The National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has called for synergy among stakeholders in the industry to curtail the rising cases of financial fraud and cybercrime in the country. NITDA’s call came on the heels of recent indictment of scores of Nigerians for cybercrimes in the United States, and also publication of a foreign-owned software company hitherto operating in Nigeria indicting its Nigerian employees for lack of integrity and duplicity.

Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Kashifu Abdallah Inuwa, while addressing stakeholders in Abuja, said for the avoidance of doubt, NITDA is resolute that the action of a few individuals does not represent thousands of hardworking professional Nigerians with exemplary careers in Information Technology.

“Nigerian technology entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups, and midsized companies have continued to blaze the trail in innovation and service provisioning in Africa and the world. We also celebrate thousands of Nigerian professionals who currently work and contribute to the development of innovation and Information Technology in leading multinationals operating globally.

“NITDA is concerned that knee jerk reactions following these allegations may lead to poor treatment of Nigerians living outside Nigeria or denial of certain financial services that may hamper economic growth or frustrate investments into Nigerian companies especially start-ups who need investments to sustain innovation. It is grossly unfair to taint an entire nation with a single brush for the alleged crimes of a few. We, therefore, encourage other nations who are friends of Nigeria to caution their local authorities from treating innocent Nigerians travelling or living in other countries in a derogatory manner or denying Nigerians services without proof of any crime,” he stated.

Abdallah Inuwa said NITDA also acknowledges the hard work and commitment of several law enforcement agencies including the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) for their dedication to investigations and prosecuting cybercriminals. “NITDA therefore calls on all stakeholders such as financial and security regulators, banks, payment infrastructure and aggregator companies, among others to proactively work together with the Agency to entrench positive cybersecurity practices and propose policy solutions to buck this trend.

The Agency, in exercise of its mandate as contained in Section 6 (l) of the NITDA Act 2007, which mandates the Agency to propose policies and legislation to improve cybersecurity, will in the coming weeks summon a critical stakeholder session of all stakeholders to assess our collective performance in preventing cybercrimes with a view at proposing ideas and policies to combat this scorching menace of cybercrimes. We urge all stakeholders to prepare proposals and ideas to improve preventive measures to curtail cybercrimes,” he stressed.

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