The Cyber Security Expert Association of Nigeria (CSEAN) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electronic Transaction bill, which has been passed by the Senate in May last year.
Speaking to Journalists on the sideline of a Cyber Security Meetup in Lagos, the President of CSEAN, Mr. Remi Afon explained that the bill, which has been sitting on the President’s desk for some time now, will protect Nigerians in their financial transactions when finally sign into law.
Apart from protecting the majority of Nigerians in their financial dealings, the bill will also protect the banks and their infrastructure, as they can leverage it to prosecute cases and make claims.
“As an advocacy group, we are calling on the President to assent to the Electronic Transaction Bill, as it will provide a legal and regulatory framework for conducting transactions using electronic or related media, and for the protection of the rights of consumers including the facilitation of electronic commerce in Nigeria,” said Afon.
Wondering why a bill that seeks to protect the citizens against criminals is delayed, Afon argued that Nigeria is so lackadaisical when it comes to the issues of cyber security. He noted that Nigeria always waits for an incident to happen before they can take action. “The government really needs to hold the bull by the horn. Everybody, including the banks is feeling the impact of cybercrime, but the government has not really taken steps to secure the country cyber space is secured,” he added.
He also warned that if both the Electronic Transaction bill and the Data Protection Law are not in place before the 2019 election, hackers may just take over the election processes, noting that it has become difficult to divulge cyber security from elections.
As a matter of urgency, he advised that the government should pass the Data Protection Law, stressing that in the absence of these laws, no matter what happened, it will be assumed no law has been broken.
The Electronic Transaction Bill provides for the validity of contracts expressed in electronic forms, matters relating to evidence, security of online transactions, electronic signatures, disclosure of information, protection of personal data, and protecting the rights of consumers.