In the last six months, nearly 3,000 young Nigerians have either been arrested or jailed for involvement in internet fraud notoriously known as yahoo yahoo. Continue Full Reading>>>
But the more they are arrested and jailed, the more the numbers of these wire scammers dominate the records of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the agency charged with tackling financial crimes.
On a daily basis, the EFCC sometimes issue about five statements detailing how they have been able to bust the hideouts of these presumed bad boys and seized assorted items, ranging from exotic cars, expensive handsets, laptops and other accoutrements that are used by them for or are gains of criminal activities. Continue Full Reading>>>
As a newspaper, we are disturbed that able-bodied young men decide to invest their time and energy in defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians and foreigners alike.
This creates an atmosphere of apprehension for investors desirous of doing business in Nigeria, which further damages the reputation of the country as many foreigners have complained of the attitude of Nigerians always hacking into their systems to steal their money or in other cases, the dubious fraudsters will initiate love scams to deceive women of mostly foreign extraction and take away their possessions.
We are equally alarmed at the new dimension of this fraudulent behavior where the desperate youth now resort to diabolic ritual acts to facilitate their illicit trade which involves making sacrifices with human parts they believe could enhance their trade and bring ‘faster returns.’
This dangerous and misbegotten mindset, while not proven by science as a means to acquire wealth, is very prevalent among the youth now and is being euphemistically called ‘yahoo plus’. Many have fallen victims of these acts.
A typical example was the pathetic case of a 20-year-old supposed yahoo boy who was arrested by the police for allegedly killing a 300-level university student for ritual purposes last year.
The student was reported missing by friends and fellow students. Her lifeless body was later found at a hotel with some of her body parts including her eyes missing.
There is a groundswell of reasons these young people are lured into this destructive behavior. One of them is the quest for quick money irrespective of the means. The second is the corrupting influence of unexplained wealth in our country where people have a spectacle of wealth without a credible source.
Compounding this problem is societal expectations where the youth are under pressure to make ends meet in a fast dwindling economy worsened by the level of poverty and unemployment which has heightened the quest for survival by all means possible.
Not to be misunderstood, we are by no means saying that poverty and unemployment should be reasons for any person to go into this reprehensible trade. On the contrary, what we are saying is that poverty and the indignity that accompanies it, with good moral upbringing can be manage in a manner that the youth might not easily succumb to pressure in a bid to survive the concomitants hardship bring.
In the last eight years, the Nigerian economy has suffered an enormous crisis and the figures are not kind to the nation and the consequences are telling indeed.
This newspaper has written extensively on these quoting reliable figures both local and international. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the current unemployment figure in Nigeria is 33.3 per cent, which is one of the highest in the world. Again, according to the NBS, inflation, which was at single digit of nine per cent under the previous administration, is now 22.22 per cent as of April 2023, one of the highest in the world.
NBS late last year said that 133.3 million Nigerians have been plunged into Multidimensional poverty in the last eight years. This is 63 per cent of the estimated 216 million Nigerian population figures, making Nigeria the poverty capital of the world.
The cost of living is so high such that prices of basic food items have gone beyond the reach of the ordinary people who are having a rough time trying to survive.
Beyond these economic circumstances, there is also the issue of seeming abdication of parental responsibility, societal negligence and sometimes conspiracy to promote as well as recognize and award titles and certificates to known criminals. Politicians have occupied and looted public offices with little or no consequences. This attitude motivates the youths to also aspire for ill-gotten wealth. There is also the greed and inordinate quest of some young people.
In our considered opinion, despite the enormity of this crisis, the Nigerian youth can be redeemed and this can be done by revamping the Nigerian economy. The disappearing industries, such as the textile, automobile industries that are now moribund must be revived with good investment and policies. The Nigerian government should encourage the youth to go into business with loans, tax incentives and funding as it is done in China and elsewhere.
The agriculture sector, the ICT, education, trade and investment must be incentivized to attract more youth and make them useful to the economy. Nigerian youth can be morally reformed if they have legitimate and comfortable means of livelihood.
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