The Managing Director of Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC Mr. Umaru Ibrahim has said that an estimated three million Nigerians lost N18 billion in the Mavrodi Mundial Movement, MMM, ponzi scheme.
Speaking at the ongoing 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Thursday, Ibrahim said it was very unfortunate that a lot of Nigerians lost huge sums in this period of economic recession.
Over three million Nigerians were participating in MMM before December 2016 when the operators of the scheme suspended payment to investors due to its system “experiencing heavy workload.”
By the time the scheme returned in January, few new investors joined and the millions waiting for their payments were left disappointed with majority never paid.
Mr. Ibrahim noted that despite repeated warnings by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and other agencies like the anti-graft EFCC, Nigerians still patronized the ponzi scheme.
“The ponzi scheme is the phenomenon of illegal fundmanagers,popularly called “WonderBanks” which have continued to defraud unsuspecting members of thepublic of their hard earned money,”
“This phenomenon has been a source for concern because despite our repeated warnings over the years, some members of the public havecontinued to fall victims of their fraudulent practices.”
“We would ike to reiterate the fact that these fund managers are illegal as they are neither licenced by the CBN to take deposits from members of the public nor are those who patronise them covered by the NDIC deposit insurance scheme”
Mr. Ibrahim, who was represented by NDIC’s Deputy Director Corporate Affairs, Hadi Suleiman, noted that any financial deal done via any ponzi scheme with the use of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin,Ripples, Litecoin, was not authorized by the CBN because of the risks involved in its operations.
The NDIC boss cautioned that any person or groups of persons who invest their money in the Ponzi schemes do so at their own risk,adding that such schemes often defraud people of their money.