By Chris Ochayi
The Federal Government said Tuesday that it was reviewing cybersecurity law to address some of the major development challenges currently facing the nation, including the emergence of new forms of crime and terrorism perpetrated through cyberspace.
National Security Adviser, NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno, retd, who testified when inaugurating a multi-stakeholder committee to review the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy, NCPS, 2014, in Abuja, lamented the inherent threats and risks associated with with the evolving nature of cyberspace.
The policy is reviewed every five years and should be done for the first time after its implementation in 2014.
Maj-Gen. Monguno said the review was part of efforts to reposition the country to better harness the benefits of the internet and cyber dominance to improve national peace, security and socioeconomic well-being.
The NSA noted that recent advancements in the digital age have transformed the cyber domain into a central arena for new businesses, innovations, government functionalities, and social interactions.
However, he highlighted that despite the benefits of cyberspace, there are inherent threats and risks associated with the changing nature of cyberspace.
Therefore, the NSA stressed that it is crucial that Nigerian cyberspace and the entire cyber ecosystem undergo major periodic reforms to set clear new directions for the progressive use of the country’s cyberspace.
In light of this, he noted that the NCPS review would provide an opportunity for Nigeria to redefine its national goals and address some of the major development challenges currently facing the nation, including the emergence of new forms of crime and terrorism perpetrated through the Cyberspace. .
He said. “This Committee was constituted to identify current gaps in the 2014 National Cybersecurity Strategy and Policy, articulate diverse stakeholder input, and develop the frameworks needed to effectively mitigate evolving cyber threats and enhance Nigeria’s productive engagements in the Cyberspace”.
The NSA also noted that the NCPS review was in line with the provisions of Section 41 (1b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act of 2015, which directs the Office of the Homeland Security Advisor to coordinate the formulation and effective implementation of a comprehensive cybersecurity framework for Nigeria.
Maj. Gen. Monguno noted that the new cybersecurity initiatives presented by the Committee would be formulated in support of the Nigerian National Security Strategy, facilitate positive transformations in the Nigerian economy, address new emerging technologies, generate collaboration among stakeholders. , would foster capacity building and institutionalize the protection of critical national functions and data privacy.
According to the NSA, “The success of this Committee in developing a comprehensive and purposeful National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy 2020 will strengthen the security and adaptability of Nigerian cyberspace and facilitate the projection of our digital economy.”
He expressed optimism that the 2020 National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy will reflect global standards and foster cooperation with Nigerian allies in the areas of security and economic development.
The NSA said its office will continue to solicit the support and participation of all relevant stakeholders for the successful development of the new national cybersecurity milestones, and expressed its confidence that the resulting 2020 National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy will serve as a true tool for all stakeholders who have a role to play in the use and development of cyberspace in Nigeria.
General Monguno called on all members of the Committee, made up of representatives from the public and private sectors, to adhere to the deadlines and guidelines established for the review process.
In his comments, the Chairman of the Review Committee, Mr. Abdul-Hakeem Ajijola, stated that the United Nations had developed 11 voluntary standards of behavior for state actors in cyberspace, including confidence-building measures.
He added that Nigeria needs a generation of cyber diplomats to participate in the rules as they evolve, from soft laws to strict international laws.
The president revealed that in 2020, the African market for cybersecurity solutions is estimated at $ 2.32 billion and is projected to grow between $ 3.6 and $ 4.2 billion by 2023. Therefore, he stated that “we must take into account the underserved and the unborn because they must live with the effects of the policies and strategic decisions we make today.
The National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy is Nigeria’s fundamental cybersecurity framework. It aims to provide an aggregated and harmonized set of principles and good practices for the establishment, development and implementation of action plans, initiatives, mechanisms and structures for the improvement of cybersecurity in Nigeria.
The document provides the blueprint to ensure the progressive use of Nigerian cyberspace. There is a legal provision and a national imperative for the review of the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy every 5 years, as appropriate globally.
The Committee is expected to present the new Policy next month for validation, after which the NSA will formally present it to President Muhammadu Buhari for launch.