Engaging undergraduates meaningfully will reduce Internet fraud
When the Internet was founded decades ago, the innovator had a vision, which is to connect the world and bridge all communications gaps. But many adults, including university students, have abused this great concept and relieve to humanity, as far as information and communications are concerned.
The deviation from that sole purpose has seen the rise of fraudulent online activities, including Internet Fraud.Despite the efforts of the country’s anti graft agencies, the rate of Internet fraud is increasingly alarming and rampant among the undergraduates.In the contemporary Nigerian university environment, hardly would you be in the midst of students, without seeing or observing at least an Internet fraudster, otherwise known as Yahoo boys, among them.
This menace has affected the educational values and moral fibre of the society as students and young people would rather drop out of school in pursuit of money to be become sudden billionaires by committing online fraud.Higher percentage of Nigerian youths now desire to live luxurious life at all costs, to the extent that undergraduates no longer see the importance of at least completing their degree programme. They all want to be financially buoyant among peers, acquiring and amassing wealth, as well as living an extremely lavish lifestyle.
These fraudsters cruise within and outside the school premises in their exotic cars, live in luxurious apartments, and wear the latest designer clothes and shoes. Through their glamorous lifestyles, they directly and indirectly oppress their fellow students, living them in awe and confusion.
“We have seen instances where students park their exotic cars in places assigned to lecturers. Most undergraduates are carried away by their extravagant lifestyle and misplaced priorities,” says an undergraduate who spoke on the condition of anonymity.While some students who spoke with The Guardian blamed the situation on government and the political class, others felt university administrators have a huge role to play in bringing sanity among the students.
Meanwhile, some of these fraudsters are quick to blame the situation on the excuse of coming from a poor background, and the society being unfair to them, but surprisingly, there are students from wealthy background who are also involved in Internet fraud.
According to a student of University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), who gave his name as Michael, “It is obvious that the school administrators and lecturers do not spend valuable time training students and exposing them to practical aspect of learning. They only focus on the theory, which doesn’t make meaning most times. There are many students that are on self-sponsorship, and you know we have a lot of needs. So, those ones with the get-rich quick mentality easily fall victim to people that recruit young men and put them through Internet fraud.”
Another students said, “institutions don’t create sufficient opportunity to teach students and give them practical knowledge of entrepreneurship in this fast-driven world. On few occasions, you see companies or philanthropists hosting seminars or training that is based more on publication than students gaining practical knowledge.”
For Aladedahunsi, an undergraduate of Ekiti State University (EKSU), Internet fraud has put the country’s image in a bad light and this discourages investors who believe in safety first. “It has also affected the value of the country’s educational system as many young people now prefer wealth to being learned.”Another student of Gateway Polytechnic, Ogun State, said, “Hardship and compatibility with peers prompted a large number of undergraduates engaging in Internet fraud.”
“I will keep supporting this only if government could provide jobs for youths.”Eletu Suliyat, on her part, stated, “The major reasons students get involve in online fraud is because they feel Nigeria’s economy is doomed and there is no hope anymore.”
A University of Lagos (UNILAG) student, Teni, informed that pressure among youths is responsible for it. “The pressure to be well known, and possess the most expensive materials things has led majority of youths into Internet fraud. Most undergraduates are controlled by what they see. From there, they want to feel among and belonged.”
A student of Lagos State University (LASU), who gave his name as Chinedu, said: “So many factors lead undergraduates into online fraud. First is lack of entrepreneurial skill. Most undergraduates have little or no entrepreneurial skills, hence have no idea on how to make money legitimately. Secondly, greed and laziness is obviously part of it. Interestingly, most of them do have the skill, but the desire to actually work, task their brains for economic reasons is no longer there. So many of them just want the quick money to live lavish lifestyles.”