The Federal Ministry of Communications (FMC), has decried the widespread harassment of young Nigerians with personal computers, tablets or phablets in public places by security agents.
The spokesperson for the communications minister, Uwa Suleiman, in a statement on Tuesday, October 1st, 2019, said reports indicate that young persons are generally regarded as fraudsters by security operatives if seen with such devices in their possession and subsequently subjected to varied forms of harassments and in some cases outright extortion.
The Ministry noted with dismay, this unfortunate turn of events at a time the Federal Government celebrating the growing and bubbling technology eco-system in Nigeria that enables young persons to learn various skills ranging from software engineering to varied forms of entrepreneurship by simply accessing online tools and content on these devices.
“We are aware that several other persons have engaged in nefarious activities utilising computers and similar devices, we must however be careful not to paint all young Nigerians with a similar brush.
“At this time, we commend the efforts of some law enforcement agencies, particularly the approach of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in intelligence gathering and subsequent apprehension of these unscrupulous elements who use computing systems to commit cybercrimes”. She said
It should be further noted that many young Nigerians have contributed significantly to the impressive growth of the Nigerian economy and have created employment for Nigerian youths.
The ministry expressed delight that Nigeria’s digital economy has continued to soar thereby giving impetus to the growth of ICT as a major segment of the economy, warning however that it would be counterproductive to stifle this sector of the economy by labelling every young Nigerian with a computing device as a fraudster.
It is in this light that the Federal Ministry of Communications frowns at the current profiling and harassment of young Nigerians and therefore admonishes security agencies to be circumspect in these situations.