World Bulletin / News Desk
The minister said Nigeria, which has long had a reputation for Internet-based scams targeting foreigners, is facing increased cyber fraud and theft as Internet penetration deepens.
“There is cause for concern over the increasing wave of Internet fraud and cybercrimes in Nigeria,” Shittu said at a seminar on cybercrime legislation. “The growing role of cyberspace has opened up new threats as well as new opportunities.
“Reports and statistics reaching me show that Nigeria is losing about $450 million annually due to computer and Internet-related fraud.”
Around 37 percent of Nigeria’s 170 million population now has access to the Internet. In May, the Cybercrime Prevention and Prohibition Act came into force in response to a rise in cyberterrorism, electronic card-related fraud, identity theft and bank account hacking. The legislation carries penalties of 10 years to life imprisonment.
“Cyberspace has the potential to deliver socio-economic development,” Shittu said. “However, it needs to be open and accessible to all as well as safe and secure.”