jobs for technology experts in the Country.

Kashifu said this in Abuja during the 2020 International Legislative Stakeholder Conference on Cybersecurity he stressed that youths should not use their talents for cyber scams rather should leverage on the opportunities provided by the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) to make legitimate income.

He said: “When it comes to Cyber Security, Collaboration is the future. This is because Cyber security is not something that one can do alone. It is something that requires information sharing. That sharing is very important because according to Cyber Security Ventures, by next year the cost of cybercrime to the world will be more that 6 trillion dollars annually.

“Also, fighting cybercrime will create 3.5 million jobs. So, we need to strike the balance between avoiding cybercrime and still creating the jobs. This is an opportunity for our talented youths to use their cyber expertise to fight cybercrime. So, youths should use their cyber expertise to make legitimate money rather than go into cyber criminality.

“We have started by creating the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and based on the NDPR report launched last week, we have licensed 70 data Protection compliance organizations which have created 2,686 direct jobs for youths who have ICT expertise. So, these are the directions that our youths should be directing their expertise towards.”

Similarly, in his keynote address the Minister of communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, represented by the Executive Vice Chairman, Chief Executive of Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) said “This Conference is indeed timely as we celebrate Cyber Security Month. Cybersecurity awareness has become imperative due to the attendant risks that emanate from the appreciable migration of several transactions, meetings, lectures and other forms of interaction to online and digital platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic”.

He further stated that “The importance of cybersecurity is emphasized in Pillar #6 (Soft Infrastructure) of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. The Soft Infrastructure pillar aims to ensure that Nigerians are secure online”.

Pantami said “while congratulating the Senate Committee on ICT, Cybercrime for putting this together. I implore my colleagues in the legislative arm of government to support our drive for a diversified economy with relevant legislation in order to bequeath to Nigerians a legacy of a digitally transformed Nigeria”.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime, Senator Yakubu Oseni, stressed the commitment of the Nigerian Senate to fight cybercrime. He also urged Nigerian youths to use their technology expertise for legitimate earning.

“If you follow the theme of the conference very well, you will know that the Senate is very much concerned about the cyber security threat in Nigeria. There are a lot of issues that have been discussed in the Senate and that is why the motion was raised in November 2019 on the issue of cyber threat. We want to create more awareness on the damage that cybercrime has caused to the economy of Nigeria.

“We are also very particular about some of our youths, because the knowledge that they have, which they are using to commit this crime, can be tailored towards legitimate earning. We want to create awareness to our youths about this and encourage them to leverage on the opportunities we are proffering here today.”

The Conference which is themed “The digital Theatre and the future of Nigeria” to engage stakeholders and participants cutting across the Nigeria.