By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Members of the general public have been warned to stay away from a pyramid scheme operated by a Lagos-based investment company, Growing Circle International (G-Circle).
This warning was given by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency saddled with the responsibility with regulating firms operating in the Nigerian capital market and safeguarding investors in the country.
In a statement issued on Monday, March 18, 2019, the apex capital market regulator said G-Circle was operating without obtaining approval from government.
SEC explained that it got to know about operations of the firm following information received from a concerned member of the public.
The commission said after it discovered that G-Circle was operating illegally in the country, it went ahead to seal off the company’s office located in Ikeja, Lagos.
“Following information received by the Securities and Exchange Commission from a member of the public, surveillance was conducted on the activities of Growing Circle International (G-Circle) whose head office is No 6, Mojidi Street, off Toyin Street, Ikeja Lagos.
“The commission’s investigation revealed that G-Circle was operating a pyramid scheme and soliciting funds from unsuspecting members of the public through various means including its website www.growingscircle.com.
“In line with the commission’s mandate to regulate investments and securities business in Nigeria and to protect investors, the premises of G-Circle in Lagos was sealed up on Tuesday, February 19, 2019,” the statement said.
SEC, in the statement, urged citizens to only patronise companies registered with the commission.
“The commission wishes to inform the general public that Growing Circle International and any individual representing the company are not registered by the commission and therefore not permitted to engage in any capital market-related activity in Nigeria.
“Members of the public are advised to confirm the registration status of any company, individual and the products they offer before entering into any transaction with such persons.
“Information about entities registered by the commission to operate in the capital market can be obtained via http://sec.gov.ng/cmos/,” it said.
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