National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, says the activities of hackers and cyber criminals was a threat to the economy and security of Nigerians.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a 31-member Cyber Crime Advisory Council (CAC) in Abuja.
He said vital infrastructure connected to the Internet was also at grave risk due to hackers and cyber criminals.
“The activities of criminals in our cyberspace is threatening our individual and collective privacy,” he said.
According to him, the situation was partly due to lack of awareness on cyber security and poor enforcement of guidelines and minimum standards for security of government websites.
Monguno said that the need to take serious action to protect the country’s cyberspace had become a national security requirement.
He said that the 2014 annual report of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) showed a 183 per cent increase on e-payment platform in the banking sector.
The security adviser added that in 2014, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in the UK estimated the annual cost of cybercrime to Nigeria to about 0.08 per cent, representing about N100 billion.
He pointed out that effective management of risk associated with cybercrime required collaboration between government, the private sector and civil society organisations.
The NSA said government had deployed ways of fighting cybercrime by reviewing the Evidence Act so that electronic evidence could be accepted in court.
He said that the country became the fifth country in Africa and the first in West Africa to enact the cybercrime law.
He urged members of the council to employ their experiences to discharge their responsibility to ensure a more secure cyberspace in the country.
Inaugurating the Council, Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, said that the work of the Council would reinforce and enhance the implementation of the cybercrime Act in the country.
He said that considering the nature of cybercrime, the only way to fight it was through multi-stakeholder, inter-agency, bilateral and multilateral collaboration and cooperation.