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Cyber Crimes Act amendment bill scales 2nd reading in Senate

The most recent statute on cybercrimes in Nigeria is the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015.

A bill seeking to amend the Cyber Crimes Act, 2015 has scaled through 2nd reading in the Senate.

This followed the consideration of the bill at plenary on Wednesday.

Presenting the bill, Sen. Shehu Buba (APC -Bauchi) said the bill sought to amend Section 44 of the Bill and to insert some consequential omissions from the act.

Buba said that the bill was read for the first time on Oct 18.

“The digital and information technology age has created new avenues and tools for committing traditional crimes and new forms of crimes,” he said.

” In Nigeria, there had been a significant increase in internet-based advance fee fraud, such cases of hacking into emails, website and infringement on privacy rights of persons and institutions which call for urgent solution.”

He said legislation on advance fee fraud was among the earliest interventions by the Federal Government on cybercrimes, adding that the law was inadequate to meet the intricacies of technological development.

“The most recent statute on cybercrimes in Nigeria is the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015.

“The vaunted objectives of this act include the provision of an effective and unified legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of cybercrimes in Nigeria.”

Buba said the act was also designed to ensure the protection of critical national information infrastructure and to promote cyber security, protect computer systems and networks, electronic communications, data and computer programs, intellectual property and privacy rights.

“This bill also seeks to address all anomalies that hindered the effective implementation of the act.”

He said there was a need to realign legislative efforts with the objectives of the current national security strategy 2019.

“The national strategy has expressly defined and embedded cyber security as one of the major components of a comprehensive national security architecture to help safeguard, protect, defend national economic, political, and security infrastructures.

“The bill is also designed to realign with the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy on Nigeria Cyber Threat Profile.

He said that over seven major cyber threats were classified as inimical to national security and the economy.

Following the second reading of the bill, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau Jibrin, who presided over plenary, referred the bill to the Committee on Cyber Crime and National Security for further legislative input and report back in four weeks.