Why Nigeria Needs Effective Cybercrime Law ―Emefiele

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Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

GOVERNOR of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday said Nigeria needs an effective cybercrime regulation because almost all critical sectors of the economy have adopted and currently are utilizing ICT to deliver sensitive services in shared, interconnected, real time, and interdependent ecosystems.

“Given the reality that with this progress comes challenges in the manner of exposures and vulnerabilities, it is inescapable therefore that firm and appropriate legal frameworks must be put in place, supported with sound and effective law enforcement and enhanced technical and institutional capabilities to effectively protect these networks and secure the systems and infrastructure from all forms of cybercrimes.”

Emefiele spoke in Abuja while delivering a keynote address at the stakeholder workshop on Cybercrime organised by Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) to mark the second anniversary of the enactment of Cybercrime Prohibition and Prevention Act 2015.

Emefiele said the global Financial Services Industry has been further challenged by the advent and wide acceptance of virtual and crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, based on the Blockchain Technology; Financial Technology (Fintech); and the development of artificial intelligence and robotics.

“The clear implication of these developments is that, as there does not seem to be any alternative to the wholesome adoption of technology by the Financial Services Industry; there should be no option to taking the critical steps needed to ensure that the technology and processes adopted remain safe, secure and functional at all times.”

Speaking on the theme “Cybercrime As A Global Challenge In The Cloud Computing Era: Designing Appropriate Law, Policy And Enforcement Strategies”, CBN Governor noted although no one is in doubt about the serious consequences of a network breach or similar cyber incident in any industry where the use of technology is the standard, such as is the case in the financial sector today.

“We all know that the incentive for network breach or cyber-attack in the financial sector is more compelling for obvious reasons, than other sectors.”

“As the regulator of the Financial Sector, we are constantly confronted with issues raised by operators who occupy the unenviable position of “first line of defenders” against cyber-attacks on the systems, networks and infrastructures through which financial services are carried out in the country.”

According to Emefiele, the tasks bestowed on certain ministries, departments and agencies of government the Act provide immediate areas for review in this workshop.

“Thus, your deliverables at this Workshop should include a careful examination of the extent to which the obligations placed by the Act are fulfilled, and the general assessment of any challenges experienced in compliance with the provisions of the Act.”

Earlier in his opening address, CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Mr. Bayo Adelabu had observed that cyber security now features at the top of discussions among nation-states, organizations and individuals globally.

He attributed this to the fact that technology has become so pervasive that it has become a major factor in our daily lives. From communication to education and security the reliance on technology can no longer be over-emphasized.

Adelabu recalled several previous attempts to legislate on cyber security including the Computer Security and Infrastructure Bill of 2005, Electronic Provisions Bill of 2008, Cyber-security Bill of 2011, Criminal Code Amendment for Offences Relating to Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes of 2011 and Electronic Transfer of Funds Crime Bill of 2001.

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