By Sumaila Ogbaje
The National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, on Wednesday, called on the legislature to enact laws to address cyber threats.
Monguno made the call at a 2-day “Awareness and Sensitisation Workshop for Judiciary and National Assembly on the implementation of Nigeria’s National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy (NCPS) 2021.
The NSA was represented by the Director of Policy and Strategy, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Amb. Aminu Lawal.
Monguno said the emergence of cyberspace technology was accompanied by inherent challenges, including threat to national security, cyberspace operations and negative impact on critical infrastructure.
According to him, the judiciary and the National Assembly have crucial roles to play in addressing the myriads of security challenges confronting the cyberspace.
“These included legislative responsibilities, interpretation of the law and proper administration of criminal justice on cyberspace and cyber security in Nigeria.
“It is important to acknowledge that the giant step taken by the national assembly to facilitate the enactment of relevant legislation to curb the criminality in the cyberspace is vital.
“Furthermore, the promulgation of the cybercrime prohibition and prevention Act 2015 was lauded by the public as it codified illegal activities conducted in the cyberspace.
“The judiciary also has enormous responsibility to ensure the correct interpretation of these laws and facilitate the prosecutions of cyber criminals.
“However, there are still huge challenges in the area of technology law, understanding the chain of custody and administration of digital evidence among others.
“These challenges have slowdown the progress in cybercrime investigations and prosecutions,’’ he said.
Monguno said the workshop was expected to give the necessary direction or key initiative within the NCPS 2021, to address some of the aforementioned challenges.
He added that the workshop should provide modalities for implementing the action plans by various establishments towards protecting the nation’s infrastructure against cyber attacks.
The NSA said that more was required to develop the requisite framework for the gathering, use and validating electronic and digital evidence in investigations and prosecution processes.
According to him, there is urgent need for the enactment of the data protection legislation to bridge the existing gap on data protection and privacy matters.
On his part, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, commended ONSA for the initiative to engage all stakeholders towards addressing all security challenges.
Malami, who was represented by the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, said there was the critical need for seamless synergy between the various arms of government in dealing with the monster of cybercrime.
He said that all nations have been transiting from analogue to digital age in all aspects, including health records, court exhibits, space research, weather forecast, national database, corporate trade secrets, bank records among others.
According to him, the dynamics of national security surpasses technological supremacy and economic wealth, as progress of nations are being placed and measured by the ability of cyber-smart nations to outwit their contemporaries.
“We are well aware that to survive and thrive in this new world of cyberspace, our lawmakers and judges must stay ahead of cyber criminals.
“Our legislature should be able to stop hackers on their tracks, our judgments should reflect coral graphs of the intricacies of cyber jurisprudence and a lot more,’’ he said.
Malami, however, urged the participants to contribute to the effort of securing the lives of all citizens both online and offline.
Earlier, the Director, Communication in the ONSA, Brig.-Gen. Samad Akisode, said that cyberspace had become a fundamental aspect of humanity globally, adding that economies were constantly striving to exploit the benefits of the digital age.
Akesode said the constantly evolving cyberspace technology that enabled innovation and benefits had also made the users vulnerable to challenges, risks and malicious activities that must be tamed.
He urged the participants to make useful inputs that would support the implementation of the NCPS 2021 towards enhancing national development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop is being held across seven sectors of the economy.
They are Telecommunications; Defence and Security, Education, Finance and Capital market, Energy, Professional Organisations, the Private Sector and Judiciary/Legislature. (NAN)