It is no longer news that the internet has become a business hub in the world and Nigeria is involved in the day to day happenings in the internet. The internet is the largest library or reservoir of information that has ever been known or made available to man. Experts estimate that there are over 23 billion pages of information available on the net and these pages cover every area of human endeavor need or enterprise. Tens of millions of people worldwide are increasingly turning to the internet to get information on one area of their life or the other and hence the internet has become a source of livelihood for so many people doing different kinds of business.
In Nigeria, the internet is widely accepted and used both by the old and young. Some Nigerians have made the internet a place where they perpetuate all manner of fraud. These young men and women popularly referred to as ‘419ners' or yahoo boys have made the internet a nightmare for Nigerians trying to do genuine business on the net. Nigeria and Nigerians have been given a bad image in the internet as no foreigner would want to do business with a Nigerian.
I began to garner information on the internet and internet businesses from independent newspapers especially the internet wealth column by femi gbadamosi and uju onyechere ,my interests in following up their articles led me to the cyber cafés where I spent nights trying to register with some online forums and sites, most of these sites have a phobia for Nigerians, they make sure that Nigeria is not in the list of countries in their sites. I remember a particular site that sent me an e-mail after I registered with them and bluntly told me that they cannot do business with Nigerians, I was flabbergasted at their response.
However, I do not blame most of them because of their decision to stay clear of Nigerians, apparently it is clear that we are the cause of their rejection. every day when I read the mails in my e-mail box I see letters sent by these good for nothing Nigerians posing as foreigners and offering people juicy deals on the internet .it is very appalling and disheartening to note that all my efforts to convince these sites of my genuine intentions yielded no fruit
Every time I visit the net, I try to showcase my talents by writing articles,blogs and even registering with some freelance sites to get freelance writing jobs, my efforts are always halted when I get to their mode of payment which involves the use of MasterCard visa cards and Paypal and it is so frustrating that there are so many legal and genuine opportunities to earn a living from the internet but it has been made difficult by some unpatriotic Nigerians and the few who have an idea on how to make money on the internet try to sell some of these ideas at ridiculous prices.
Most Nigerians who want to do genuine business on the internet are either frustrated by the activities of yahoo boys or the cold treatment meted out to them by sites in America, Canada and most European countries. I sincerely want to state that this canker called corruption has given Nigeria and Nigerians in the Diaspora a bad name, and most times, because of our reputation as been a corrupt nation, we are given savage treatments when we visit other countries.
Methinks that it is high time we join hands together to fight this menace called corruption by instituting stiffer penalties for anyone caught using the internet for scams and fraudulent activities.