Nigerians react to passage of Bill on Cybercrime by National Assembly

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ABUJA – Reactions have continued to trail the passing of a bill by the National Assembly on Thursday to allow for the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of cybercrimes in the country.

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Abuja, some members of the public commended the assembly for taking the initiative to put an end to internet fraud.

Mr James Ojukwu, the Manager of Dee O Cyber Café in the Abuja metropolis, said that cybercrime was a fraudulent act which involved swindling unsuspecting citizens with the use of the internet.

“Some people impersonate others in a bid to swindle unsuspecting individuals. It does not necessarily involve going to a cyber café because even mobile phones are used to perpetrate this criminal act.”

Ojukwu said that cyber crime impacts negatively on the economy as most businesses fail to see returns on investments, a problem caused by copy rights infringements.

Another respondent, Mr Ayodele Abodurin, the Manager, Oko Printing Press, said cybercrime had left the Nigerian economy in a bad state of decline as taxes were often not collected on these pirated products.

Abodurin said that these crimes also discouraged creativity in the music and movie industry because of what he termed “illegal downloads’’.

Mr Victor Mbang, another respondent, said that it not only caused a drain in the country’s economy, but had also put Nigeria in a bad light to the outside world.

“I have been a victim as well. Certain online organisations and social networks place restriction on Nigerians as a result of this.

“If this is not effectively countered, then our reputation as a country might never be restored,’’ he said.

Mbang said that although passing the bill was a huge step in eliminating cyber crime, implementation was the key factor to successfully eradicate the problem.

Mrs Ngozi Okafor, another cyber café owner, suggested that government agencies put in place to monitor the sector should effectively monitor internet users.

The bill, which provides for the prohibition, investigation and prosecution of defaulters carries
a seven year jail term and is the first step taken by the National Assembly in the country’s effort to eliminate internet fraud. (NAN)

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