American media giant, CNN has joined many others around the world to mock Nigerians for still believing in Mavrodi Mundial Movement (MMM) investments despite the indication of an imminent collapse.
CNN wonders why in spite of the indication that things may not be in order with MMM, the scheme’s administrator and some other members still remain confident in the scheme.
On 13 December, the company said it was ‘freezing’ all confirmed accounts. While many who are opposed to the scheme believe the suspension may be an indication of an imminent collapse, MMM Nigeria assured its members it was only freezing the system for a period of one month.
The media giant questions how MMM successfully convinced many Nigerians who do not understand how the scheme works, to look away from the facts, warnings and experiences elsewhere in spite of the government’s warnings against it.
It reports that the scheme markets itself as a charity, which is why it celebrated its first anniversary with a Humanitarian week held from Nov 13th — 19th 2016 by donating relief materials worth N5 million to two internally displaced persons’ camps in Abuja.
But the Nigerian government has been unequivocal in discouraging citizens from participating. Through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria (SEC) and even the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), citizens have been urged not to get involved in MMM, calling it fraudulent.
For MMM, experts believe that its next task is to ensure that its community in Nigeria continues to be its firm advocate and the pyramid scheme is sustained for as long as possible while for the Nigerian government, restoring people’s confidence in the banking sector is essential in addition to finding a way to ensure that activities of Ponzi schemes are regulated and protecting the funds of participants — even when they act against government directives.
CNN writes that an Ibadan-based economist, Lekan Adigun said the wide acceptance of MMM in Nigeria in spite of numerous failures of similar schemes is not in line with industry edicts; it preys on the economic recession and citizens’ desire for quick wealth.
According to Adigun, many experts believe that by not banning MMM, which is especially popular among new graduates, the unemployed, and even entrepreneurs, the Nigerian government positions the country as a target for copycat programs
He said it is really unfortunate that even though many Nigerians have lost money to similar Ponzi schemes in the past, the Nigerian government is still reluctant to go hard on MMM.
Adigun stressed that when MMM eventually collapses, which will definitely happen, the exploitation of the citizens will continue under different names. This is going to be very harsh on the people of a country currently facing a recession.
Mr. Adigun said the Alexa ranking puts MMM as the fifth most visited website in Nigeria, more popular than Facebook. It has also shown that Nigeria isn’t really a mobile first nation and getting the support of the government is overrated.