The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied media reports claiming that its chairman, Ola Olukoyede, labelled 70 percent of Nigerian university students as internet fraudsters.
Naija News reports that Olukoyede was quoted as saying at an event on Monday in Abuja that it is worrisome that seven out of 10 students are involved in cyber crimes.
However, in a statement on Thursday, the spokesman of the anti-graft agency, Dele Oyewale, stated that Olukoyede’s comments were misinterpreted needlessly.
The EFCC spokesman asserted that the agency’s chairman never at any time during the event said seven out of 10 Nigerian students are engaged in internet fraud.
Olawale said Olukoyede said that if the youth involvement in internet fraud is not addressed in the next ten years, seven out of 10 of the youths may be getting involved in cybercrime.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, has been drawn to some needless misrepresentation of the concerns of the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ola Olukoyede to the rising incidences of internet-related crimes involving youths across the country.
“At a recent meeting with some representatives of Civil Society Organisations, Csos paid him a courtesy visit and he called for wider media enlightenment of youths as a counter-measure against the menace of internet fraud.
“He did say that reports and intelligence available to him indicated that, unless this trajectory of youth involvement in internet fraud is addressed and reversed, the future of their leadership of our great nation may be threatened and if it continues in the next ten years, seven out 10 of our youths may be getting involved in cybercrime.
“At no time did he say that “seven out of 10″ Nigerian students are criminals”. His concerns still bother breaking the jinx of the mass indulgence of youths in cybercrime.
“The EFCC wishes to assure the public that Olukoyede is doubly committed to the progress of Nigerian youths and this underscores his calls for collaborative interventions in offering them more productive and sustainable alternatives.”