Nigeria’s Cybercrime Act needs review – Senate Committee

Someone using a computer used to illustrate the story.
Someone using a computer used to illustrate the story.

The Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime on Tuesday said that the current law on cybercrime in Nigeria needs to be reviewed to meet the standard in developed countries.

The chairman of the committee, Abdulfatai Buhari, Oyo-APC, stated this while addressing the press shortly after plenary.

The briefing, he noted, was to invite journalists and members of the public to a three-day conference on ICT and cyber-crime.

He said the conference is important to effect a review of the Cyber-crime Act which he described as “scanty.”

“If you remember, in March 2015 the former President signed a bill on cybercrime but when you look at the bill, it is very scanty. So, we came up with a bill which has passed through first reading,” he said.

“Our intention is that if you take the bill for second reading without the input of experts, you are just wasting your time. We need to study how other countries are implementing their cybercrime law. Most people don’t even know that we have a cybercrime law in this country. That’s one of the reason for this conference. We want to gather every knowledge so as to prepare the bill for the second reading. By the time we are coming for the public hearing, the bill will be so rich and we’ll have something to fall back on.”

Mr. Buhari further stated that the cybercrime bill should be reviewed in order to prepare the country for impending dangers.

“In the last couple of months, a lot of attack has been going on worldwide and this brings to fore the question of how safe the Nigeria’s cyberspace is. We discussed a motion and we decided that we don’t have to fold our arms and wait until there is an attack before we act. We decided to take a preventive measure. If the developed world is been attacked day in day out, there is a need for us to strengthen our cyberspace.

“In Germany, there is a ministry entirely dedicated to cybercrime, the same thing in USA. Last year alone, the British government budgeted four billion pounds to fight cybercrime because they know the implication.”

The lawmaker said it is wrong to call an individual a “yahoo boy” as no law recognises such designation.

“In the country today, you’ll see someone moving on the road and they will be called yahoo yahoo boys. There is no law like that.

Even definition of who handles cybercrime is not there (in the cybercrime act). We don’t have any solid law (on cybercrime) in this country today. The moment a database is attacked, God forbid, the country is doomed.”

He said the conference will hold between November 6 and 9.

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