22 August 2011

Nigeria: Cybercrimes - Microsoft, Pin Call for Passage of Cyber Bill

Lagos — Microsoft Corporation and Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), with support from the World Bank have launched a joint campaign to spur prompt cybercrime legislation in the country, calling on Nigerian youth to play a key role in the advocacy effort.

As part of the initiative, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), a social enterprise that connects Nigerian youth with ICT-enabled opportunities, has launched a web based campaign to obtain signatures for an online petition that will be forwarded to the National Assembly and the Senate to pass the cybercrime law.

Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director PIN said the online petition became imperative for the legislators to know that Nigerians really want constitutional framework in combating the scourge of hacking and other web based crimes.

According to him, Nigeria is regarded as having one of the highest numbers of cybercrime incidents in the world and was recently ranked 3rd, in a report by the Internet Crime Complaint Center which tracks the prevalence of cybercrime globally.

He said, "The prevalence of cybercrime among a sizeable number of young Nigerians goes to show the need for immediate concern, especially with the recent boom in mobile service provision and online payment platforms in Nigeria. We're advocating for a youth-led push for cybercrime legislation because this is where we feel we'll have the greatest impact."

Sesan explained that the initiative will be supported by a six-month grant from the World Bank's Civil Society Fund for the advocacy work required to lobby for cybercrime legislation.

He said Microsoft is participating in the initiative through its Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria (MISSPIN), a social campaign that directs the spotlight to the issue of internet safety while also providing a platform for other industry players to work together.

Sesan said, "We are excited to work with Microsoft, Economic & Financial Crimes Commission and the World Bank to raise more awareness on the need for cybercrime legislation in Nigeria. More than at any other time in the history of Nigeria, now is the time for all stakeholders - youth, government, private sector, civil society, media, and academia - to ask for accelerated passage of firm but fair piece of legislation. We are asking Nigerians to call on the leadership of the National Assembly to accelerate the passage of this much-needed bill."

Ugochukwu Nwosu, Partners in Learning Project Manager, Microsoft Nigeria also said, "Internet fraud in Nigeria is a problem that continues to victimize people around the world, and has a significant impact on the country's ability to do business globally. "We believe the public and private sector must work together to eliminate cybercrime and foster legitimate economic opportunity for Nigerians, and we're pleased to support PIN through MISSPIN in partnership with the World Bank on an initiative we hope will result in the passage of the much-needed cybercrime legislation."

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