Cybercrime Act: Emefiele Calls For Effective Enforcement  To Deter Offenders.

Abuja- In a move to deter offenders from perpetrating Cybercrime, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has called for effective enforcement of the Cybercrime Act to serve as a constant reminder to those who may wish to engage in illicit activities targeting the nation’s financial technology infrastructures.

Emefiele who made the remark on Tuesday at the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) Stakeholders Workshop on Cybercrime in Abuja, said that with no alternative in sight to the adoption of technology by the Financial Services Industry; there should be no option to taking the critical steps needed to ensure that the technology and processes adopted remain safe, secure and functional at all times.

The CBN Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate, Mr.Adebayo Adelabu, emphasized that firm and appropriate legal frameworks must be put in place, supported with sound and effective law enforcement and enhanced technical and institutional capabilities to effectively protect these networks and secure the systems and infrastructure from all forms of cybercrimes.

According to him; “We all know that the incentive for network breach or cyber-attack in the financial sector is more compelling for obvious reasons, than other sectors. This is why the protection of information infrastructure utilized in the delivery of financial services is considered critical all over the world, and it was because of the importance of securing infrastructures such as those of the financial sector, and protecting the underlying services from cyber-attacks that the Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention) Act was enacted in 2015.

“The Act has placed certain obligations on a number of stakeholders in the Cybersecurity community. They include the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA); a host of MDA’s, including the Attorney General and Minister of Justice; as well as such professional institutions as the Computer Professionals’ Registration Council (CPN), Financial Institutions and Technology Service Providers, etc. Instructively, the Act also mandated the establishment of National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT); the, Cybercrime Advisory Council; and the National Cyber Security Fund” he said.

Meanwhile, Section 1 of the Act provides that the objectives of the Act are to: Provide an effective and unified legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of cybercrimes in Nigeria; Ensure the protection of critical national information infrastructure; and Promote cyber security and the protection of computer systems and networks, electronic communications, data and computer programs, intellectual property and  privacy rights.

Also speaking, the Deputy Governor, CBN, Operations Directorate, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu who was represented by the Director, Banking and Payment System, CBN, Mr Dipo Fatokun noted that the passing into law of an act on Cybercrime Prohibition and Prevention in May 2015, marked the beginning of an era in the regulation of all cyber activities in Nigeria.

He added however that while it can be said that the country now has a legal framework for Cybercrime and Cybersecurity, the Nigeria electronic Fraud Forum in various reviews of the act have received some feedback which are directed to questions around the content and structure of the law and inconsistencies, when weighed against certain core technology laws and cybercrime principles.

“It is the opinion of most stakeholders engaged by NeFF, that these issues have created intractable enforcement challenges for those mandated to implement the law” he said.

The workshop on the Cybercrime Prohibition and Prevention Act 2015, with the theme ‘Tackling Enforcement Challenges Under The cybercrime Act’, is aimed at assessing the extent to which the stated objectives of the Act have so far been achieved; identify any challenges possibly militating against the achievement of those laudable goals; and specify measures which the stakeholders acting together, or through entities empowered under the Act can undertake to engender a more vigorous and impacting enforcement era.

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