News Analysis

Discouraging Cyber crime among Nigerians

Cybercrime is a criminal activity that involves a computer network device or a network.

While most cybercrimes are carried out in order to generate profit for cybercriminals, others are carried out against computer devices directly to damage or disable them, while others use computers or network to spread malware, illegal information, images or other materials.

The quest for acquiring wealth which is used as yardstick to determine the status of individuals in the society coupled with the advent of the internet, computers and the mobile phones gave rise to massive outbreak of cybercrimes.

The get-rich-quick syndrome or unexplained wealth has become a cultural norm among the people.

Spearheaded by public office holders who loot the nation’s treasury without commensurate punishment to cough out the ill-gotten wealth.

In the reports of the Auditor-General of the federation, submitted annually to the National Assembly for action, with details of abuse of public finance, have not seen the light of the day.

With the increase in the unemployment rate, some Nigerian youths resort to criminality or life on the fast lane as an escape route.

Nonetheless hard times cannot justify the culture of dishonesty as a means of earning a living.

Sadly, the cybercrime trend has now shifted to the international arena.

For instance, the country would not forget in a hurry the United States of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, which busted a cybercrime network that involved seventy-seven Nigerians.
In a bid to reduce the scourge the government enacted the Cybercrime, Prohibition and Prevention act 2015 but like every other legislation in the country there was no political will for enforcement.

The cybercrime law stipulates seven years’ imprisonment or five million naira fine, or both, for any person convicted of an electronic cards-related fraud.

Besides, the convict shall be further liable to the payment in monetary terms the value of loss sustained by the victims.

The use of fraudulent device or attached e-mails and websites, identity theft and impersonation, among other provisions are covered in the law.

Government should ensure strict enforcement of this law to send strong signal to criminally-minded elements that the long arm of the law will always catch up with them.

Most cybercrime cannot be successful without the connivance of bank officials.

It is pertinent therefore that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Central Bank of Nigeria should pay more attention to the violation of the country’s anti money laundry act by bank officials.

There should be synergy among security agencies to nib this act in the bud.

The EFCC, with the effort of federal bureau of investigation, fbi, launched a sustained operation on perpetrators of various computer-related frauds that resulted in over two hundred arrests and one hundred thirty convictions.

It is worthy of note Nigerians in diaspora in their various fields are doing the country proud by contributing their quota to the economy and governance of their host country.

Tosin Adekanmbi

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