The Truth About Cyber Fraud
The dynamics of the Nigerian economic system is one that has enriched a select few but has left the youth — the future world-changers — to a state of worthlessness. Most young men who suffer the bane of pressure to make ends meet get tired eventually of being jobless or earning scraps. They opt for what seems to be the most promising way out — Cyber Fraud — which many consider being the new quick money fix.
Popularly known as yahoo-yahoo! the new generation of internet scammers has become a menace to both their fellow citizens and the image of the nation.
Here’s Ebuka’s (not the real name) Story:
I graduated from UNILAG (the University of Lagos) with a 4.27 2:1(2ndClass Upper) in Banking and Finance. I was in the top three cadres in my class and definitely had a promising future. I had saved up while in school and once I was done, I took on a series of professional courses to flesh up my qualifications. With all of this set into motion, I was convinced that getting a good job wouldn’t be a problem. Well, four years later I was met with a rude awakening. I had applied for over 70 jobs and didn’t get any that paid anything more than 50k. I had gotten into a serious relationship and was planning to get married. How was the level of income on offer going to help my family if it couldn’t help me as a single man!
That night, after quitting my last job which paid me N49,300, I decided that I was going to join the yahoo-yahoo! adventure. Believing that I was smart, I was convinced I would excel. I knew some guys in my area who did it and were driving Range Rover jeeps. None of them were as educated or qualified as I had been. Within a few months, I made my first hundreds of thousands of Naira and this further consolidated my belief in the scheme as my only hope of making ends meet.
However, after three years of fending for my family, and just two months ago, the house I was using was raided by police. I barely escaped with my life as one of the guys was shot dead. It shook me enough to quit the business of cyber fraud but now I don’t know where to go from here. I am 32 and getting a job is definitely going to be harder because of my age. My second child is on the way and my life has returned full circle to square one.
There are many stories like this. Young men and women with promising careers are having their dreams cut short consistently by the harsh realities of our work environment. Getting a job in Nigeria is one of the most cumbersome processes. You have to be of the desired age, graduate with a certain class of degree, have extra professional qualifications, have years of experience irrespective of being a fresh graduate.
You will then expend time and other resources to participate in all stages of recruitment processes you are lucky to participate in only to be denied the job because someone, irrespective of credentials but with appropriate contacts, gets the job.
We have tried several things as a nation to curb the activities of cyber fraud practitioners and other vices that make our nation unsafe. However, the real solution is to make the economic system less ruthless to our future world changers.
The government needs to make the environment well suited for startups to encourage more young entrepreneurs to create businesses that employ others.
The government themselves also need to invest in other sectors and create profitable bodies in tourism, the arts, music, film, fashion and most importantly agriculture.
Finally, as individuals in business or holding key positions in business, all hands need to come on deck to show the youth that there is value in integrity, education, and skill. If we don’t, if we keep celebrating mediocrity and shortchanging young people who work hard and have promising futures, we will keep losing them to things like yahoo fraud and drug use and trafficking. On their part, the youths may need to consider other practical sides of life to earn diving in addition to the arts in various forms.