The history of internet fraud goes back to the 80s or earlier. It used to be called the ‘Nigerian Prince’ scam and eventually became a stereotype. “You are a Nigerian? You must be a scam.” This affects Nigeria such that a Nigerian company looking to expand out of Nigeria may have to establish a branch in a first-world country and run its operations there for a while before they are trusted.
Thank the Heavens for positive stories of the innovations of Nigerians home and abroad that have attempted to re-tell the story that has been passed on for decades now. We will now beg Nollywood to focus more on stories of Nigerians who have retold stories in a positive light – founders of tech companies and scholars in academic fields will lead the pack.
Internet fraud christened ‘yahoo yahoo’, or ‘yahoo plus’ – in the case where it graduates to the use of human body parts for ritual sacrifices – is usually thought to be the most accessible road to quick money. And, while we sit and watch them from across the room, through our windows, from across the street, more young Nigerians will continue to join their peers in the internet fraud business. We list different reasons internet fraud will not become history anytime soon.
Family values are dead.
Not literally. And maybe we should say ‘dying’ instead. This is a concern, but we do not know yet. Or maybe we do not understand that our activities towards the destruction of sound family systems turn out to encourage juvenile delinquents, who become crime lords as adults. Bad parenting is top on the list of concerns.
The anti-graft agency, EFCC, is not as effective.
From 39,970 corruption cases investigated, findings by The ICIR have shown that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) successfully recorded 2,544 convictions. This represents 6.36 per cent of the entire cases probed by the Commission within nine years.
In total, the commission received 73,948 petitions from members of the public while only 5,767 made it to the court.
For ‘Yahoo boys’, there are reports that many of the cases end in police cells, as long as the said fraudster can ‘settle’ the ones who made the arrest. We see news of fraudsters arrested every other day, and the story ends with the media trial.
Peer pressure should ordinarily affect only progressive aspects of our lives. Like, we see our peers climbing slippery ladders and getting to the top, and decide to challenge ourselves to do the same. Many times these days, peers encourage themselves to engage in activities that allow the money flow through their hands. “We must get this money” and “School na scam” are some of the anthem lyrics of groups who think money and do anything to get it.
Get rich quick mentality.
A bulk of young Nigerians want to be rich without doing the work. Nigerians are not generally lazy, but there is a growing mentality that corporate employment tests the patience of anyone who wants to be rich in no time.
The negative side of the main character syndrome pushes people to want to show the world that they are rich and can afford all the luxuries life gives. Their favourite celebrities are show business enthusiasts, so why can’t they? Social media encourages this disposition, and you cannot almost tell which influencer is not as rich as the popular figure.
What to do?
Bring back family values. An individual’s formative years – pre-teen and teen years – are the most important. Use this time to imbibe values in your wards and siblings.
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram