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Nigerian government not giving away N500,000 to 13,000 small businesses. Ignore engagement bait Facebook posts

IN SHORT: Given the tough economic times Nigeria is facing, small businesses in the country would welcome any financial support from the government. But claims that the government is giving N500,000 (about US$400) to 13,000 small businesses are false.

Opportunity for Small Businesses. The Federal Government of Nigeria is giving out 500,000 to 13,000 individuals. IT’S FREE,” reads a Facebook post, dated 27 March 2024.

The post contains a link and an image of Nigerian president Bola Tinubu with the text “N500,000 small business grant”.

Nigeria is facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with many small businesses struggling to keep their doors open.

The same post has also been published on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is the Nigerian federal government handing out N500,000 (about US$400) to 13,000 small businesses? We checked.


Engagement bait scam

Clicking on the “Apply Now” button leads users to the poster’s inbox. We showed interest and were sent links to websites about Canadian jobs and visas.

We insisted that we were only interested in the government funding for small businesses, as advertised in the post, and not Canadian jobs. But the account kept sending the same links.

This is an example of engagement bait, asking people to like, share or comment to increase the reach of the post, but offering no real reward. These posts are also aimed at directing traffic to the websites.

We also couldn't find any reports about the N500,000 government funding in credible news outlets.

Africa Check has debunked similar claims here, here and here

To protect yourself from scams on Facebook, read our guide.

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