Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has called on heads of tertiary institutions across the country to join hands with the agency in tackling the rising incidents of internet fraud among students. Olukoyede spoke on Thursday, November 5, 2023, during an interactive session with chancellors, rectors and provosts of tertiary institutions in Kogi, which was held at the zonal command office in Ilorin, Kwara state. The chairman was represented by Michael Nzekwe, EFCC zonal commander in Ilorin.
At the event, Olukoyede called on the tertiary heads of institutions to institute measures that would discourage students from indulging in crimes. He said that the commission can achieve the task of ridding the country of corruption if every institution gets involved and actively participates in the fight against the menace. In his words, “Higher institutions must endeavour to change the current negative narrative regarding the quality of education in Nigeria because a corruption-free Nigeria is possible if every individual is proactively and sincerely involved in the fight against corruption.”
Current engagement furtherance of previous meeting.
Responding, Salawu Sadiku, Vice Chancellor of Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara, lauded the initiative of the EFCC and urged that the commission should incorporate anti-corruption courses into the school curriculum and be taught at all levels. He remarked that youths of today are exposed to a number of vices that are capable of ruining their lives permanently. The vice chancellor also said that schools need to do more for students to focus on their studies and desist from all forms of cybercrime.
This engagement was in furtherance of their meeting held on May 4, 2023 in Kwara State as part of the proactive measures by the command to checkmate cybercrime in the state. The EFCC boss called on authorities of tertiary institutions to put in place measures to discourage students from indulging in crimes even as he admonished parents to be more committed to the moral upbringing of their children. Many are being neglected by their parents so much that these parents do not know what is going on in their children’s lives.
VCs stressed the need for an anti-corruption watchdog.
Also, Victoria Jagboro, provost, College of Education (Technical), Kabba, highlighted the role of parents in reinforcing guidance and counselling both at home and in schools. She called for attitudinal change, especially on the part of students and parents. The provost also appealed to the EFCC to liaise with regulatory bodies to develop content for anti-corruption courses in tertiary institutions. Similarly, Salisu Usman, the rector of Kogi State Polytechnic (Lokoja) and Umar Hassan, the provost of College of Education (Okene), stressed the need for the introduction of an anti-corruption watchdog as part of measures to checkmate cyber-crime on campuses.
Meanwhile, not long ago, the Port Harcourt Zonal Commander of the commission (Assistant Commander of the EFCC), ACE 1 Ahmed. M. Ghali, cautioned students of Federal Government College, Obi/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, to stay away from internet fraud, stressing that every indulgence in it comes with grave and devastating consequences. He gave the warning in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on September 29, 2023 at a one-day sensitization lecture organized by Cot Cyber Consults, a representative of an international health insurance firm, AXA.
Cybercrime can be prevented through public awareness.
Speaking through Deputy Superintendent of the EFCC, DSE Adie Placidus, on the topic “The Financial Consequences of Cyber Crimes,” Ghali said that the essence of the lecture was to enable youths to have deeper knowledge of the effects of internet fraud. He explained that cybercrimes, if not properly tackled, could have adverse financial effects on the society and the nation. Ghali stressed that, though cybercrimes are destructive in their effects, they can be prevented through enhanced public awareness and sensitization of end-users. There is the need to ensure cyber security at all times, become vigilant when browsing, never click on unfamiliar links or adverts, always ensure websites are safe before entering credentials, and always use strong passwords.