BY Abubakar AbdurRahaman Dodo
National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is diligently committed to fighting cybercrime in Nigeria, owing to which it established National Cyber Security and Research Centre (CSRC), thereby liasing with similar agencies in some countries, the likes of Cyber Security Malaysia and the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Center (CCIRC). With these in place, NITDA is viewed as the Arrow head of Digital Economy and safety fortress for e-Governance.
Thus, NITDA’s e-Commerce Department which is saddled with responsibility of facilitating the transformation to digital business models and market across all sectors and industries is solely established to deal with tax evaders, illegal black marketers and miscreant touts. Hence, agency’s e-GDR e- Government Development and Regulation is solely aimed at enhancing government e-service delivery of public service to all people in strategic sectors of the economy. NITDA anticipated that good governance can easily be discharged within the quickest shortest possible time.
Sometimes in 2016 NITDA revealed that Nigeria loses 89,55 billion Naira ($450 million) a year to cyber crime. Definitely the looses cut across divide of both public and private sectors; and possibly some innocent unsuspecting individuals were among the victims of fraudsters, who often sent fraudulent electronic mails to the gullible minds. If this is the case, how can we protect the Nigerian public and the world in general from being victimized by yahooboys, fraudsters, swindlers, conmen and their likes?
So far, I don’t know of any agency that is highly committed to chasing cybercriminals out of our territorial enclave like the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA). But to be candidate in as much as Nigerians want the fight to be sustained, we must partner with agency in order to make it our safety fortress. At the same time the agency’s regulation of both e-Government Development and e-Commerce are the arrow heads of our Digital economy. However, all these could not be achieved without the input/helping hands of patriotic Nigerians; who deem it fit to expose cybercrimes committed by fraudsters, owing to which NITDA can trace their location, block them and hand them over to relevant authorities for prosecution.
And to bring the fight to limelight, sometimes in 2017, Christopher Okeke, Director of Cyber Security, NITDA stipulated that singlehandedly the agency could not sustain the fight against cybercriminals. Thus, he said: “It is imperative to note that this war cannot be fought in isolation. Nations collaborate, share strategies and highly classified information and skills.” As such Nigerians of all works of life, who are in dire need of moving ahead each and every blessed day, must be determined with confidence and courage to learn, be grown and groomed, owing to which we can imagine new possibilities for one another in all spheres of life. In as much as this is our collective yearnings, we have no option than to partner with National Information Technology Development Agency in order to fortify Nigerian nation.
Even in the advance economy, people are highly taken aback whenever a fraud is committed, but they often device means of curtailing the excesses of conmen, most especially miscreant computer experts. Thus, Joseph R. Davies CFE, in his article titled: “Bank Reconciliation Process: Dealing with Outsiders’ Threats, states: “It is a rather simple and unsophisticated process for an outsider to produce bogus checks. Anyone with a few Dollars can produce high quality fake document with a computer and peripheral equipment.” That is why Conmen are wreaking havoc in Nigeria’s business environment. Ipso factor TRIM, COMANDCLEM, MMM and many more will remain indelible in the minds of Nigerians, most especially whose hard earned money were carted away in a twinkle of an eye. Infact, many gullible minds were hoodwinked to delve into easy money-making ventures.
Nigeria is bedeviled with security challenges and unemployment among our youth. So in addressing these menace that beleaguered our society, we need the database of National Bureau for Statistics, National Identification Management Commission and that of National Population commission to be analyzed by experts positioned at NITDA headquarters, so that together we can set national agenda for dealing with our problems.
However, I am most certain that the Director-General of NITDA, Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, will not relent in his effort to allow our scientists and technologists, especially software and web designers to only resort to extrapolation, interpolation and manipulation letters and figures (Alphanumerics acradabra), as he must definitely seek the input of Nigerians of all classes, owing to which NITDA can easily re-direct our experts on how to design softwares and websites aimed at blocking leakages as a fortress hindering the excesses of kleptomaniacs and unscrupulous elements of our society, who only think of themselves, simply by siphoning our treasury, as well as converting public properties into theirs. Why the input of NITDA is highly needed in addressing security and economic challenges faced by this nation, this is because computer inputs and outputs are many a times spearheaded by GIGO (garbage-in-garbage-out).
One need not be told that in every society there are able and disable bodies, as there are productive and unproductive age groups. If we take cognizance of these variables, we can easily winnow the chap from the grains, owing to which our security agencies will deal with anti-social and vagabonds living among us. NITDA and NPC can work simultaneously, as they are duty bound to separate truth from falsehood; sites designed by cybercriminals so as to hoodwink their unsuspecting victims; mushroom academic institutions that groomed a number of certificate worshippers, simply by awarding fake certificate for a token fee; ghost workers in both private and public organizations that are being used by bad managers as a conduit pipe of siphoning the nation’s wealth. By and large money dubblers are at the fore front in cybercrimes, as unsuspecting victims often received fraudulent electronic mails or text messages through their cell phones. Those mails and messages often cajoled gullible minds with juicy easy money-making venture.
At least if the National Information Technology Development Agency make an in-road in spearheading the affairs of this nation, together we can build a strong and vibrant digital economy, through e-commerce ; good governance through the use digital tools in manning the administrative policies of our government as it is often dubbed e-government. Since this is the age of information technology Nigeria should not lag behind, so long as our experts in the fields of science and technology partner with NITDA in charting a course for our educational development.
NITDA under the stewardship of Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is highly committed to fighting cybercrime in this country, but singlehandedly the agency cannot continue to shoulder this responsibility, because there is a stronger need for total support of Nigerians. As Nigerians are striving hard to report suspicious movement of persons and goods to the security agencies, likewise we should strive heaven and earth to report cybercriminals to NITDA, owing to which the agency can deploy forensic analyst to liase with Anti-graft agencies to hit the nail on the head of those disgruntle elements that become the cankerworm that derails and denigrates all aspects of our national planning and development.
To sum up, partnership with National Information Technology Agency in addressing nation’s myriad problems must be complied which cut across divides of both individuals and corporate bodies. As a matter of fact, there is need to build compliance programs around NITDA’s effort in curtailing the excesses of conmen, fraudsters, swindlers and all classes of criminals who commit their insidious evil deed with aids of internets. Thus: “Compliance programs have to be more than faddish reactions to corporate scandals. Management must commit to not only obeying laws but devising programs that they will enthusiastically support with funding, skilled personnel, and a determined attitude to do what is right – over and over again.” (Marin T Biegelman, 2008: Building a World Class Compliance Program: Best Practices and Strategies for Success).
Indeed, I am most certain that NITDA under the stewardship of Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi will continue to serve humanity enthusiastically over and over again, in as much as Nigerians deem it fit to partner with agency for the actualization of our nation building dream. Nigerians must learn to make best use of their knowledge by instilling patriotism in their sense of reasoning, owing to which the country will always be in their thinking wholeheartedly.
*Dodo writes from No. 2290 S/Kofar Waika, Kano City. email@example.com