By yinka Kolawole
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dissociated itself from fraudulent messages and videos on social media requesting loan seekers and small business owners to apply for loans purportedly facilitated by the bank.
In a statement of disclaimer signed by Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, Titled, “Beware of Fraudulent Loan Offers, Investment Schemes”, made available to Vanguard, the apex bank stated: “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 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.
“Members of the public, particularly youth and owners of small-scale businesses, are therefore advised to disregard any video or text message proposing investment schemes or charging them fees on the pretext that their organisations are endorsed by CBN and therefore would guarantee easy access to CBN loans. These videos and messages are fraudulent and anyone who enters into correspondence with those behind them does so at his or her risk. CBN has neither appointed nor accredited any organisation to serve as agent on its behalf for the purpose of investment or applying for intervention loans.
“Prospective applicants are therefore advised to approach their respective banks, NIRSAL Microfinance Bank or CBN branch nearest to them for clarification on the procedure for accessing any of the CBN-related facilities.”