Poverty, unemployment no excuses for cybercrimes – EFCC chairman

EfCC chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa
Suspended EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa


The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has said that poverty and unemployment are no justification for involvement in computer-related frauds.

Mr. Bawa said poverty should not be an excuse for criminality just as unemployment should not be a basis for defrauding others of their hard-earned incomes by youths, who are involved in internet frauds.

Bawa stated this on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in a lecture titled “The Roles of Youths in Curbing Economic and Financial Crimes” delivered at the Orientation/ Matriculation programme for fresh students of the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos.

The EFCC spokesman, who was represented by ACE1 Michael Wetkaz, Commander, Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC, described the youth as one of the most strategic stakeholders in nation-building, adding that they could confront and conquer corrupt practices if they show willingness to be change agents in their various engagements.

Mr. Bawa in a statement by the EFCC spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said: “You cannot tackle any crime that you are committing. Be change agents by refusing to be involved in, facilitate or perpetrate any form of economic crime.

“In your interactions within and outside the school environment, steer clear of criminality.  This way, you can positively influence everyone around you.”

He also enjoined the youths to be whistleblowers by being part of the army of those rejecting economic crimes and other acts of corruption by utilizing the Eagle Eye Application of the EFCC.

“The App”, he said, “ is a digital reporting device that allows for anonymous reporting. Images can be uploaded and sent to the EFCC.

“In case you don’t know how to become a whistleblower, there are structures that can be of assistance to you. One of such is the EFCC Zero Tolerance Club we are bringing on board on your campus. Make yourself an ambassador of integrity by joining the Zero Tolerance for Corruption Club at its inauguration.

“The objective of Zero Tolerance Club, among others, is to inculcate the right moral and create a platform for continuous engagement with the students on the need to shun the alluring temptations of societal vices; to sensitize members on the effects of economic and financial crimes and to promote right attitude and values that influence ethical behaviour and good character among members.”

Bawa further charged the students to embrace hard work rather than internet fraud, which he described as “a crime against humanity and God.”

The EFCC boss, who also called on the Nigerian youths to take a cue from other youths who are into innovation, manufacturing and pace-setting inventions in other countries of the world, said the engagement was part of the Commission’s ceaseless efforts towards orientation and sensitization of the youth against all forms of financial and economic crimes, particularly the infamous internet frauds.

“The Commission is always willing to leverage on every available forum and platform such as this, in order to drum up support for the fight against cybercrimes, being the most prevalent economic and financial crime among our youths, “ he said

According to him, one of the possible solutions to the menace of corruption “is a systemic and generational shift to the youth, given the fact that they hold the key to the future.”

He said the EFCC alone could not deliver on its mandates without the support of all its stakeholders, including the youth.

He, therefore, enjoined them to be the Commission’s foot soldiers in the task of ridding the nation of economic and financial crimes.

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