Coronavirus: Is Nigerian government planning to pay citizens N8,500 per week?

Verdict: False

CLAIM: 

A viral message being shared among Nigerians on WhatsApp and Twitter claims that the Federal Government is set to pay citizens N8,500 per week to sustain the stay at home directive for the containment of the Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria.

The said message claimed that the grant will be made available to all Nigerians from Monday, March 23, 2020.

This message is very similar to scam messages that seek to lure Nigerians into sending a certain amount of money in exchange for some kind of opportunity.

FACT: 

In a swift investigation, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD followed the link shared by the purveyors of the claim.

The link lead leads to a page titled, ‘COVID-19 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GRANTS’, a website which has a badge as can be seen below.

Also, users are led to a page where they provide their names, addresses, telephone numbers, email address and bank details for a supposed payment of the grant. 

After filling in those details, you are taken to step two, which is pictured below:

The final page requests that the user shares the link with at least 10 groups before going to the final step – a clear strategy to spread the message as widely as possible to ensnare unsuspecting Nigerians into parting with sensitive information.

CDD gathered that all Federal Government programs are hosted on government domains, which means that the website will usually end in ‘.gov.ng’ or ‘.gov’; this website is hosted on Blogspot, which is Google’s free hosting platform. This means that this portal could be opened by anybody and potentially put users at risk of losing private information or worse.

Conclusion: The claims in this message are FALSE! The CDD urges users to be wary of messages such as this; always make sure that it is an official domain name before providing confidential and private sensitive information.