The COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown have become a leading factor for Nigerians to realize the key values of Information and Communications Technology especially in closing distances and disseminating information.
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, disclosed this on Wednesday at the Webinar for Nigerian IT & IT Security Community with the theme, “Back To Basics – COVID-19 & Critical Security Controls” organised by the agency, in partnership with Africa’s emerging cyber security VAD leader, Spire Solutions.
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Abdullahi said guidance from the Ministry of Health to stay at home and social distancing directive propelled adoption and use of ICT to new heights.
“The words ‘work from home’ have now become common place. The boom in the use of virtual platforms and increase in online activities by individuals, government and businesses led to increase in global internet traffic, Nigeria inclusive’’, he said.
According to Abdullahi, ICT sector contributed 14.07% to the total real GDP in Q1 2020, higher than its contribution a year earlier (13.32%) and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 13.12% in Nigeria.
He however lamented that cybercrime incidences have skyrocketed with social media accounts being hacked, phising emails and other malicious attacks on unsuspecting users.
“Cyber criminals used the fear and panic as well as unavailability of physical interactions to compromise security of devices and collect personal as well as financial credentials,” he lamented.
He averred that to survive these antics of cybercriminals during the pandemic and post-pandemic, there is need to aggressively ramp up cyber security awareness, inculcate behavioural and cultural changes in online activities and acquire knowledge on how to stay safe on the space especially for children.