Nigeria losses about ₦127bn to cybercrime annually- NITDA

Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja


The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA),in Nigeria, says the country losses about N127 billion Naira to cybercrime as a result of Nigeria’s inability to properly secure her information systems; as the  global IT industry is expected to hit $5 trillion by the end of the year’s.

The Director General ,NITDA, Dr Isa Pantami disclosed this in Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital, during the stakeholders Engagement For The Review of the Guidelines for Information System Audit and Software Testing .

Dr Pantani who was represented by the Director, eGovernment Regulatory Department of the Agency, Dr Vincent Olatunji said Nigeria needs adequate guidelines to protect the Nigerian cyberspace.

“The Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), has estimated that Nigeria loses about N127 billion to cybercrimes yearly. This is caused in part by our inability to adequately secure our Information Systems. Therefore, securing our information systems is a must if we want to guarantee the safe delivery of our services. The proposed Guidelines for Information Systems Audit by the Agency is one of the tools to guarantee this safety,” he explained

He further said that , “On assumption of office, we realized that the Agency did not have any instrument that stipulates a clear process for issuance of regulatory instruments. A Rulemaking Process Regulation was therefore issued on 25th January, 2019. The Rulemaking Process is a subsidiary legislation that provides clear procedure for issuance of the Agency’s regulatory instruments. It involves analytical and critical thinking approach that we are sure if followed will give the country stakeholders’ friendly, developmental and implementable ICT regulations.”

The DG explained that in a bid to create the necessary enabling environment and build solid foundation for digital transformation in Nigeria, “NITDA in the last two years has focused on developing appropriate regulatory instruments- standards, guidelines and frameworks. It is no longer gainsaying that our regulations are developmental. As this is evident in the upward contributions of ICT to the country’s Q4 2018 GDP which rose to 13.63%.”

“The Nigerian Software Testing Guidelines (NSTG) is developed on the premise that mitigating software vulnerability risks through the promotion of structured software testing practice for safety and quality of software development will create the enabling environment for growth of the indigenous testing sector in Nigeria. The importance of software testing cannot be over emphasized in today’s rapidly growing technological environment as the global IT industry may reach $5 trillion this year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC),” he said.

Dr Pantami noted that the acquisition of technology driven solutions to drive growth in the public and private sectors have continued to increase in Nigeria as “the indigenous software market has not been left out of this growth trend, but continues to suffer stiff competition from foreign off-the-shelf software used to meet local needs, where indigenous software could have provided the appropriate solutions.”

According to industry analysts, this trend has affected growth of the local software sector, which by now should be in excess of probably ten (10) billion dollars annually if well harnessed. However, quality assurance challenges amongst other factors have contributed to low adoption of indigenous software products in the country,” he added.

The software testing guidelines when implemented is expected to achieve the following: provide the software industry with a structured software testing guideline and best practices in software testing to promote safety and quality of software development in Nigeria; and Provide an enabling environment for indigenous software testing administration, management and sustainability, through structured testing guidelines to improve quality, availability, reliability and as well ensure cost reduction in local software development.

He said, “in addition, there is an urgent need to continually protect the country’s information systems from being compromised. Today, most business processes are carried out electronically, and large amounts of information are stored, processed, and transmitted over IT networks, which means businesses, administrations, and citizens depend on the proper operation of the information technology used.

Pantami added that in line with the Federal Government’s effort in ensuring that Government services go online and digital,” we are saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the security and quality of the platforms through which these services are delivered. This is to ensure going digital will be of ultimate benefit to the entire citizenry. These guidelines will help organisations to enforce and manage their IT security culture for safer, more efficient business transactions.”