NSIO debunks fake news on Abacha Loot

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FCT – Abuja, Nigeria; Monday, August 20, 2018: The National Social Investment Office wishes to distance itself from a message currently circulating on social media, conveying the impression that the disbursement of the repatriated money by the Swiss Government, otherwise referred to as the Abacha Loot, will commence in October, 2018, with the TraderMoni Micro-Credit Loan Scheme.

According to the message, the ‘grant’, which is derived from the recovered looted fund, is being anchored by Access Bank. It states, in part:

“The Federal Government had deemed it fit to grant it to Nigerians especially Small-Scale Business Owners. The money will be paid to your account and you are to pay back within 6months. So, the program is designated for Small Scale Business Owners. You are to walk into any Access Bank Branch ask them for TRADE FORM, which the Federal Government say they should give. Pls note, it is free of charge, but Access Bank will ask you to pay N1200, for those who do not have Access Bank account, if you have an Access Bank account you don’t have to pay for any account opening and they will give you the form and fill. It’s an instant form that you can fill and submit there immediately. Pls, go with a passport photograph, and your BVN number. I repeat, the form is free of charge. Don’t pay to anybody unless you want to open an Access Bank account which is about 1200naira in other (sic) to make it fast. But if you have an account with access before its easy, they will link up your account with the form.”

The National Social Investment Office wishes to categorically state that the Abacha loot is slated to be paid as grants to only beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme hosted on the National Social Register.

The National Social Register currently comprises data of the poorest and most vulnerable households from 33 State Social Registers, around the country. The data consists of information collated through a meticulous process that predates the inception of this Administration (in 8 States), which database would have developed to include Social Registers from all of States of the Federation and the FCT, by the end of October 2018.

Following the apparently wide circulation of this misinformation, it is important to clarify that TraderMoni is a separate microcredit loan scheme under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), one of the four Social Investment Programmes of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. It is managed by the Bank of Industry.

Funding for this scheme is derived from the Federal Government’s Social Investment Budget appropriated by the National Assembly. Furthermore, the process for disbursement of TraderMoni loans does not involve paper applications or forms, and it is not disbursed through just one financial institution.

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