President Bola Tinubu has asserted that, contrary to certain perceptions, the majority of Nigerians uphold the principles of integrity and diligence. He strongly disapproved of the generalisation labelling Nigeria as a country with the highest prevalence of cybercrime and corruption.
The Nigerian leader, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima at a dialogue on “Youth Religion and the Fight against Corruption” organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja, emphasised that Nigerians are meticulous and authentic citizens making significant contributions globally in various fields.
President Tinubu acknowledged the historical mislabeling of Nigerians, stressing that associating internet crimes with the entire population lacks statistical evidence and misaligns with the true nature of Nigerian citizens. He highlighted the need to reject blanket stereotyping while recognising the global challenge of cybercrimes.
The event also witnessed the launch of the Inter-Faith Manual and Fraud Risk Assessment Project for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
In his speech titled “Youth, Religion, and Our Battle Against Corruption: A Call to Action,” President Tinubu commended the EFCC for being a moral compass, consistently awakening the nation’s conscience. He assured the government’s support in combating internet crimes and other forms of corruption, emphasising the importance of fostering trust, integrity, and accountability.
President Tinubu underscored the urgency of addressing corruption, stating, “The government is aware that our ambitious goal of eradicating internet offences and corruption demands an atmosphere steeped in trust and integrity.”
He encouraged Nigerian youths to explore lawful opportunities, mentioning the establishment of a Student Loan Board to address financial needs and deter criminal activities. The President lauded the EFCC’s efforts, recognising the potential of religion in ethical reformation and the importance of engaging diverse faith communities in the fight against corruption.
The Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ola Olukoyede, highlighted the launch’s significance in engaging critical stakeholders in the renewed anti-corruption fight. He addressed the prevalence of cybercrime and urged collaboration with religious organisations to propagate messages of integrity, honesty, and hard work.
In their remarks, religious leaders and traditional rulers expressed support for the anti-corruption crusade, emphasising the importance of prevention and urging leaders to set examples. The event was attended by various dignitaries, including representatives from the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption, the Minister of Justice, and leaders of religious and academic institutions.