House probes MMM scheme, Nigerians say ‘we have no regrets’
Wonder bank, Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox otherwise known as MMM, has come under the searchlight in Nigeria months after it reportedly crashed in some countries including South Africa. This time, the House of Representatives, Wednesday, resolved to investigate its operations in the country.
The House mandated its committees on Banking and Currency Operations, and Financial Crimes to investigate the operations of the wonder bank which Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier warned is another Ponzi Scheme that would soon crash with obvious consequences.
This resolution for investigation followed the adoption of the motion sponsored by Mr. Saheed Akinade Fijabi (APC, Oyo) on the wide acceptance of the scheme by Nigerians which has its roots in Russia.
Established in 1989 by three Russian nationals it offers as high as 30 per cent return on investment after just 30 days and many Nigerians have been deep into it since last year.
Nigerians who spoke to our correspondent however said they have benefited so much from the scheme such that even if it “crashes today we have no regrets”. Some claimed it was a huge relief to the hard knocks of recession.
Fijabi had argued that Nigerian participating in the MMM scheme which has no legal backing is vulnerable to losing their investment as there is no identifiable platform to guarantee the security of the invested funds.
According to him, the scheme prides itself as a mutual fund through which recruited members contribute money in form of assistance without any intent to engage in banking business.
He said: “But the scheme’s structure, operations and intendment indicate otherwise as their clients can have multi-level structures under them and receive bonus (in percentage) from each financial transaction of every participant in their structures.
“It is worthy of note that the government of China banned the operations of MMM on the ground that it was a payment pyramid scheme without registration in the country and has the capacity to cause financial havoc in the system”, Fijabi maintained.
House Minority Leader, Leo Ogor said MMM is a scam, saying: “The Central Bank should warn the public to avoid falling victim of it. There is nowhere in the world somebody will invest one naira in a business and get back one hundred naira as profit”.
MMM has been banned in China and crashed in some other nations. The promoters have no traceable investment of the contributed funds and this raises curiosity that it is another Ponzi scheme, a pyramid money-sharing system which is not sustainable in the long run.