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Nigeria center of cybercrime in Africa.

Former President Olusegun ObasanjoThe absence of an enabling legislation on Nigeria’s cyberspace has continued to increase concerns over online safety, dwindling consumer confidence in e-commerce and other online financial transactions.

Cases of cybercrime are on the increase. A number of institutions, particularly internet banking and other online transactions, have become targets of cyber criminals, with varying degrees of success.

Dubious persons send scam email messages to victims requesting information like login accounts and passwords amongst others in order to defraud the unsuspecting preys. Theft of identity, spamming, unauthorised access, cyber bullying, cyber stalking, amongst others, are some of the rampant cases of cybercrimes in Nigeria today.

In 2004, the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, formed a cybercrime committee – a 15-member committee consisting of representatives from the government and private sector and tasked them with designing solutions for Nigerian internet-based fraud and cybercrime.

The committee then formed the Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group (NCWG), and after several months of hard work and determination, presented a ‘Draft Nigerian Cybercrime Act’ to the President. The bill passed the first reading in the Nigerian National Assembly but the committee later crumbled the bill and it died.

Seven years after, dangers posed by cybercriminals are on the increase, thus internet users, experts and other stakeholders are calling for a revisit of the bill, to create an enabling Law, to deal with cybercrime and cyber security.

In a chat with THISDAY, President of Information Security Society of Africa, Nigeria (ISSAN), and member of the Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group (NCWG), which drafted the first bill on Nigerian Cybercrime Act, Mr. David Isiavwe, decried the non-existent of a cyber-law in Nigeria today.

According to Isiavwe: “All stakeholders including the average university student; secondary and primary school pupils; the employers of labour as well as employees in public and private sectors, financial institutions, telecoms operators and other organisations in the country must know that cybercrime is real.