Abuja - The first lady, Patience Jonathan, says Nigeria is not one of the worst countries involved in cyber crime.
Jonathan spoke at the 2013 World Cyber Security Conference with the theme: "Cyber Insecurity – A Latent Threat to National Security and Economic Development,’’ on Tuesday in Abuja.
"From the slides we saw earlier, it is evident that the perception of Nigeria as being one of the worst Internet crime countries is not supported by facts.
"For instance, the recent report released in the second quarter of 2013 by Symantec Corporation of the U.S., shows that Nigeria’s Internet crime rate has decreased significantly.’’
The First Lady said the Child Online Protection Champion (COP) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), was a global initiative launched to ensure online protection for young adults.
"The Internet technology is one of the most outstanding innovations in the field of communication in the history of mankind. Its content is as diverse as human thought.
"It has completely changed society and opened up new avenues for communication, research, commerce and entertainment.
"Unfortunately, the immense benefits of the Internet, however, come with its risks.
"I assure you of my commitment to ensuring that the Nigerian child, the African Child and the children of the world are protected from all forms of online risks and abuse.
"Part of the ITU Global Cyber Security Agenda, aims at tackling cyber security issues faced by children, teenagers and young adults, based on a multi-stakeholder approach.’’
She said in line with the objectives set by ITU, "we are working to identify risks and weaknesses children face while interacting Online.
"We will create maximum awareness of basic online security measures, develop practical tools to help minimise risks and share knowledge and experience through multi-dimensional means’’.
The first lady listed capacity building, organisation structure, legal measures, technical measures and international cooperation as the five pillars through which her mandate would be delivered.
"This will enable us create a viable, sustainable and smart COP campaign. The campaign will be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
"Based on this, we intend to set up a Technical Advisory Committee on Child Online Protection, which will consist of 17 reputable men and women from both within and outside Nigeria.
"We shall also establish a child online protection centre in each of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
"In addition, wives of each of the State Governors will be encouraged to take up the new assignment as State COP Ambassadors.”
She promised to use her office as President, African First Ladies Peace Mission, to enlist the support of other First Ladies to champion the cause of COP in other countries.
Jonathan appealed to parents, especially mothers, to have an important role in supervising their young children and protecting them from harmful online content.
"I am very optimistic that if we join hands together, we will win this battle, and make our cyber space a safer place for all,’’ she said.
Dr Salma Abbassi, founder of eWorldwide and global authority on sustainable development, Mr Tunde Lemo, CBN Deputy Governor and retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser, also delivered goodwill messages at the conference.
The conference was attended by governors’ wives, ministers, diplomats and relevant stakeholders.