A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has said that Boko Haram insurgents and bandits now demand ransom in cryptocurrency.
Speaking on Tuesday at the Cybertech Global 2021 conference on cybersecurity in Dubai, Moghalu said the criminals demand ransom in the virtual currency because it is not easily traceable and is also uncontrolled by governments and central banks.
Moghalu said the extraordinary growth of the sector presented new security challenges, which should be addressed to ensure that public confidence in emerging technology remained high.
The presidential candidate stated that the apex bank barred cryptocurrency platforms and bank accounts from its banking system.
He, however, added that despite the restrictions, Nigeria remained one of the world’s highest traders in cryptocurrency, in particular Bitcoin, coming in third behind only the United States and Russia with over $400 million in trades in 2020.
“Overall, African countries suffer from an under-qualified cybersecurity workforce. The level of investment in cybersecurity in the fintech sector is still relatively low, although it is rising, and African banks are still vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
“There is inadequate protection of ICT infrastructure and relatively weak cybercrime laws. There is a strong need for educational campaigns for fintech users and the private sector, which hosts most fintech networks, needs to work more closely with governments in Africa to prevent and combat cybercrime.
“There is also significant opportunity for peer-to-peer exchange of best practices in cybersecurity between market players in technologically advanced countries and African countries that lead the world in fintech, but not necessarily in fintech security or regulatory technology,” he said.