3% increment in CST for Cybercrime fight cheapest-NITA

The Acting Director for the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Kwaku Kyei Ofori has admonished Ghanaians to support efforts by the government to fight cyber-crimes.

According to him, the use of the cyberspace and telecommunications networks to commit crime continue to pose serious challenges to law enforcement and security agencies.

This he noted calls for efforts to fight the threats in that space.

He explained, with the use of ICT and telecommunications services in developing the country, there are threats with the space becoming an environment for organised crime.

He told Kwabena Agyapong on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that the threats if overlooked, could spell doom for the country.

He said the lack of dedicated and sustainable budget to fund cybersecurity activities had been a major challenge, hence the introduction of the 3% increment in the Communications and Service Talk Tax (CST) was in the right direction.

He said the government was committed to equipping law enforcement and security agencies to fight these cyberspace and telecommunication service facilitated crimes.

Government has argued that an amount of $100 million was needed to fight cyber-crimes.

The $100 million will fund security agencies and the judiciary with logistics to investigate and prosecute cybercrime offences to secure Ghana’s cyberspace, the Ministry of Communications has disclosed.

“We need about $100 million for the first year alone to implement our cybersecurity strategy and about $250 million over five years. Our security agencies and judiciary must be equipped to investigate and prosecute cybercrime offences,” the Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said at a press briefing.

The Minister added that technology is growing rapidly and the country must, therefore, develop a cadre of intelligent, hardworking cyber analysts and specialists to support the system and network security operations.

She also justified the increment in the CST saying: “We all have a part to play to sustainably fund the cybersecurity initiatives for our own benefit and this CST increase is geared towards supporting some of the initiatives the government is putting in place to protect our digital infrastructure for our collective peace of mind.”

Reacting to it the NITA Acting Director said the increment should be embraced by every citizen to help fight cyber threats.

”The 3% is strictly for cyber-security. The president has shown commitment towards the fight against cyber-crimes. If we don’t protect the cyberspace, we would regret the consequences,” he argued further.

He suggested Ghanaians will appreciate efforts by government and commend the achievements later.

Statistics

He told the ghost the 3% increment is cheaper as compared to the expensive infrastructure for fighting the cyber-space.

Ghana lost US$105 million in 2018 through cybercrime such as mobile money fraud, various forms of intrusion and sextortion.

The nation lost US$69 million in 2017 and US$35 million in 2016 respectively.

Last year, Ghana was ranked 87th out of the 165 nations in the global cybersecurity index, which was conducted by the International Telecommunications Union and among the top 10 countries in Africa with a very high prevalence rate of cybercrime.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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