Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Yahoo Boys And Western Hypocrisy

Everybody agrees that Internet fraudsters or yahoo boys as they are called in Nigeria are doing the most damage to Nigeria's image abroad. I'm also among those who agree but regrettably without any statistics to back our argument. Fortunately real statistics is proving us all wrong. According to Farooq Kperogi's column "Notes From Atlanta" in Weekly Trust of 4/7/2009, if statistics are anything to go by, then Internet scam should be termed "American Scam" and not "Nigerian Scam". Figures from the Internet Crimes Complaint Center shows that 76% to 87% of all Internet crimes reported from 2001 to 2008 were committed by Americans.
In 2008 only 7.8% of such fraud was committed by Nigerians while America and UK has 66.1% and 10.1% respectively.

As a whole scam e-mails which Nigerians are known for, constitutes less than 3% of overall on-line crimes. This has decreased from 15.5% in 2001 to less than 3% in 2008. So why is the western media making so much noise about "Nigerian Scam" and keeping shut about the "Massive American On-line Crime" ?
I agree with Farooq that Nigerians especially those in the west have not help matters also. They always try to emphasize the bad image of Nigeria maybe to justify their self exile in the west. I think our journalists are also doing a lot of damage. It seems they concentrate on reporting mainly the corruption cases in Nigeria. I'm not saying there is no corruption, but can't they find somethings positive to report in a country of 140 million people, At least to maintain a balance ?.

Imagine the insult most of us were subjected to by having our on-line transactions stopped (especially by American companies) simply because we reside in Nigeria. Maybe the Nigerian Minister Of Information is not crazy after all, we need to re-brand Nigeria.

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