By Musa Adamu
The Senate lamented Wednesday that in 2017 alone , Nigeria lost about $649million or N250billion to cybercrimes .
It consequently urged the Federal Government to increase budgetary allocation to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the enhancement of the nation’s digital economy and cyber security.
The Upper Legislative Chamber also mandated its Committee on ICT and Cybercrime to re-establish engagement with stakeholders in order to ensure a comprehensive and broad-based approach to addressing Nigeria’s digital technology and cyber security crises.
It further directed the Committee to embark on strategic engagements with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with a view to ascertaining their ICT shortfalls, cyber security 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 ( APC Kogi Central) .
Yakubu in his lead debate, called on his colleagues to be worried that the gains of digital technology are being dampened by rapid evolution of cybersecurity threats and increased attacks in both sophistication and severity.
According to him, reports indicate that there is currently a dramatic rise in cybercrime such as the “ransomeware epidemic, the refocusing of malware from personal computers (PCS) and laptops to smartphones and mobile devices, the deployment of billions of under-protected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the legion of hackers-for-hire.”
He said that there are 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 in trillions of dollars.
“Recently, the NotPetya malware caused billions of dollars in damage in many industries around the world.
“Global ransomeware damage alone has been predicted to cost the world over 11 billion dollars in 2019 and 20 billion dollars in 2021.
“It is also predicted that a business will fall every 14 seconds in 2019 and 11 seconds in 2021, and that overall cybercrime is predicted to cost the world over 6 trillion dollars annually from 2021”, he said.