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71 Foreign Companies Flee Nigeria After $150m Loss To Hacker In 2022 – EFCC

Daud Olatunji

Not less than 71 international companies have fled Nigeria’s shores due to the loss of $150 million to internet fraudsters, popularly called Yahoo Yahoo.

 The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, decried the severe impact of internet fraud on Nigeria’s economy.

Addressing the gravity of the situation, Olukoyede revealed that numerous international companies were compelled to cease their Nigerian operations due to substantial financial losses incurred through local wire fraud. 

Speaking at the Global Peace Movement International awards ceremony, where he was honoured as the Man of the Year, Olukoyede disclosed  the alarming statistics.

He said  “In 2022, we lost over $500 million in our economy to Yahoo boys. The statistics are there. In the same year, about 71 international companies left Nigeria because they hacked their accounts,” he stated.

 The extent of these losses underscores the pervasive and damaging nature of cybercrime in the country.

A statement by the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, further emphasised the chairman’s concerns.

 Olukoyede highlighted that the activities of cybercriminals have severely tarnished Nigeria’s credit reputation internationally.

 “We can’t get credit cards in Nigeria because of our poor credit rating due to the activities of these cyber criminals. So, the best we can get is debit cards,” he lamented.

The EFCC chairman also pointed out the difficulties Nigerians face when traveling abroad, noting that the mere display of a Nigerian passport can lead to heightened scrutiny and thorough searches by foreign authorities. 

“Do you know that there are some international merchants that you cannot use Nigerian cards on their platforms? Display your green passport outside the country and see if they will not take you aside and search you thoroughly,” Olukoyede remarked.

Vowing to address all forms of economic and financial crimes under his tenure, Olukoyede stressed the need to tackle corruption at all levels. 

He traced the roots of high-level corruption to smaller, unchecked acts of fraud in local governments and school associations.

 “We will do the mini; we will do the mega. If you don’t do the mini, the mini will become the mega. Some of these people stealing money in high places started from the local governments, they started as leaders of associations in schools, where they stole money and they did nothing to them and it became part of their lives,” he explained.

Olukoyede assured Nigerians of his commitment to fighting corruption and pledged not to spare the corrupt, regardless of their position. 

“I promise not to disappoint Nigerians and not to spare the corrupt,” he concluded, emphasizing his resolve to restore integrity and financial stability to the nation.

 

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