Experts question Nigeria’s readiness under NSA-led council

Cybersecurity experts have raised concerns over Nigeria’s ability to respond to possible cyberthreats, questioning the efficiency of the country’s lead advisory team and the management of its dedicated fund.

The Cybercrime Advisory Council, led by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, was set up in 2016 and was tasked with checking rising cybercrimes and formulating the modalities for implementing the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention) Act 2015.

While Nigeria is yet to face a significant cyber attack, experts say the country does not need to wait until that happens before it takes action. They argue that with growing incidents of cybercrimes globally, structures put in place to address such threats need to be functional and funds judiciously used.

Nigeria lost about N250 billion in 2017 and N288 billion in 2018 to cybercrime, a Proshare report said.

Uche Mbanaso The Executive Director, the Centre for Cyberspace Studies, Nasarawa State University

Ayoola Falola, a cybersecurity expert based in Abuja said the NSA-led team appears set up for failure.

“Just like many other ‘advisory’ councils set-up in Nigeria – the law mandates ministries and MDAs to ‘donate’ members. There is no care if such government establishments have the right staffing and framework to support such membership,” he said.

‘’Cybersecurity is a fast-paced industry; but based on the membership representation from government agencies, the council doesn’t seem to have enough theoretical and technical knowledge to support the mandate they are given.

‘’To help make the council effective, I recommend they elect permanent members (based strictly on merit) and invest in a programme that would keep the council busy and engage the ‘stakeholders’ to ensure that the goals of the act are established and fulfilled.’’

He also called for more transparency in the management of the cybersecurity funds and called for more companies to be made to contribute to it.

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