The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cautioned Nigerians against investing in Illegal Financial Operators (IFO) that use unrealistic returns on investments to lure their victims.
In a statement, the CBN through the Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC), stated that the activities of IFO have become worrisome and portend a grave risk to public confidence and the stability of the Nigerian Financial System.
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The committee, which facilitates a formal framework for the coordination of regulatory and supervisory activities in the Nigerian financial sector, advised the public not to deal with IFOs that they have not been able to verify being licensed through its channels.
“The FSRCC in its continuing efforts to end the scourge of IFOs in Nigeria hereby issues an advisory that the general public is to refrain from dealing with unlicensed or illegal financial operators, who lure and defraud unsuspecting members of the public by offering extra-ordinary returns on investments as bait. Members of the public are advised to visit the websites of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other relevant member agencies of the FSRCC to verify the registration and license status of such companies and schemes before investing in them.”
While urging the public to report any individual or entities suspected to be involved in such activities to law enforcement agencies, it said financial regulatory agencies would continue to carry out all due diligence before registering or licensing any operator under their regulatory purview.
“In addition, agencies shall refer to relevant supervisory authorities for confirmation before finalising on any registration/licensing application.”
It further called on sister agencies to engage in regular sensitisation campaigns on the threats posed by the activities of IFO.