Nigerians say FG encouraged citizens to participate in Ponzi schemes
Most Nigerians see MMM, Ultimate Cycler and other Ponzi Schemes as way out of the country’s economic recession.
Any Nigerian who has not heard about Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox (MMM) is probably not aware of the recession in the country. The scheme is so popular that it has even been advertised in one of the biggest churches in Nigeria! Well, that’s a story for another day.
Not to bore with the dark history of MMM, but basic knowledge says participants will receive 30% of their initial investments, registration and referral bonus. How nice!
What is more surprising is the fact that most Nigerians have turned deaf ears to the warning on the website. The MMM Nigeria is even more popular than Facebook in Nigeria.
With several testimonials from participants, some critics have joined the bandwagon. The scheme currently has about three million participants (and still counting) in Nigeria.
With growing rate of unemployment, retrenchments, lack of enabling environment for small-scale businesses to thrive, most Nigerians have turned to Ponzi schemes such as MMM, Ultimate Cycler, iCharity etc.
“Before now, I said I will never do MMM but when my friend did with N250,000 and got N340,000 after 30days, I changed my mind,” said 43-year-old teacher, Chidera Anyawu.
She continued: “Which bank will give you N90,000 interest? The banks cannot even pay their workers. See, MMM has helped me pay my children’s’ school fees, my house rent and we now eat very well unlike before. MMM is the change we have always prayed for; the change this APC government promised but they won’t deliver even till 2019. You better come so that I can register you,” she told Pulse in Abuja.
So far, the federal government’s basic concern is how to investigate and shut down the operations of MMM and other similar Ponzi schemes in Nigeria. But this has failed to yield the desired result.
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While the federal government may just be trying to protect her citizens from what most Nigerians have described as an “impending doom”, others have described these actions as indirect ways of encouraging Nigerians to participate in these schemes.
Ayodele Philips, an accountant said: “These negative news the federal government, it’s arms and agencies have been churning out has helped MMM and other Ponzi schemes grow. Truth is, more people joined MMM after FG drew the attention of the public to it; my colleagues at the bank would encourage customers to register under him.
“Secondly, how would the federal government ask people to stop participating in MMM, Ultimate cycler etc without creating jobs? My colleagues were sacked for obvious reasons like the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
“For the first time in decades, people are stealing from the fire, children are reportedly been exchanged for bags of rice. I only see it as the case of a pot calling a kettle black,” he said.
A live poll on Pulse shows that most Nigerians have totally lost confidence in the federal government with more people supporting popular Ponzi scheme, MMM.
A civil servant who spoke on the condition of anonymity said he invests 70% of his salary every month.
“Life is a risk. As a civil servant, my salary cannot cater for the needs of my family. So, I invest 70% of my monthly income and spend the bonus. That is the only way I can pay the fees of my two sons in the university,” he added.
The federal government needs to get her acts together – create jobs, make policies and provide an enabling environment for small and medium scale businesses to thrive or else, more and more Nigerians will keep signing up to these Ponzi schemes.
One last word, things like these don’t last forever. Never forget that!