A Socio-Technological Analysis of Cyber Crime and Cyber Security in Nigeria

Filed in Articles by on July 12, 2022

A Socio-Technological Analysis of Cyber Crime and Cyber Security in Nigeria


The Global Information Infrastructure creates unlimited opportunities for commercial, social, and other human activities. However, it is increasingly under attack by cybercriminals; as the number, cost, and sophistication of attacks are increasing at an alarming rate.

This study sets out to examine the sociological and technological factors that impact cybercrime and cybersecurity and thereby articulates the relevant circumstances and threats of cybercrime in Nigeria. The study approached the issue of cybercrime from theoretical and investigative points of view.

Structured interviews with law enforcement agencies and governmental institutions for cybersecurity were also conducted.

Data obtained through these research instruments were subjected to descriptive analysis and frequency counts in order to explain the activities of Nigerian cybercriminals based on existing theories of crime and to understand their intents, purposes, and methods.

Four theories of crime, namely, Structural Functionalism Theory, Marxian Theory, Routine Activity Theory, and Technology-Enabled Crime Theory were all found to be relevant to Nigerian cybercrime. At the level of existing laws, the study established that there are no existing laws in the Nigerian statutes that directly address cybercrime.


Title Page i
Declaration ii
Certification iii
Dedication iv
Acknowledgment v
Abstract vi
Table of Contents vii
List of Tables x
List of Figures xi
1.1 Background to the Study 2
1.2 Statement of the Problem 5
1.3 Justification of Study 7
1.4 Research Objectives 7
1.5 Research Questions 8
1.6 Scope of Study 8
1.7 Methodology 8
1.8 Definition of Terms 9
2.1 Cybercrime: Definition and Conceptualization 10
2.1.1 Cybercrime Against Persons 18
2.1.2 Cybercrime Against Property 18
2.1.3 Cybercrime against Government 18
2.2 Cyber-Security in Perspective 19
2.3 General Perception of Cybercrime in Nigeria 23
2.4 Evaluation of the Current Situation in Nigeria 23
2.5 Theoretical Framework 24
2.5.1 Structural Functionalism Theory 24
2.5.2 Marxian Theory 25
2.5.3 Routine Activity Theory 26
2.5.4 The Theory of Technology-Enabled Crime 26
2.5.5 The Theory of Differential Association 28
2.6 Challenges of Cybercrime 30
2.7 Complexities of Cybercrime 31
2.8 The Phenomenon of Cybercrime 33
2.9 The Nigerian Perspective 37
3.1 Research Design 40
3.2 Study Populations 40
3.2.1 Law Enforcement Agencies 40
3.2.2 Governmental Cyber-security Agencies 41
3.2.3 Practicing Scammers 42
3.2.4 Arrested Cybercriminals 42
3.2.5 Scam Baiters 42
3.3 Sampling Techniques 43
3.4 Sample Size 43
4.1 Presentation of Results 46
4.1.1 Interview with Law Enforcement Agencies 46
4.1.2 Interview with Governmental Cyber-security Agency 47
4.1.3 Practicing Scammers 48
4.1.4 A Criminal Mail 51
4.2 Computer as an Instrument Facilitating Crime 53
4.3 Phishing and Personal Experience 55
4.4 Discussion of Findings 58
4.4.1 Approaches Adopted by Law Enforcement Agencies to combat
Cybercrime in Nigeria 58
4.4.2 Approaches Adopted by Governmental Cyber-security Agency in
Ensuring Cyber-security in Nigeria 58
4.4.3 Problems Confronting Law Enforcement Agencies and Governmental
Cyber-security Agencies in combating cyber-crime in Nigeria 59
4.4.4 Theories of Crime in relation to Nigeria Cybercrime 60
5.1 Summary of Findings 63
5.2 Conclusions 64
5.3 Recommendations 66a


From business, industry, government to not-for-profit organizations, the internet has simplified business processes such as sorting, summarizing, coding, editing, customized, and generic report generation in a real-time processing mode.

However, it has also brought unintended consequences such as criminal activities, spamming, credit card frauds, ATM frauds, phishing, identity theft, and a blossoming haven for cybercriminal miscreants to perpetuate their insidious acts.

The development of the internet and the widened access to computer technology has created new opportunities for work and business activities, as well as those who engage in illegal activities.

The rise of technology and online communication has not only produced a dramatic increase in the incidence of criminal activities but has also resulted in the emergence of what appears to be a new variety of criminal activities.

Both the increase in the incidence of criminal activities and the possible emergence of new varieties of criminal activity pose challenges for legal systems, as well as for law enforcement agencies (Brenner, 2007).

While technological advancements have produced radical shifts in the ability to reproduce, distribute, control, and publish information, the Internet in particular has radically changed the economics and ease of reproduction (Longe and Chiemeke, 2008).

Computer networks have also radically changed the economics of distribution. With transmission speeds approaching a billion characters per second, networks enable the sending of information products worldwide, cheaply and almost instantaneously.


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