US Set To Deploy Cybercrime Advisor in Nigeria To Fight Scam

The United States has announced that it plans to deploy a cybercrime advisor in Nigeria.

The advisor is poised to facilitate cooperation between the two nations, offering essential training, equipment, and technical assistance to bolster Nigeria’s capacity to address cyber threats, including fraud scams and sextortion.

The decision to deploy the advisor, expected to be funded by the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), was disclosed in a joint statement released by the Governments of the United States of America and Nigeria during the sixth U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission held in Abuja on April 29-30, 2024.
The statement, published by the US Department of State on Monday and seen by Nairametrics, revealed the shared concerns regarding the adverse impacts of cybercrime on peace, prosperity, and security.

Reinforcing efforts against cyber-enabled money laundering, fraud

The joint statement emphasized the imperative to reinforce efforts against cyber-enabled money laundering and fraud, underscoring the importance of leveraging technology and international cooperation mechanisms such as extradition and mutual legal assistance.

The United States, recognizing Nigeria’s progress, also commended the country for acceding to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime in 2023 and its active participation in various cybercrime forums.

Nigeria officially joined 66 countries of the world to sign and ratify the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime in 2022.

The Budapest Convention, also known as the Convention on Cybercrime, is the first international treaty seeking to address Internet crime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.

In Nigeria, the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act 2015 was introduced as the legal framework for the codification of criminal activities in cyberspace. There are ongoing plans to amend this Act.

The joint statement reads:
“Nigeria and the United States shared concerns regarding the threats that cybercrime poses to mutual peace, prosperity, and security. Nigeria identified its several efforts and capabilities for combatting cybercrime, presenting many avenues for bilateral cooperation. The United States commended Nigeria for acceding to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime in 2023 and Nigeria’s collaboration in several fora on cybercrime. The United States and Nigeria pledged to work together on combatting cybercriminals who target citizens of both countries.

“To that end, the United States announced the upcoming deployment of an INL-funded cybercrime advisor in Nigeria to facilitate that cooperation and provide training, equipment, and technical assistance to build Nigeria’s capacity for cybercrime, including fraud scams and sextortion. Both sides understand the need to reinforce efforts to combat cyber-enabled money laundering and [cyber-enabled] fraud and to make greater use of both technology and international cooperation mechanisms such as extradition and mutual legal assistance.”

What You Should Know
Nigeria has been ranked 5th in a global report on sources of cybercrime activities, coming behind Russia, which ranked number one, and Ukraine, China, and the United States, which occupied the second, third, and fourth positions respectively.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday ordered banks to enact the process of deduction of cyber security levy to be administered by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

According to the statement, the deduction and collection of the cyber security levy is the sequel to the enactment of the 2024 Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024 which provides for a 0.5% deduction of the value of all electronic transactions to the National Cyber Security Fund which would be administered by the office of the NSA.

However, although the levy is to be charged on all electronic transactions and applied at the point of transfer origination, the CBN in an appendix to the circular, listed 16 transactions exempted from the levy.


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