Minister of Communications, Isa Ali Pantami has condemned the harassment of young Nigerians by security operatives for carrying laptops, tablets and other ICT gadgets.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, the minister commended the EFCC and other agencies for their fight against cyber crimes.
He however decried the notion that all young people who carry laptops and similar gadgets are into cyber crimes.
The statement in part reads:
“The Ministry notes with dismay, this unfortunate turn of events as we celebrate 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.
It would therefore 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.
We understand the need for pro activity to protect the society, however, this must be done credibly while recognising the fundamental human rights of every citizen of Nigeria. If this situation goes unchecked, it will dampen the vigorous attempt at diversifying the economy and rather push more young energies underground with catastrophic consequences”.