THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has not appointed any agent to sell forms for the disbursement of the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) fund.
This is contained in a statement signed by Alhaji Ibrahim Mu’azu, Head, Corporate Communications recently in Abuja.
The bank said it had noticed that some unscrupulous persons were defrauding unsuspecting members of the public by selling application forms purportedly from the CBN for the purpose of accessing loans.
Reports reaching the bank indicate that these dishonest elements extort between N2,000 and N40,000 from their victims by asking them to pay the said sums for forms as a pre-condition and/or guarantee for securing loans from the fund.
The fraudsters are also reported to be asking would-be borrowers to contribute into a dedicated account certain sums as percentages of the loan they intend to access.
The Central Bank of Nigeria wishes to inform the public that at no time did it authorise or appoint any agent to sell forms or collect any fee to access the fund.’’
The CBN said that the only form available under the fund is the form to be filled by participating financial institutions.
It listed the institutions to include Microfinance Banks, Non-Bank Microfinance Institutions, Financial Cooperatives, Finance Companies, Commercial Banks, Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture.
According to the CBN, the form is free to all participating financial institutions to enable them to access the fund.
“The Public is therefore advised to beware of the activities of fraudsters and report anyone that approaches them with the fake forms to law enforcement agencies.