President Bola Tinubu has declared that Nigeria is not a ‘cybercrimes haven’.
He said the tagging of Nigeria as a cybercrime haven was against the citizens who maintain the principles of integrity and diligence.
He said Nigeria is not a nation with one of the highest prevalence of cybercrime and other forms of corrupt practices.
Represented by the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, at a public engagement on “Youth, Religion and the Fight against Corruption” and the launch of “Inter-Faith Manual and Fraud Risk Assessment Project” for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government, at the Yar’Adua Centre, in Abuja, Tinubu said over the years, the entire populace had been linked with internet crimes without statistical proof, a development he noted, was out of tune with the way of life of the typical Nigerian citizen.
The event, organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is a multi-dimensional stakeholders’ involvement in the fight against economic and financial crimes.
According to a statement by the Vice President’s spokesperson, Stanley Nkwocha, Tinubu described Nigerians as meticulous, authentic citizens who have been making significant contributions to innumerable fields of endeavours around the world.
He said “Over the decades, Nigerians have been victims of mislabelling. Such gross misrepresentation fails to reflect the true essence of our diverse and resilient nation. The association of internet crimes with the entire Nigerian populace lacks statistical evidence and does not align with the sociology of everyday Nigerians.
“Our nation comprises hardworking, honest citizens who contribute significantly to various fields globally, from artificial intelligence to medicine.
“While we reject blanket stereotyping that undermines the majority upholding principles of integrity and diligence, we must face the fact that we function in an interconnected world where cybercrimes have evolved into a global phenomenon. This poses a threat not only to our nation, but to the entire world.”
The President praised the EFCC “for remaining a moral compass, persistently rousing the nation’s conscience” in his speech titled: “Youth, religion and our battle against corruption: A call to action.”
He said through its operations, the anti-graft commission has remained vocal in “telling the world that Nigeria is neither complicit nor complacent in confronting the menace of corruption”.
Tinubu said there was the urgency of combating internet crimes and neutralising the threat caused by other forms of corruption head on, and assured the anti-graft agency of the government’s support in its quest to combat these digital offenses.
“We must recognise that the Commission’s lawful efforts to bring fraudsters to book are imperative for the overall well-being of our society. The government is aware that our ambitious goal of eradicating internet offenses and corruption demands an atmosphere steeped in trust and integrity.”
“We must foster open communication channels and ensure that law enforcement actions align with justice and accountability,” the statement quoted him.
The President said there was the need to remind youths of the abundant opportunities for lawful enterprises, both within and outside the shores of the countr, adding that it was for this that the federal government has taken steps to establish a Students Loan Board to address the financial needs of students.
He continued: “This initiative aims not only to alleviate financial burdens but also to disincentivize criminality by offering a tangible alternative. Our message to the youth is clear: the horizon is wide, and opportunities abound across various sectors.
“Seize these prospects, embark on lawful enterprises, and let your talents shine. The government encourages you to leverage these opportunities, exhibit your capabilities across all sectors, and contribute to the prosperity of our great nation.”
President Tinubu praised the EFCC for tackling corruption through the Inter-Faith and Fraud Risk Assessment Projects, saying the “initiative recognizes the potential of religion as a tool for ethical reformation and underscores the importance of engaging diverse faith communities in our fight against corruption.
“Simultaneously, this initiative addresses vulnerabilities within government agencies and acknowledges the critical need to fortify these institutions against corrupt practices.
“Our nation is deeply rooted in religious values, and it is crucial to acknowledge that both Christianity and Islam vehemently condemn corruption. With these profound teachings in mind, I urge our revered religious leaders to demonstrate a pillar of guidance.”
The, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption, Emmanuel Udende, who represented Senate President Godswill Akpabio; Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu; Chairperson of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami; Chairman of Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh, who was guest speaker; former Works & Housing Minister Babatunde Fashola and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Registrar Prof Ishaq Oloyede, among others attended the event.