President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has criticised the mislabeling and broad stereotyping of Nigeria as a hub for cybercrime and corruption, emphasizing that such generalizations undermine the integrity of the majority who uphold principles of diligence.
He expressed regret that the entire Nigerian population has been associated with internet crimes over the years without factual evidence, a narrative inconsistent with the typical way of life of Nigerian citizens.
President Tinubu made these remarks during a Public Engagement on Youth, Religion, and the Fight Against Corruption, including the Launch of Inter-Faith Manual and Fraud Risk Assessment Project for MDAs at Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, on Wednesday.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arranged the multifaceted engagement involving various stakeholders in the battle against economic and financial crimes.
The President, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, emphasized that Nigerians, contrary to stereotypes, are meticulous and authentic citizens contributing significantly to various fields globally.
- “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,” President Tinubu stated.
In his address titled “Youth, Religion, and Our Battle Against Corruption: A Call to Action,” the President praised the EFCC for consistently serving as a moral compass, awakening the nation’s conscience.
He emphasized that through its operations, the commission has boldly proclaimed Nigeria’s commitment to confronting corruption. President Tinubu underscored the imperative of tackling internet crimes and other forms of corruption, assuring the anti-graft agency of the government’s support in combating these digital offenses.
- “We must recognize 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,” he added.
Emphasizing the importance of reminding Nigerian youths about the ample opportunities in lawful enterprises, the President highlighted the establishment of a Students Loan Board by the federal government to address students’ financial needs, both within and beyond the country’s borders.
- He stated: “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”.