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Federal Govt Plans Law To Criminalise Vandalism Of Telecom Infrastructure

The Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy has proposed the enactment of a legislation to criminalize any one that vandalizes equipment identified as a Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), has learnt.

This is following President Buhari’s approval for the protection of relevant telecommunications infrastructure across the country and directed the security agencies to protect all national infrastructure across the country, the minister of communications, Isa Pnatami said recently at the 2021 Cybersecurity Conference that was organised by in collaboration with the American Business Council, USTDA and some private sector partners, recently.

Meanwhile, between October 2020 when the transfer of  the supervision of NIMC to Ministry of Communication was completed and now, the minister said the number of enrolments into the national identity register has been increased from 42 million to 60 million. “Since then we have recorded an unprecedented increase in enrolments, with more than 18 million new enrolments!”

“As we pursue digital transformation and adapt to a world where digital devices, services, and banks interact with customer’s data, it is important to promote digital identity and a stronger user authentication as important parameters towards improving cybersecurity.”

Speaking during the virtual conference, Dr Pantami said the development of a legal and regulatory framework to protect society and promote a safe and secure digital environment is key and should be at the outset of any national efforts in cybersecurity, reason he said made the government to develop the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.

“We are currently in the process of extending beyond the NDPR subsidiary legislation to developing a principal legislation that will be an Act of the National Assembly.  We have reached an advanced stage in the process,” he stated.

Cybersecurity experts at the forum called for a community-based approach to digital safety that can protect children and minors from exploitation, especially sexual exploitation. They said there is urgent need to deal with the menace of digital exploitation of children.

They also called for eview and harmonisation of existing legal framework on cybersecurity (including e-business and online consumer protection), data protection, and localization. Internet Safety, social media, and Protection of Children and Gender Rights Online.

pacity of the judiciary and law enforcement to address cybercrime.

US ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard said as more Nigerians become connected to the digital world everyday, their livelihood and local Infrastructure are further dependent on a secured cyber environment. “The technology that has brought us together can be used against us. We need to protect our cyber space, protect the resources we rely on to achieve our goals,” she said.

Ambassador Leonard said international cooperation is crucial in defending a stable and reliable cyberspace, adding that there is need to increase awareness among the citizenry.

Professor of information systems and associate dean at Lagos Business School, Olayinka David-West raised concerns about the vulnerabilities with cyber security. She said there is need for professional training for people to easily identify cyber threats. It was noted that there is need for teaching of cyber hygiene with the training on how internet users can protect themselves and their data.

The experts called for capacity building for law enforcement agents to be able to conduct forensic investigations on handling of cyber-criminality.

Country manager, Sub-Saharan Africa USTDA, Jillian Foerster, said a risk-based approach is needed. Julian said the US embassy would really welcome the collaboration with Nigeria on that.

The resulting damages of cyberattacks are not only increasing, but are unfortunately projected to cost the loss of approximately $5.2 trillion across the globe by 2023, according to Accenture. This is over 35 per cent of the GDP of China, 137 per cent the GDP of Germany or over 173 per cent to GDP of the entire African continent. By all standards, this is a huge and expensive global threat.

Risk advisory leader, Deloitte West Africa, Tope S. Aladenusi, said cyber security laws should be tailored not too stringent in other not to stifle trade within and between countries.

Ghana national cyber security adviser: what is ghana doing said the country intends to develop cyber security to be able to prevent future intrusions. He acknowledged the need to deepen international collaborations with neighbours like Nigeria and other countries.

The discussions were advanced on cybersecurity knowledge and practice across communities to address the challenges leveraging the national cybersecurity framework of Nigeria, address critical concerns associated with the use of cyberspace, identify incentives for sector growth and engage stakeholders to create cybersecurity hubs that will translate to job opportunities for Nigerians.

SOURCE; https://leadership.ng/federal-govt-plans-law-to-criminalise-vandalism-of-telecom-infrastructure/

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