The Edo State Government has urged students to take advantage of the government's skills development programmes to boost their capacity to survive in the information age.
Addressing students during a sensitization programme on crime-free society by the Edo State Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues, the Director of Child Development, Mrs. Kate Bello, said the government will continue to intensify enlightenment on the dangers of cybercrime.
She said, “Cybercrime is a pathway to self-destruction. Over the years, we found out that a lot of children are gradually engaging in these activities. We want to start our sensitization from your level. We want to catch you young from JSS 1 and above. We don't want you to get to higher levels first and fall to that path before you become aware that this is not something you need to get involved in.
“I want to let you know that this is not a good way to get wealth, to tell you that cybercrime is not good. You need to work hard, study your books and by the time you finish your secondary school and you don't want to go further, you can acquire valuable skills.”
“In the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues, we have several units that handle issues that have to do with skills development. After school, you can come to us and there are lots of skill areas to focus on including programmes in Information Technology and other lucrative jobs as long as you put effort into what you do.”
“Cybercrime comes with so many negatives on the individual including lack of integrity, untimely death, waste of resources, hardships among others in the society, as well as prosecution or even jail term,” she added.
The Director urged the students not to give in to peer pressure to engage in cybercrime but rather engage in meaningful and legitimate means of livelihood.
The functional Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, Mr. John McDonald, said students can channel the same intelligence they should have used for criminal purposes into areas like IT and the medical sciences among others, adding that these will help them build more stable means of income.