Some weeks ago, I had the privilege to be interviewed by a radio station as to whether Nigeria was moving forward or indeed stagnant. To be honest it was my first radio interview and I was a bit nervous. I started doing my research, taking my notes and preparing myself for whatever they would throw at me. During the interview I noticed I really didn’t say half of what I had prepared, not because of time or the manner of the questions but because I felt deep in my heart that my prepared answers where not entirely true.
Take the issue of corruption for example. Corruption has gradually become our middle name. I was disheartened a few days ago when I read a foreign newspaper article that described Nigeria as the corruption capital of the world. I was tempted to get annoyed as to why they would call Nigeria that. But immediately, a voice inside me asked ‘Can you blame them?’ I obviously didn’t like the answer because it was No.
I refuse to comment on the corrupt nature of our government because a few years ago many of them were ordinary citizens. Can we therefore say the government is absolved of corruption. No Way! But can we say the government is solely responsible for corruption and corruption crack down. No Way! A little survey carried out reveals that Nigeria’s equality with corruption in the international system is largely not because of the practices of our government but more because of the practices of Nigerians themselves.
A United States government report in 2006 indicated that Americans lost $198.4 million to Nigerian Internet fraud alone in 2006, averaging a loss of $5,100 per incident. That same year, a report in the United Kingdom claimed that these scams cost the United Kingdom economy £150 million per year, with the average victim losing £31,000. In addition to the financial cost, many victims also suffer a severe emotional and psychological cost, such as losing their ability to trust people. One man from Cambridge-shire, UK, committed suicide by lighting himself on fire with petrol after realizing that the $1.2 million “internet lottery” that he won was actually a Nigerian 419 scam. In 2007, a Chinese student at the University of Nottingham killed herself after she discovered that she had fallen for a similar lottery scam.
Below are pictures that show that our problem is a strong thing.
The belief is that all these is because the government cannot provide jobs for the citizens, it is true but, I ask you if Nigerians are capable of causing so much damage internally and internationally are you telling me these same people can not independently use their sense and skills to make proper money?
Today in Nigeria you can’t even trust any email that mentions ‘money’ or ‘win’ without it being from your bank. Even if its from your bank you will call your banker.
Imagine my shock to discover Nigerian scamming has its own Wikipedia page…(to be cont’d)