Abuja – On May 23 U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria W. Stuart Symington spoke on U.S.-Nigerian cooperation in combatting cybercrime and financial fraud. This was at the 2nd Annual Conference on Combatting Financial Fraud, Cybercrime, and Cross-Border Crimes organized by the Federal Ministry of Justice and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
He stated, “There is not a country in the world that is kept secure day and night, year after year by anything other than the people of that country. They are to national security what every user of a computer is to internet security, they are the critical link.” Ambassador Symington expressed the need to set up appropriate legal frameworks, deploy computer emergency response teams in critical sectors, and develop national and international tools that will work to combat cybercrime.
He explained the internet has leveled the playing field for all citizens, because anyone in the world can compete with, influence, and change what the entire world is doing. Citing the recent WannaCry worldwide attack, he said whatever challenges Nigeria is facing, the United States and the global community are confronting those challenges as well.
The U.S. Government participation in the conference emphasized the need for an immediate response and robust coordination between nations in answer to frequent cyber-attacks and increasingly sophisticated transnational criminal networks. The United States has partnered with the Nigerian government to combat fraud, financial crimes, money laundering, cybercrime, and cross-border crimes including drug, human, and wildlife trafficking. The two countries also continue to work to counter these threats, strengthen information sharing, and develop strategies to work together to protect citizens, resources, and financial networks from dangerous criminal attacks.