The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2018 report, has ranked Nigeria 57th out of 175 countries in the campaign against the menace of cybercrime globally.
Nigeria was ranked fifth in Africa.
GCI is an initiative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) involving experts from different backgrounds and organisations. It aims at providing insight into the cybersecurity engagement of countries.
According to the study, Nigeria’s level of commitment towards the fight against cybercrime is ranked medium, alongside United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Kuwait, Tunisia, Mexico, Pakistan, Uganda, Greece, Iran and 45 others.
The commitment of United Kingdom, USA, France, Egypt, Kenya, Japan, Korea and 47 others was ranked high, while Gabon, Algeria, and 86 others were ranked low.
Several factors are responsible for cybercrime in Nigeria. Tunde Ajibike, an Oyo State government official, in a letter published in the Punch Newspaper, said the three-pronged advent of the internet, computers and the mobile phones gave rise to a massive outbreak of cybercrimes.
He further added that criminals and fraudsters leverage on the anonymity provided by the Internet to defraud unsuspecting victims. The fraudsters are fond of impersonating others and stealing their identities to perpetrate their acts. They also take undue advantage of a family member in distress to swindle their victims, he wrote.
The immediate past minister of communications, Adebayo Shittu, said Nigeria loses about N127 billion, 0.8 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products, to cybercrime, yearly.
The report revealed that more than half of the world population are currently online.
As at the end of 2018, 51.2 per cent of individuals, equivalent to 3.9 billion people, were using the Internet.
It has been estimated by IT experts that there will be 70 per cent internet penetration by 2023, increasing the need for a more cyber-secure space.
The report also shows that in 2018, cybercrime legislation was, globally, well implemented.
It shows that in the African region, 38 out of 44 countries have cybercrime legislation. In the American region, 32 out of 35; in the Arab region, 18 out of 22; in the Asia-Pacific region, 35 out of 38. In the European region, only one Member State was recorded as not having cybercrime legislation.
The body urged governments not to adopt laws and leave them redundant. Rather, they should use the laws as a framework to implement strategies that ensure government ICT initiatives are sustainable, in compliance with information technology authorities, and enhancing cybersecurity.