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Is poverty the cause of cybercrimes?


This is an article from a local newspaper here.

The paper sampled the opinions of some Nigerians and published them.

I must say that the comments are that of a few and not necessarily that of the majority of Nigerians.

The overwhelming number of people in Nigeria are opposed to crime in any form, as it is against the norms and culture.

For instance, in Nigeria, you don’t refer to a person older than you by name.You must use a prefix that shows you respect the person, whether mail or female.

If you meet any one older than you, you must prostrate for the person if you are male, or kneel down if you’re female.

Even if you are fifty years old, you must still show obeisance to a fifty-two year old person when you see him or her.

Does that sound strange to you?

Well, these are just some aspects of the Yoruba/Nigerian culture that have been strictly adhered to for many centuries, and they don’t change.

It’s the same way that most people view crime and related issues. There are proverbs that portray criminals in bad light, and it’s a social stigma to be associated with crime.

With this in mind, you can set the views expressed below against the background of what I described to you.

Read on



Nigerians blame cybercrime on poverty

Cyber crime is fast becoming a major concern for the global community. Law enforcement agencies, lawmakers and international institutions are making a concerted effort to combat cyber criminals and terrorists.

Daily Sun recently sampled the opinions of across section of computer and Internet users on what they know about cyber crime, why people involve in the act and the ways to curb the criminal activities. Below are their responses:

Bayo Gabriel–Unemployed
Cyber crime has come to stay in Nigeria and its existence can only fizzle out if the current economic conditions in the country experience a miraculous turn around. Trying to narrow it down to a certain class is like pointing arrows towards the poor. The main cause of the virile state of cyber crime in Nigeria is because numerous poor people are involved in it. No matter the measures authorities employ to put an end to the trend, it will prove abortive until something is done about the current standard of living of citizens. When befitting jobs are provided, it will take the unemployed out of the street. Remember that an idle mind will continue to be a devil’s workshop.

Lekan Oshinaike–Student
Our cyber cafés, which supposed to be a citadel of knowledge or a haven of relaxation, has become a breeding ground for a new kind of crime. Majority of those involved in the trend are the poors who are determined to work and contribute to the progress of the society. But they are deprived by the country’s ailing economy. Take a student from a poor background as an example. Schools are increasing tuition fees day by day and the cost of textbooks is really high.What the student in question do is to find solace on the Internet where he can use his wits, intelligence and mental strength to take what he desires from gullible white men.

Mrs. Arigbe–ICT expert
Cyber crime is like any other crime that is prominent in our society. Trying to bring it down to a specific class of individuals in the community will be removing the importance of your survey. People participate in crime for so many unfounded reasons. Some participate in crime because of peer pressure, psychological drive, orientation and locality. But here in Nigeria, the biggest cause is unemployment and lack of self esteem. Take a visit to the Cyber café during the odd hours you will find the place stocked with all sorts of people trying to make a living on the internet with a good amount of them doing illegal business.

Diran Akanni –Student
The youths and the unemployed are mostly involved in cyber crime. Most of the youths want easy money so they see cyber crime as the best avenue to achieve the feat. They do money laundering, Internet scamming, stealing of goods on Internet and hacking people’s private account.

The unemployment rate in the country largely contributes to the trend because after people graduate from school and don’t get a befitting job to do, they don’t mind settling for the next available means.

Ismail Yusuf–Teacher

The world is becoming materialistic and Nigerians are no exemptions. Our mentality is being washed and repainted with all forms of media of communications. Our desperate desires and the bad state of the nations economy have done no good to our preconceived determination.

We live in a society where opulence and wealth are hailed to the highest order. This has driven the less privilege into seeking fast and less strenuous way of making it in life. People are really making it on the Internet no matter the legality and this will continue till their living conditions get better.

Ezekiel Owolabi–Student
Cyber crime from my own point of view is a crime committed on the Internet. It is meant to deceive people specifically, the whites through the use of fake mails, credit card scams, fake receipts using email extractor. Other cyber crime includes and hacking of people’s bank account. It cuts across adults and youths within the age range of 17–45 years.

The economic problem in the country lure people into cyber crime and also peer group influence contributes to it.

Sharon Omoregbe–Business woman

From what I have observed in cyber cafés, the unemployed and the poor mostly participate in cyber crime. All I see are young men who have been deprived of the tools, aids and conditions to invest in their strength and time. The feelings of being successful can be enveloping that you may find yourself becoming entrenched in the act. Cyber crime provides people the arena to test their intelligence and use for their selfish games at the detriment of the Nation’s international image.

Tunde Olaonipekun–Student
The class of people mostly involved in cyber crime are students and I should say they are doing it for their own personal interest. Cyber crime is on the increase in Nigeria. It cannot be stopped but I believe if the government takes adequate measures, it will be reduced.

Olatoke Adekanye–Self employed
I can proudly say that people from all class in the society are involved in cyber crimes. This is because the job is safe, lucrative, fun and promising. For the poor, they are looking for a way to make ends meet, while for the rich who already have a regular job they do, one could term their involvement in cyber crime as an icing on the cake.

But the major reason people involve in cyber crime is because the economy is bad.

Yinka Kumapayi

Most people in this country are jobless.If they have something doing; there is nothing they will be looking for. If they are busy ,they won’t even think of committing a crime on the Internet.
Also most male students involve in cyber crime because they want to make quick money. Government should create more employment opportunities.

Emmanuel Kayoed – Electrical Technician

Cyber crime is widely spread among people because they want to ride the latest car, wear the finest outfits and watches and so on. On this they tend to take to dubious ways of achieving their wants. It is very clear today in the country that the poor are the mostly involved, they want to climb the social ladder and be easily noticed in the society.

Terry Amantu–Student
Most students who engage in cyber crime do it intentionally. They believe that the white men have cheated Nigerians in the past so they are using the cyber crime as a way of retaliating. There are different types of cyber crime but the ones I know is credit card scam.

I don’t think something can be done to put a stop to the trend because guys are doing it intentionally. They want to collect our money back from the whites.

You can learn more about scams and related issues at .You will find much interesting and educative information there.


March 31, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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