CYBER CRIME IN NIGERIA: THE IMPLICATION ON OUR ECONOMY AND SOCIAL IMAGE
WHAT IS CYBER CRIME:
Cyber crime is an emerging trend that is rapidly growing in scope and frequently. The revolution in information and communication technology ICT had greatly promoted the scope and trend in cyber crime in Nigeria. The world being a global village, Nigeria could not have been in isolation in embracing the usage of social media and the internet’s which are greater promoter of cybercrime to put it succinctly, cybercrime is a product of wrong usage or abuse of ICT or internet service.
WHY THE ESCALATION IN NIGERIA:
No doubt the menace of cybercrime in Nigeria has been on the increase due to some crucial factors, mostly bothering on lack of specific laws designed to address the problem.
Most law enforcement agencies including the police are not prepared to deal with online crime due to the complex and intricate nature of the investigation couple with the rapid advancement of new technology. Our society continue to get more involved in the crime, while the public expects our law enforcement agencies to keep pace with modern technology as it affects the investigation and prosecution process, and by extension tackling crime in general.
Cybercrime still remain a major cause of concern in Nigeria for many government security departments, and combating cyber threats are becoming harder to content with due to the sophisticated and complex manners in which cyber criminals are operating, and the poor investigative approaches by law enforcement agencies.
ECONOMIC MENACE OF CYBER CRIME:
While the escalation of cyber crime could not be curtailed adequately by crime prevention agencies, the effects continue to bite hard on our economy, both locally and internationally. Aside from the social menace it is creating in our entire systems to a large extent, cyber crime has thrown up a large number of 419 perpetrators in our economic system. Very easily people are able to commit economic crime through the internet by duping one another of large sum of money locally and internationally. Corporate internet fraud has been on the increase as even unscrupulous banking officials are conniving with outsiders to steal depositor’s funds.
Aside from local economic sabotage and fraud, a large number of Nigerians particularly the youths are also engaged in perpetrating internet fraud by duping individuals and corporate institutions abroad through spurious economic deals. Fraudulent practices through cyber crime has thrown up emergency millionaires, even billionaires in our economic system which is injurious to our economic growth as most of such funds acquired, illegally are not been used productively to promote the economy. Such funds could not be easily traced by law enforcement agencies. In deed economic sabotage resulting from cyber crime cannot be over-emphasized.
SOCIAL MENACE OF CYBERCRIME:
Another serious aspect of cyber crime or social media abuse is how dubious relationship are easily courted or established, which often lead to disastrous ends, particularly amongst our youths. We have seen instances where such relationship established through internet process ended up in untimely deaths of innocent people (male & female).
Lots of social media links for social engagement had ended in disasters often creating bottlenecks for law enforcement agencies due to lapses or lack of concrete laws in place to address the situation.
In all of these, Nigeria’s image has continuously been the worse for it. It has been seriously battered internally and externally. Though cybercrime is a global phenomenon, individual countries suffers the effects differently depending on what laws each country has in place to address the situation, as well as how effective their law and crime prevention agencies are able to curtail the menace.
This is why the proposed urgent need for the establishment of the Nigeria Police Internet Crime Complaint Centre (NPIC3) in Nigeria, which will be in affiliation with the internet crime complaint centre of the United States of America (IC3), is most welcomed. Also, the urgent inclusion of online Forensics Graphognomy course into the curriculum of Nigeria Police Education Unit, which will strategically enhance the know-how of methodologies of online scamming technicalities being used by cyber criminals thereby making investigation of cybercrime intelligence information gathering reports easier for law enforcement agencies, as otherwise stated above.
Certainly, the approval of this proposal will enable the Nigeria Police re0address the emerging facts that have shown Nigeria to be one of the leading cybercrime perpetrators in the world, as earlier acknowledged by the National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) on Wednesday March 20th 2013, edition of Leadership Newspaper. Because of the foregoing, the danger attached to cybercrimes as reflects on the online image of our country, has made it more difficult for Nigeria to engage in online business and other cyber related activities.
The proposed seminar/workshop being packages by the Police Assistance Committee of Nigeria (PAC) in collaboration with other stakeholders and partners such as Senate Committee on Police Affairs, The Nigerian Police Force, The Armed Forces, other Para-military Agencies and other stakeholders will discuss extensively on the issues/implication of cyber crime and how to curtail it through appropriate legislation. It is in this light that we are soliciting for massive participation by every stakeholder including corporate and public establishments in the organization and conduct of the nation-wide seminar/workshop.
Thanks and God bless.
PROPHET DR. MARTINS .J. ONI
Police Assistance Committee/Association of Tradesmen and Artisans/Exco Member (PAC/ATA)