MMM: Tension, Anxiety Rise As Nigerians Await January 14

By Ikenga Chronicles January 13, 2017

Fear, anxiety has seized Nigerian members of the global Ponzi scheme – Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox, otherwise known as MMM–ahead of Saturday, January 14. That is the date set by the scheme’s founders to lift the current ban placed on deposits by the participants in the country.

It would be recalled that on Tuesday, December 13, MMM sent out the unexpected circular to all Nigerian users, explaining why accounts will remain frozen for a period of 30 days. The circular urged participants to be calm, saying the development was to help prevent any problem in transactions, among other reasons, during the New Year season.

With the duration expected to lapse on or before January 14, investors are anxiously looking forward with the hope that they finally will be able to have access to their accounts once again.

Many are afraid that the new likely policy to be rolled out by the scheme operators may be unfavourable to them while others hold the view that the ban may not be lifted again, insisting that similar thing had happened in the 1990s when the original MMM collapsed leading to a loss of about $10 billion by more than five million people.

Speaking,a physician with the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Osogbo, Osun State, Dr. ‘Lekan Bello, who is also a participant, said he had initially resisted the temptation to participate, but that since he knew no penny was directly getting to the hand of the founder, he decided to do it just for the fun of it.

“I am just getting to know of a worker who invested N18 million meant for December salary of his company. Though, I learnt he is currently being held in police custody, what do you think will become of such a man? Similar cases may increase the figure of patients at our mental clinics across the country” the doctor said.

Similarly, a trauma and critical care expert, Ridwan Akinrinade, added that participants with cases of hypertension, diabetes and other health challenges may experience serious episodes because of the shocks.

Apart from rising blood pressure, sugar levels of diabetic patients may also rise beyond control. “Schools reopened on Monday, and if the scheme does not reopen, then a lot of economic crisis may come up and this will lead to family conflicts apart from health challenges” Akinrinade added.

A chartered accountant and participant in the scheme, Adetoyese Alabi, said he was sure the scheme would return, but its popularity may wane. He said he knew the scheme would eventually collapse in future, but that it would not take such enticing style, adding that the expert’s view that the banking sector may suffer challenges may not be correct.

According to Alabi, the three million MMM participants in the country out of a population of about 170 million is grossly insignificant, and that the only challenge is that the scheme will never add any value to the country’s GDP, but instead, it will add to the already existing inflation.

However, a ‘10K Guider’ in the scheme with more than 70,000 followers, Bishop Richard Ojulari, with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said MMM has come to stay.

 

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