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Cybercrime: Nigeria lost $649m in 2017, says Senate


The Senate on Wednesday said that Nigeria lost about $649m to cybercrime in 2017.

It consequently urged the Federal Government to increase budgetary allocation to Information and Communication Technology.

It said the increased funding would enhance the nation’s digital economy and cybersecurity.

The upper chamber also mandated its Committee on ICT and Cybercrime to re-establish engagement with stakeholders in the sector.

It said the engagement would ensure a comprehensive and broad-based approach to addressing Nigeria’s digital technology and cybersecurity crises.



It further directed the Committee to embark on strategic engagements with Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

This,  the parliament believes, should be with a view to ascertaining their ICT shortfalls, cybersecurity constraints, data management challenges and possible remediation measures.

The  resolutions of the upper chamber followed a motion titled: “The growth of digital technology and the challenge of cybercrime: Urgent need to safeguard the future of Nigeria.”

The motion was sponsored by Senator Oseni Yakubu.

Yakubu in his lead debate called on his colleagues to be worried that the gains of digital technology are being dampened by the rapid evolution of cybersecurity threats and attacks, which has increased in both sophistication and severity.

He said reports indicated that there is currently a dramatic rise in cybercrime

He said there were increasingly sophisticated attacks on governments, businesses, educational establishments and defence infrastructure.

He added that criminal cyber-related activities are already costing the world huge losses worth trillions of dollars.

He said,  “Global ransomeware damage alone has been predicted to cost the world over $11bn in 2019 and $20bn in 2021.”

He lamented that Nigeria was already plagued with destructive cyber crises.

He said, “Reports indicate that in 2017 alone, the country lost about $649m (i.e. over N250 billion) to cybercrime activities.”

“The 2018 Report of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Cooperation indicates that there were 37,817 reported fraud cases within the year.

“Out of this, 59.2 per cent were internet and technology-based, costing businesses in Nigeria several billions of naira.

“It is also indicated that over 81 per cent of cybersecurity incidents in the country are either unreported or unresolved, leaving room for the proliferation and escalation of illicit cyber activities”.

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