The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC) has urged Nigerians to avoid dealing with unlicensed or illegal financial operators in the country.
The CBN through FSRCC gave the advice in a statement posted on its website on Monday.
It is said that the illegal financial operators lure and defraud unsuspecting members of the public by offering extraordinary returns on investments as bait.
It also described the increasing activities of Illegal Financial Operators (IFOs) as worrisome, saying it portends a grave risk to public confidence and the stability of the Nigerian financial system.
The statement reads in part, “The FSRCC in its continuing efforts to end the scourge of IFOs in Nigeria, hereby issues the following advisory:
“The general public is advised 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.
“You are also advised to report any individual or entities suspected to be involved in such nefarious activities to the law enforcement agencies.”
It is assured that financial regulatory agencies shall continue to carry out all necessary 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,” the statement said.
It encouraged member agencies to engage in regular sensitisation campaigns on the threats posed by the activities of illegal financial operators.
It also urged the general public to address further enquiries to the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, Central Bank of Nigeria, and/or the Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement, Securities and Exchange Commission.