NIGERIA now has about 150m Internet users according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) with the figure expected to increase over the coming year as services in different sectors of the economy are becoming digitalised.
Worldwide, there has been a growth in the provision of services digitally due to the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Many workers now work from home offering their services remotely and there has been a boom in the use of digital platforms like Zoom which host meeting, religious services, conferences and seminars.
Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of the NCC, said that Internet users in Nigeria totalled 149.8m as of August and the number is growing. He added that more users are expected online as services in different sectors of the economy are becoming digitalised.
Mr Danbatta made the revelations at the commencement of a series of enlightenment and awareness campaign activities being embarked upon by the commission for this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). He said that the increase in digital financial transactions for e-commerce activities calls for greater responsibility on the part of individuals and corporate internet users to protect themselves against cybercrimes.
October every year is NCSAM globally and is aimed at raising awareness about cybersecurity and to provide the public with general knowledge and tools required for online safety. During the month, the NCC embarks on various policy initiatives to drive pervasive Broadband penetration to achieve increased digital inclusiveness, it is not unmindful of those who use the Internet to carry out nefarious and dubious activities in the cyber space.
Mr Danbatta said: “To keep the genuine individual and corporate Internet users safe, the NCC, as regulator of the telecom sector, annually joins the rest of the world to create a lot of enlightenment around cybercrime in the month of October every year. We ensure that consumers are empowered through awareness and sensitisation campaigns, by providing information on both the positive and negative potentials available online and measures required to safeguard themselves and their loved ones.”
He restated the commitment of the commission to continually embark on policy initiatives to enhance online security as well as educate and equip the consumers of telecoms services with information they need to be protected online. Mr Danbatta emphasised that security is not reserved for a group of people but everyone.