A number of WhatsApp messages and Facebook posts claim that Nigeria’s federal government has approved a “relief fund” of N30,000 for each citizen.
Different versions link to different web pages where people can supposedly claim the money.
“FG has finally approved and have started giving out free N30,000 Relief Funds to each citizen,” says one post on Facebook. “You can only claim and get credited once and it’s also limited so get your now Instantly.” It includes a link to a website.
Since late March 2020, when the lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Nigeria was first put in place, the government has alerted people to several false online messages claiming it was giving out cash relief funds to every citizen in the country.
But some claims continue to circulate. Is this one true?
Govt debunks claim
The federal government has provided some Covid-19 relief in food and cash. This has been distributed through existing social investment programmes such as the household uplifting programme, conditional cash transfer and modified school feeding programme.
On 19 June the ministry tweeted a screenshot of one of the fraudulent messages with the warning: “Beware of Fraudulent Messages, Calls and Schemes. Stay safe and don’t be a victim of scammers.”
On 29 March, president Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Femi Adesin,a dismissed an earlier claim that the government was giving Nigerians N30,000 to prepare for the lockdown.
On the eve of an address by the president announcing the initial lockdown of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states, Adesina tweeted: “Fake news peddlers have concocted a statement … saying FG will pay N30,000 to each Nigerian with BVN [bank verification number], to help them stock up before an impending national lockdown. Not me. The so-called statement is hereby disclaimed.”
There has been no other announcement by the Nigerian government confirming the rumour. – Allwell Okpi
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