The Zonal Commander of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe Zonal Command, Babashani Umar Sanda has charged students and staff of Federal University, Kashere, Gombe state to take the issue of corruption seriously and be whistleblowers against the malaise in their immediate environment.
Babashani gave the charge in a lecture titled – “ Ponzi and Employment Scams in Nigeria,” delivered on his behalf by Chris Oluka, the Head, Public Affairs in the Zone on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at the Entrepreneurship Auditorium of the University. “It is a pleasant and welcomed development that this public lecture falls on the day the world is marking anti-corruption day. We are primarily here to sensitize you people on the dangers of corruption, especially Ponzi and employment scams and at the same time, solicit your utmost partnership as our foot soldiers - our eyes and ears who will be willing and ready to blow the anti - corruption whistle whenever any form of corruption is observed,” he stated.
He disclosed that Ponzi and employment scams are a growing trend in the North east but assured that the Command was ready to tackle the perpetrators of such crimes.
Addressing the wrong notion in which Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes are portrayed as being one and the same, the EFCC commander said a Pyramid Scheme is an unsustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the non-existing financial reality while, in Ponzi scheme, the schemer acts as a "hub" for the victims, interacting with them directly. He explained that Ponzi schemes survive by persuading existing participants to reinvest their money.
He identified the red flags common to both scams to include: high returns with little or no risk, overly consistent returns, unregistered investment, secretive strategies, issues of paper work, among others.
“For some of you who consistently use social media platforms like Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram and others, you are more likely to fall victim but, unfortunately, the criminals are devising other ways like use of pamphlets, radio programmes and even religious gatherings to advertise their criminal activities.”
Babashani, decried the high level of greed and get-rich - quick syndrome among Nigerians especially the youths, saying it was one of the impetus driving corruption in the country. He advised staff and students of the University to embrace the whistle blowing policy of government by downloading the Eagle Eye App of the Commission from the ios or google play store
The Head of Bank Fraud in the Zonal office, Mr. Abubakar Cholli while answering some questions posed by the audience, noted that online banking and carelessness in handling personal banking information could make one vulnerable to scammers.
In a remark, the Deputy Vice - Chancellor, Prof. Mustapha A. Muhamman who represented the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. A. Pate, enjoined staff and students of the institution to put into practice the lessons learnt from the lecture with a view to assisting the fight against corruption.
Highlight of the event was the practical demonstration of the workings of the EAGLE EYE App to those who had android phones.
Media & Publicity
10 December, 2021