President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria is witnessing an increase in the threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters, and cyber terrorists, adding that cyber terrorists use the internet to cause tension in the country.
The president made this known in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled, ‘Why we must curb criminalities, use the internet for national security and economic progress, by President Buhari, on Tuesday.
Buhari, while speaking at the launch of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2021 in Abuja, called for a revision of the national cybersecurity strategy, calling for greater emphasis on exploring the internet for opportunities for economic growth, knowledge improvement, and crime mitigation.
The President noted that, with the launch of the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 in March 2020; National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020-2030; National Identity Program, Treasury Single Account, and Bank Verification Number schemes, the Federal Government has taken some major policy decisions to increase internet penetration in citizens’ daily lives, especially for utilitarian purposes.
“All these initiatives serve as enablers for tackling many of the economic and security challenges facing our country while also providing us with the platform to improve accountability and transparency in our unwavering resolve to tackle corruption.
“However, like many other countries across the globe, the growth and development of the internet are accompanied by significant problems. We are witnessing a rise in threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters, and cyber terrorists who use the internet to cause apprehension,’’ the President stated.
He added that there has been an increase in the spread of hate speech, fake news, seditious and treasonous messages on the internet and social media, as well as the risk of breaches of personal data and government-sensitive data.