The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria (CIFCFIN) are set to collaborate to establish a cybersecurity laboratory in 2024.
Kashifu Inuwa, NITDA director-general, gave the assurance on Monday in a statement.
Mr Inuwa, while receiving CIFCFIN’s president, Iliyasu Gashinbak and his team, said the collaboration was necessary to promote digital forensics, reinvigorate the tech ecosystem, and mitigate cybercrimes in the digital space.
The NITDA boss said perpetrators of cybercrimes invested in research, information technology, and powerful tools to launch attacks, and taking proactive steps to counter them was non-negotiable.
“We invested in other technologies such as the Digital Fabrication Lab (FABLAB 1.0) and other labs around the country, but we are yet to build a cybersecurity laboratory. We already have in mind where it will be situated, but we will need all relevant stakeholders to be part of it so that the design and implementation of the centre can be fast-tracked,” Mr Inuwa explained.
He added that NITDA’s investment in the project would be executed in 2024, and the centre will be a forensic lab incorporating cybersecurity into its “nomenclature to cover other important areas of interest.”
Mr Inuwa decried the dangerous impact cybercrime has had on the country’s economy, organisations and individuals, hence the need to build capacity for protection against unscrupulous elements.
The NITDA boss also said some organisations did not consider the need for cybersecurity while developing their digital services, which has fuelled attacks by internet fraudsters.
“We should always design or digitise with security in mind in whatever we do because that is the only way we can be safe. NITDA has been proactive in taking critical measures toward protecting the cyberspace through creating awareness, capacity building, and infrastructure,” Mr Inuwa stated.
He further stressed, “Although we are doing our modest best in this regard, we know we cannot succeed in isolation; this explains why we welcome collaborations and work with key stakeholders and other Sovereign Nations to achieve the best result.”
According to Mr Inuwa, different cybersecurity training programmes have been held across ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs), adding that thousands of Nigerians have been trained on the Cisco Academy and Coursera platforms.