Ponzi palaver: Nigerians Count Losses After MMM Crashed


About three million Nigerian who embrace the controversial Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox, MMM has blamed their woes to prevalent economic recession in country as factor  which led them into the money scheme.

With a 30 per cent return on investment within 30 days and other perks such as bonuses from referrals, the idea was too promising for Oladejo Ojo, an almost broke small-scale business owner, to turn down.

“Even if you don’t have the money, I will lend you. Trust me, try it and see the results,” Ojo’s friend, Olayemi kept prodding him when he complained of his difficulty in getting capital to start the scheme.

The idea sounded too good to be true but the bank statement his friend showed him assuaged his suspicion and fears.

Unsure of the fallout of his decision, Ojo joined the trending Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox, popular known as MMM, in October 2016. With an initial deposit of N17,000, which he borrowed from his friends, he had made a profit of more than N100,000 in less than two months.

In 30 days, his N17,000 initial deposit yielded N5, 100, the 30 per cent of his capital. He also gained more from referral bonuses from the 10 per cent of the amount the subscribers he enlisted contributed.

“It was a miracle of a sort to the biting recession which seriously affected my business in terms of cost of operations and even sales. I completed the mandatory National Youth Service Corps scheme last year with no job.

“I started a small business at the Federal University of Technology in Akure. The strike on the campus also crippled sales. A close friend of mine asked me to join MMM in order to make ends meet. So far, it has been weeks of testimonies. I enrolled five people in the scheme and settled my debt effortlessly,” he said while narrating his experience .

Just like Ojo, Adedeji, a sales executive in the Ikeja area of Lagos joined the MMM scheme last year when his employers could no longer pay his full salary. Adedeji, who was a victim of the failed wonder banks that plunged many Nigerians into debts in 2005, told journalist that he decided to participate in the MMM scheme because of the high profit  margins.

He stated, “Ordinarily with my experience with the failed wonder banks, I should be the one advising people not to put in for MMM but with the way it started, it was too nice to shun. Although we knew it was not sustainable, we were driven by the will to survive.

“Owing to the fact that salaries are not paid and the hardship in the country, I decided to invest a little amount of money and gain little, while I planned to withdraw all my capital. I registered with N50,000 to start.”

Adedeji, who has since introduced more than 15 other jobless youths to the scheme, has been able to make close to N500,000 as gains through referral bonuses and the 30 per cent of his initial capital.

The sweet melody however changed for Ojo and Adedeji last week when the founders of MMM announced that the accounts of three million Nigerians had been frozen for one month.

Both men are still in a daze over the announcement as their initial capital and profits are trapped in the scheme.

“When I got the news that our accounts had been frozen on Tuesday, I was traumatised because I was expecting N100,000 as bonuses that day. I am beginning to regret this because I was planning to use the fund to buy materials for my business,” Ojo lamented.



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