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Buhari is afraid of dangers of internet and social media in Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari says the growth and development offered by the internet space is tempered by the threats it also poses to national security.

The president called for an overhaul of the national strategy on cyber security when he launched the National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy (NCPS) 2021 on Tuesday, February 23.

The 78-year-old said the strategy can pave the way for the creation of new opportunities to usher Nigeria into a bright future driven by a prosperous cyberspace and digital economy.

He said these opportunities can help tackle many of the nation’s economic and security challenges, and also help to improve accountability and transparency in the fight against corruption.

“However, like many other countries across the globe, the growth and development of the internet is accompanied by significant problems.

“We are witnessing a rise in threats posed by cybercriminals, online financial fraudsters and cyber terrorists who use the internet to cause apprehension,” the president said.

The president expressed worry that the internet and social media platforms have been used to spread fake news, propagate hate speech, and seditious and treasonable messages.

He accused social media of being used to incite and escalate violence in the country during last year’s historic #EndSARS protest, an escalation that occurred only after security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters.

Buhari urged for more emphasis to be paid to exploring the internet for economic growth opportunities, enhancement of knowledge, and mitigation of crime.

He said his administration has been proactive in taking steps to ensure progressive use of internet and cyberspace, and that the NCPS will provide the necessary platform to effectively confront the dynamic nature of threats in the nation’s cyberspace.

“The document will provide the platform for technical education, digital skills acquisition and indigenous technology production, thereby creating job opportunities for our youth and supporting our resolve to alleviate poverty and boost our economy,” the president said.

The document is a review of a similar one launched in 2014, and will be used to tackle the ‘unpredictable threats’ of cybercrimes, according to the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno(rtd).

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