The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a stern warning to Nigerians on the upsurge of fraudulent messages and videos in circulation on social media requesting unsuspecting loan seekers and owners of small-scale businesses to apply for loans or investment schemes supposedly facilitated by the apex bank.
The CBN in a statement issued on Thursday said: “While the CBN, indeed, has several development finance intervention programmes from which different categories of businesses have benefitted (and still benefitting), it does not do so through direct interaction with prospective loan applicants.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, there are clearly spelt out procedures for accessing CBN intervention funds, which are disbursed through Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), such as Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and Microfinance Banks (MFBs). The Bank also does not facilitate investment schemes,” the statement partly read.
It subsequently advised members of the public, particularly youth and owners of small-scale businesses, to disregard any video or text message proposing investment schemes or charging them fees on the pretext that their organisations are endorsed by the CBN and therefore would guarantee easy access to CBN loans.
“These videos and massages are fraudulent and anyone who enters into correspondence with those behind them does so at his or her own risk,” the CBN warned.
The bank reiterated that it has neither appointed nor accredited any organization to serve as agent on its behalf for the purpose of investment or applying for intervention loans.
It further urged prospective applicants to approach their respective banks, NIRSAL Micro-Finance Bank or the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) branch nearest to them for clarification on the procedure for accessing any of the CBN-related facility.