The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned Nigerians against fraudsters currently running an online investment scheme tagged “Loom Money Nigeria’’.
Acting Director-General of the commission, Ms Mary Uduk gave the warning at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
A statement by SEC’s Head of Media, Mrs Efe Ebelo, said that Uduk, who was represented by acting Executive Commissioner, Operations of SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde, said Loom Money Nigeria had taken over the social media.
She said that the scheme targeted young people, luring them to participate in a pyramid model of the Ponzi.
The director-general disclosed that the fraudsters carried out their illegitimate activities via social media platforms like Facebook and whatsapp.
She added that they lured young Nigerians to invest as low as N1000 and N13, 000 and to get as much as eight times the value of the investment in 48 hours.
Uduk said that the venture was a Ponzi scheme, where returns would be paid from other people invested funds, adding that it had no tangible business model.
“We are aware of the activities of an online investment scheme tagged ‘Loom Money Nigeria’.
“The platform has embarked on an aggressive online media campaign on Facebook and whatsapp.
“They lure the investing public to participate by joining various Loom whatsapp groups to invest as low as N1, 000 and N13, 000 and get as much as eight times the value of the investment in 48 hours.
“Unlike MMM that had a website and the promoter known, the people promoting Loom are not yet known and this pyramid scheme operates through closed groups mainly on Facebook and Whatsapp.
“If it were a local Ponzi scheme with known offices, it would be very easy for the Commission to seal their offices and freeze their accounts.
“We therefore wish to notify the investing public that the operation of this investment scheme has no tangible business model hence it’s a Ponzi scheme, where returns are paid from other people’s invested sum.
“Also, its operation is not registered by the Commission,” she said.
Uduk, therefore, advised the public to distance themselves from the scheme, adding that anyone that subscribed to the illegal activity did so at his own risk.
She assured that an inter-agency committee, Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC), was working on the issue, and that the commission was also collaborating with security agencies to track them down.
A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors.
CBN injects $297.92 into secondary market
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has injected 297.92 million dollars into the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).
The bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor made this known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.
Okarafor disclosed that CBN also injected CNY21.2million in the spot and short-tenured forwards segment of the inter-bank foreign market.
According to him, the United States dollars-denominated transactions are to meet requests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors, while those in Chinese Yuan are for Renminbi-denominated Letters of Credit.
The director reiterated that the bank’s management was satisfied with the continued stability in the foreign exchange market.
He assured that the CBN remained committed to meeting foreign exchange needs of all sectors of the economy.
Meanwhile, N358 was exchanged to a dollar, while CNY1 exchanged at N46 at the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market on Friday.
No electricity tariff increase has been approved yet —— NERC
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says no tariff increase has been approved by the commission yet.
In a statement, Mr Usman Arabi, NERC’s General Manager, Public Affairs, however, in a statement on Friday in Abuja said it was still consulting with stakeholders.
He said that the commission wished to notify the public that no tariff increase had been approved by the commission contrary to the impression in some quarters.
“However, the commission in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities enshrined under the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, shall continue to undertake periodic reviews of electricity tariffs in accordance with prevailing tariff methodology.
`In all instances of such reviews and rule-making, the commission shall widely consult stakeholders and final decision shall be taken with due regard of all contributions,” he said. .
Arabi said that the commission wished to provide guidance that the minor review implemented by the commission was a retrospective adjustment of the tariff regime released in 2015
He said that this was to account for changes in macroeconomic indices for 2016, 2017 and 2018, “thus providing certainty about revenue shortfall that may have arisen due to the differential between tariffs approved by the regulator and actual end-user tariffs,” he said
NSE: Market indices upbeat, up by 0.62%
Trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), for the third consecutive days, maintained a bullish trend to close the week upbeat.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the crucial market indices on Friday appreciated further with a growth of 0.62 per cent.
Specifically, the market capitalisation of listed equities inched N33 billion or 0.62 per cent to N13.524 trillion from N13.441 trillion achieved on Thursday.
Also, the All-Share Index rose by 170.51 points or 0.62 per cent to close at 27, 800.17 points against 27,629.66 posted on Thursday.
An analysis of the price movement table shows that Nestle led the gainers’ table, growing by N10 to close at N1, 230 per share.
Unilever followed with a gain of N2.45 to close at N29.45, Guaranty Trust Bank gained 90k to close at N27.90 per share.
Forte Oil improved by 66k to close at N16, while C & I Leasing also added 60k to close N7.30 per share.
Conversely, Dangote Cement Industry recorded the highest loss to lead the losers’ table, declining by 50k to close at N166.50 per share.
Continental Reinsurance trailed with a loss of 10k to close at N1.50, while Dangote Sugar Refinery was down by 10k to close at N1.30 per share.
Triple Gee lost 7k to close at 63k, while Unity Bank declined by 6k to close at 63k per share.
Similarly, the volume of shares traded closed higher with a total of 1.24 billion shares valued at N3.29 billion in 3,644 deals.
This was in contrast with 272.60 million shares worth N4.49 billion exchanged in 3,425 deals on Thursday.
Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc was the most active stock, trading 900.02 million shares valued at N216 million.
FBN Holding followed with an account of 80.12 million shares worth N401.08 million, while Courtville traded 55.07 million shares valued at N12.11 million.
Access Bank sold 36.42 million shares worth N236.89 million, while Transcorp exchanged 34.56 million shares valued at N36.94 million.
Edited by Olagoke Olatoye