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FACT CHECK: Is Nigerian govt disbursing ₦150,000 to citizens for youth empowerment?

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FACT CHECK: Is Nigerian govt disbursing ₦150,000 to citizens for youth empowerment?

Claim:

A shared WhatsApp message claimed that the National Youth Empowerment Fund, a federal government agency is giving out ₦150,000 – ₦200,000 grants to Nigerians.

Conclusion:

False, the website is fraudulent. The Federal government has an ongoing initiative named National Youth Investment Fund under the control of NIRSAL Microfinance Bank. Also, the loan application batch for 2021 has closed.

Ripples Nigeria can confirm that the National Youth Investment Fund is a genuine initiative from the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria being disbursed by NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.

The initiative is expected to run from 2020 to 2023 and the batch for 2021 has closed. Also, it is not a grant, rather it is a loan to help businesses across the country. A loan that does not involve doling out cash to applicants but having the cash equivalent as equipment to boost their businesses.

The National Youth Investment Fund website is nyif.nmfb.com.ng

Full Text:

A viral WhatsApp message claimed the National Youth Empowerment Fund is paying ₦150,000 – ₦200,000 grant to Nigerians who need helping hand in their business and education.

The message reads;

*National Youth Empowerment Fund Application Form 2021 Is Out*

National Youth Empowerment Funds Application Form 2021 online for registration exercise which is the quickest to apply for is now out for all bonafide  citizens only who needs helping hands in their various Business and Education

*The National Youth Empowerment Funds is vision into giving out ₦150,000 – ₦550,000 grant to every Citizen under the age  13-65 years From 2021-2024*.

Read also: FACT CHECK: Do Nigerian senators enjoy the highest salary among lawmakers in the world?

*Interested Applicants are to visit Online Registration Portal*

September Payments has began for all applicants, Register To be Part of the Beneficiaries

*Strictly for Students and Business owners*

Check Eligibility and Apply here

https://bit.ly/YOUTH-EMPOWERMENT2021

Verification:

Ripples Nigeria followed the link attached to the message. It leads to a website with the URL https://youth-empowerment.claimit-now.xyz/step2.html with a form to fill carrying the logo of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Central Bank of Nigeria and NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.

The form has spaces for first name, last name, Age, state, and password before heading to page 2 of the form containing space for home address, phone number, language, date of birth, educational level and question if the applicant has benefited from the scheme earlier with a yes or no button at the end just before the Apply now button.

Red flag 1: The first page form carrying identities of different Government agencies noted that it was National Youth Investment Fund as against the youth empowerment the website claimed.

Red flag 2: Without filling the form, the reporter moved from page 1 to 2 and clicked the Proceed button which leads to another page which asks the following questions

“1. What are you looking for?

2. Are you a citizen of Nigeria?

3. Do you have a business?”

After answering the questions, it brought a congratulatory message and cloned Facebook comments with beneficiaries writing good reviews about the grant scheme.

The congratulatory message also asked our reporter to do the following things before getting credited; “Congratulations, you are eligible for the youth empowerment program complete your registration by following the instructions below

1.Before you continue, click the green button “SHARE” and send this to 7 Whatsapp Groups (Only Groups) for other members to benefit from this.

2.After the sharing, which is to check if you are a robot. Click to proceed to the withdrawal page

3. Do not share this code with anyone, your verification code is ID/238209/2021

Analysing the reward website as claimed in the WhatsApp message, Whois.domaintools.com employed showed that the website’s main domain claim-now.xyz was registered August 18, 2021

The domain was registered in Iceland and the current IP location is Newbury, UK. The IP history shows that within the last 39 days the IP address has been changed twice.

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