The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Nigerians to be careful of any deposit money institution that is not insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) especially the trending MMM Nigeria community.
The bank through its the acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, made this known against the proliferation of wonder banks in the country in recent times.
Okoroafor said such deposit money institutions were dubious present Ponzi schemes.
“At times like this when the economy has suffered some decline, Nigerians should be very careful with those they deal with. Any institution that is not licensed by the CBN to accept deposits should not be given money to keep under any guise,” he advised.
He warned Nigerians to beware of the so-called wonder banks, explaining that they were makeshift institutions to dupe people.
“We can vouch for the banking system. The deposit money banks are the only licensed institutions to take deposits. If you need to deposit money in any form, go to any of the deposit money banks and put your money, you can buy fixed income instruments or invest in stocks,” he said.
Okoroafor said the CBN could not guarantee the unregistered institutions, insisting that when depositors lose money to them, the bank would not be able to help them.
“These people always come with very interesting propositions. These are fraudsters who are just out there to collect people’s money and run away as soon as they hit their target. There is no insurance because the NDIC does not even protect them against such risks when they occur,” the CBN said.
He said the CBN was intensifying efforts and liaising with the various security agencies to identify the promoters of these schemes and have such persons arrested and prosecuted, adding that anyone caught with them would also be made to face the law.
Promoters of wonder banks and other pyramid schemes in the country are currently taking advantage of the rising level of unemployment as well as the shrinking disposable income to attract unsuspecting prey.
From Lagos to Port Harcourt and some other big cities in the country, owners of these illegal businesses have been offering Nigerians mouth-watering interest rates, which cannot be found in the banking system, in a bid to attract large number of customers before they run away with huge cash.