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Ignore WhatsApp Message In Nigeria Claiming Government Is Offering N10,500 Weekly As Covid-19 Second Wave Support Fund, It Is Fake

Ignore WhatsApp message in Nigeria claiming government is offering N10,500 weekly as Covid-19 second wave support fund, it is fake.

“Covid-19 second wave support fund program”, reads the headline of a WhatsApp message circulating in Nigeria. The message claims the Nigerian government is offering weekly grants of N10,500 in form of relief.

“Don’t miss this federal government N10,500 weekly grant. It takes fews(sic) second to apply. Don’t miss this great opportunity”, reads the WhatsApp message.

Nigeria has not been spared in the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the number of daily new cases and the mortality rate increasing in December 2020 and January 2021.

According to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, on 15 February Nigeria recorded 574 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 146,928 and 1,761 deaths.

Is the Nigerian government really offering a weekly Covid-19 second wave support fund of N10,500? 

We checked the application link in the WhatsApp message to find out if it is affiliated with any of the government agencies, most especially the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development (FMHDS), responsible for coordinating support schemes on behalf of the Nigerian government.

We found out that the site is neither the official webpage of Fmhds nor affiliated with it.

The website in the WhatsApp message says “All Nigrian Citizens are Entitled to N10,500 per week to stay at Home in a bid to control the spreed of COVID19 Second Wave, Proceed Now To Apply By Filling The Provided Form and Choose Your Preffered Payment Method, Your Account Will Be Credited As Soon As Possible.”

The web page, riddled with typographical errors, also had several pop-up advertisements which is uncommon of an official webpage of a government agency.

Check Naija ran through the official website and verified social media handle of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development and found nothing on the weekly grant or Covid-19 second wave support fund.

When fact-checking organisation Dubawa contacted the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management, and social development, the spokesperson, dismissed the claim as false

“The information is false and the link is fraudulent. I will advise members of the public to stay off such sites promising Covid-19 grants and palliatives. If the ministry will give grants, it will do so using the appropriate channel,” a spokesperson of Fmhds said.

The claim that Nigeria’s government is giving out a weekly grant of 10, 500 naira to support citizens due to the Covid-19 second wave is false.

Lanre Olagunju is a Lagos based fact-checker. He tweets from @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter.

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