Headline Local News Nigeria

NAPTIP inaugurates cyber security response team

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has set up a cyber security response team.

Director-General of the Agency, Professor Fatima Waziri-Azi, said, during the team’s inauguration, that the high cases of cyber sextortion necessitated the action.

Professor Waziri-Azi cautioned Nigerians, especially youngsters, against indiscriminate sharing of intimate contents and private information with friends and strangers, in order to curb rising cases of online sexual exploitation and sextortion in the country.

The Director-General issued the warning at the Agency’s Headquarters, Abuja, during the inauguration of the NAPTIP Cybersecurity Response Team which was set up to handle all issues relating to online exploitation.

The Cybersecurity Response Team, consisting trained Officers from different units and departments and coordinated by the Head of the National Monitoring Centre, will leverage cutting-edge technology and expertise to identify perpetrators of cybercrimes within its remit.

Cases of Sexual exploitation have been on the rise in the FCT, which, with NAPTIP scaling up intelligence and undercover operations, has helped to nip in the bud the activities of some suspected criminals in the habit of exploiting vulnerable people, especially young girls and children.

Speaking shortly before the inauguration of the Cybersecurity Response Team, Professor Waziri-Azi expressed concern over the “careless attitude” of some persons who, “in the euphoria of emotion and love”, let down their guard and naively share inappropriate content or themselves.

Prof Waziri-Azi, said, “We all know that the advent of technology has brought about unprecedented opportunities for communication and access to information which has also created new avenues for criminals to exploit people, especially vulnerable women, and children,” she said.

“We have seen incremental cases of Child Sexual Assault Materials on the internet, child pornography; sextortion, and revenge porn, and these are all forms of sexual exploitation. Which is why as an Agency, we must take a proactive and collaborative approach to tackle online threats.”

The agency is expected to execute the mandate in partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), Meta, International Narcotics and Law-Enforcement Bureau (INL), National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and The United Nations office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC), which has trained 20 Officers from the HQ and Zonal Commands on Child Sexual Exploitation Materials, Open Source & Social Media Intelligence as well as Online Investigation.

Writing by Gwamkat Gwamzhi; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Tony Okerafor