A non-governmental organisation, Velma Foundation has launched a social intervention programme to tackle cybercrime in Nigeria.
The Director, Velma Foundation & Project Manager, Mr David Ashaolu said it had become urgent to battle the menace of cybercrime through a social programme of rehabilitation of individuals who are caught up with the tendency to commit the crime.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Ashaolu decried the high incidences of cybercrime committed by Nigerian nationals in the United States of America and Europe, adding that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting over a thousand cybercriminals.
He noted that laws alone cannot eradicate cybercrime in the country.
While announcing the launch of Velma Action to Reduce Cybercrime in Abuja, Ashaolu disclosed that the programme would target individuals engaged in cybercrime activities who volunteer to desist from such activities and provide their expertise towards fighting cybercrimes in Nigeria.
“Our programme brings volunteers together for a period at a Bootcamp, where we rehabilitate them and enhance their IT skills for employability and positive contributions to society.
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The process, he said will involve participation from stakeholders cutting across a wide range of specialists, including certified psychologists and law enforcement agencies.
“The Pilot Phase of the Bootcamp will be held in Osun State, from January to February, next year, adding also that, the project will be run in partnership with the EFCC, Nigeria Police, Ministry of Justice, ICPC, FlRS, CBN and other ICT specific agencies like NITDA and the NCC.
“This project is an innovative and unique solution as it simultaneously addresses a combination of twin vices: youth unemployment and crime. Participants will acquire skill enhancements so that they can be gainfully employed and further monitored for a period of 6 months, to ensure complete rehabilitation. They will also provide information to law enforcement agencies, which will aid in fighting cybercrimes.
“If we rehabilitate one cybercriminal (or Yahoo Boy), we have saved hundreds of potential victims. We believe therefore that to stop the scourge, we have to plug the drain,” Ashaolu said.