Social Structure and the Production of Young Cyber Criminals in Nigeria
The advent of information and communication technology (ICT) and the ensuing diffusion of internet in sub Saharan Africa have ushered in a new form of criminality commonly referred to as Nigerian scams or yahoo-yahoo.In recent times, there has been an upsurge in the number of youths involved in cybercrime. Using Robert Merton‘s Social Strain Theory as a theoretical premise, the paper posits that socio-cultural pressure on youths to achieve pecuniary success and frustration arising from a sense of discrepancy between individual aspirations and legitimate means to realize these ambitions lead to the emergence of yahoo boys sub-culture in Nigeria. The paper recommends among other things value re-orientation, the enactment of appropriate legislation and job creation to cater for the army of frustrated youths who are easily recruited into this criminal enterprise owing to unemployment and structural inequality in the Nation.
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