President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday called for an overhaul of the national cybersecurity strategy.
Buhari said more emphasis should be placed on exploring the internet for opportunities for economic growth, improving knowledge and mitigating crime.
He spoke at the launch of the National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy (NCPS) 2021 in Abuja, details of which are in a statement by his spokesperson Garba Shehu.
According to Buhari: “I urge the National Security Advisor to continue to coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders to ensure that our internet and cyberspace are used to enhance national security and economic advancement.
“I am confident that together we can pave the way for creating new opportunities to propel Nigeria into a bright future driven by a prosperous cyberspace and digital economy. ”
The President noted that the federal government had taken major policy decisions to increase the penetration of the Internet into the daily lives of citizens, especially for utilitarian purposes, with the launch of the National Plan for Broadband 2020-2025 in March. 2020; National policy and strategy on the digital economy 2020-2030; National Identity Program, Treasury Single Account and Bank Verification Number Systems.
“All of these initiatives serve as catalysts to tackle many of the economic and security challenges facing our country, while providing us with the platform to enhance accountability and transparency in our unwavering determination to fight corruption.
“However, like many other countries around the world, the growth and development of the Internet comes with significant challenges. We are seeing an increase in threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters and cyber terrorists who use the internet to provoke apprehension, ” the president said.
He added that the internet and social media had seen a sharp increase in the spread of hate speech, fake news, seditious and treacherous messages, as well as risks of breaches of personal information and sensitive government data.
“It is almost impossible to overestimate the challenges. Some global events such as the rapid emergence of new technologies, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the advent of 5G technology, have further broadened the scope and diversification of these cyber threats.
“ In October 2020, we all witnessed an escalation in the use of social media for spreading subversive messages and inciting violence which helped to increase tensions, provoke unrest and trigger acts of widespread looting and destruction across the country. ”
President Buhari said the federal government has been proactive over the past two years in taking steps to ensure progressive use of the Internet and cyberspace.
He added, “In 2014, the first national cybersecurity policy and strategy was developed to provide the roadmap necessary for the achievement of our national cybersecurity agenda. This national effort has helped Nigeria achieve many cybersecurity milestones over the past six years.
“Therefore, in order to build on this achievement and reposition ourselves for increased engagement in cyberspace, it has become timely to review the 2014 national cybersecurity policy and strategy and develop a national cybersecurity policy and strategy. 2021 complete for the common good of our country. ‘
The President said the 2021 National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy will provide Nigeria with the necessary platform to effectively address the dynamic nature of threats in its cyberspace.
He said, “The document will also provide the framework for us to mobilize the efforts of our private sector, academia and industry towards progressive economic and national development.
“To this end, the document will provide the platform for technical education, the acquisition of digital skills and the production of indigenous technologies, thereby creating employment opportunities for our young people and supporting our determination to reduce poverty and to stimulate our economy. ”