The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has urged Nigerians to avoid patronizing illegal money lenders while drawing their attention to the great risk involved in such transactions.
The CBN called on citizens to take advantage of the various programs available to them to increase their finances through microfinance banks.
Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele gave the charge after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
Describing the activities of illegal moneylenders known as loan sharks, he said they operate outside the law, granting loans at extremely high interest rates and stringent terms and conditions when deadlines change. .
Frowning at the patronage of illegal moneylenders, he said, “You don’t need to go to loan sharks for a loan. People normally go to loan sharks because they are desperate and cannot access the bank.
He pointed out that those who take loans from platforms outside microfinance banks or recognized institutions are at great risk because they are not regulated.
The apex bank governor noted that the central bank has made available business growth programs through microfinance banks like target credit facility, SME loans to help the masses.
“We found that those who are vulnerable are households that need money to do their business, but they cannot access bank financing and therefore go to loan sharks who charge them well above or twice. more than the amount borrowed and scheduled to repay in 90 days and if that doesn’t happen, they seize your house or your bikes.
“We can only continue to advise that there is no need to go after loan sharks. The central bank has set up the channel through which you can raise your funding such as through the target credit facility or the SME loan which has been set up through our microfinance banks.
“You don’t owe anyone anything, just go to the portal and fill in the form, submit your data, and if it is correct, you will be able to access the loans,” he said.
Congratulating the beneficiaries of CBN support programs, he said many people have benefited from the services of microfinance banks, earning affordable rates of return and they don’t have to pay anything to anyone.
He, however, said that in its efforts to end loan shark services, CBN will pursue illegal money lenders and they will be dealt with without mercy.