Hope dims for MMM participants •Trapped money gone for good
Posted by News Express | 19 February 2017 | 3,886 times
All hopes seen lost for Mavrodi Mondial Movement (MMM) participants, who jubilated when the scheme announced the unfreezing of the ponzi accounts on January 13, 2016, as it is yet to pay those who invested in it. The accounts were frozen late last year.
The bleakness of the already bad situation was made worse by a statement issued by the MMM office to all participants last week titled, ‘МММ Nigeria is coming back to normal’, the scheme asked the participants to forget the 2016 Mavrodi money and start a new one as the account is under restriction.
It reads, “Dear members, MMM Nigeria lifts all the limits for Mavro acquired in 2017. So, MMM Nigeria is coming back to normal. And now the members can actively develop the community and create new requests to provide help. For these requests, orders will soon arrive, and after Mavro’s confirmation, it will be possible to withdraw these Mavro without any restrictions or limits! “Only Mavros acquired in 2016 remain under restriction. But we are actively working on new measures to make it possible for the members to withdraw Mavro- 2016 in a larger amount without undermining the sustainability of the community…”
Unfortunately, many students who invested their school fees with the hope of making 30 per cent profits from the ponzi scheme are as stranded as those who borrowed or invested their working capital. The only class of MMM investors who appeared better off but still deep in pains, are those who invested their personal money and have nobody on their necks, except the mental torture they go through over the possible loss of the money.
This came as indications have emerged that since last year, when MMM announced a one month suspension of the scheme’s accounts, there had been an astronomical rise in the number of ponzi schemes being released in Nigeria.
However, while some ponzis lasted for a couple of months, others just crash in a couple of days or even hours. Some of the new ponzis in Nigeria as at February 2017 are Twinka, AlwaysPays, Naira propeller, Donation- Hub, GetHelpWorldwide, GiversCircle and Claritta. Not left out are 247Helpers, PledgeCycle and Loopersclub. Some Mavrodians, as the MMM participants are called, may have embraced these new ponzi schemes while many more are still hopeful that they would be paid soonest. A staff of a popular business establishment in Lagos State, Mr. Harrison Okojie, said the thought of losing his money is killing him but he has to bear it as a man.
“Make I tell you, na my mind I take dey carry this MMM matter. If I think about it, it will do me lot of damage, I can bear the loss of my money but my headache is the lady I borrowed N100,000 from, the amount belongs to her sister.
This is my major headache now. If I can get something out of the scheme, I will use it to buy time from her first,” he said, having requested help weeks ago to no avail. The Managing Director of a private sector investment, Kenkenson Oil & Gas Limited, and treasurer of Apapa NUPENG, Mr. Clifford Onyechachi, said his N1.8million was trapped in MMM and about N2.3million in three other schemes, of which the lump has affected his working capital. “Honestly, all my money is trapped in MMM and other schemes. It’s my money but it has affected my business badly because what I have is limited to my transactions. I still do small ones, trying to see how much I can get back. I invested N800,000 for my wife and N1 million for myself in MMM. I have over N2.3 million in three other schemes.
Those ones are on recession too,” he said. Another participant, who simply identified herself as Ngozi, said she invested N100,000 and has moved on with other things believing that the money is lost. She disclosed that she got convinced that her money is lost forever when she realised that almost everybody wanted to ‘get help’. Old members who had ‘given help’ want their money back. “New members are not joining and nobody was ‘giving help’.
So it means we won’t ever get our money back. The small investors the MMM office paid, to my understanding, were just for the purpose of luring new investors. But that has not changed anything as Nigerians have already lost interest in the scheme, while those who are already members are not investing again so as not to increase their losses.” She added: “The truth is that we are highly insecured in this investment, though we did not pay attention to this fact at the beginning. I pity those who put in their life savings, we have no legal backing. We are dealing with faceless persons who are paired to pay you, no office location in Nigeria except the Internet. I believe it is over.”
Meanwhile, one Mrs. Gloria Samson, a mother of twins in Benue State, reportedly took her own life recently because she had no means of refunding the N400,000 loan she borrowed from two microfinance banks which she invested in the MMM scheme.
This came as an Abujabased female cleric, Mrs. Michelle Ogada, who invested her N3 million, reportedly encouraged other members to participate. Many put their life savings, borrowed funds and contributions (Esusu) into the scheme. Mrs. Ogaba was thrown into stress-induced premature labour and medical experts battled to save her life, and the life of her unborn baby; after waiting for over one month after the return of the ponzi scheme without paying her the money. One of our correspondents learnt that a member of another Pentecostal Church located at Bishop Abayode Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, broke down while making a fervent prayer request in the church last Sunday.
In her own case, she had invested her child’s school fees in MMM, without her husband’s knowledge. Following the crash of the ponzi scheme, the child could not go back to school.
The woman now has more than the school fees to worry about as her marriage is on the verge of collapse because her husband is angry that she could pull such a deal without his consent “My landlord has been on my neck. I invested my house rent.
My rent was due on December 18, but I provided help with N200,000, hoping to get N250,000 but the scheme has failed me. Where will I start from? My landlord wouldn’t listen to any story outside money. Since MMM came back, it has paid only people who invested N31, 000 or less. I don’t know when it will get to my turn.
MMM has finished me but that is life for you,” said Jide Oladeinde, a businessman. A father of three, Chidube Anya, said, “I have lost hope in MMM. I had thought that when they resumed, they would pay us. I put in my children’s school fees in the scheme, and now they cannot go back to school. Every child displays payment teller before gaining entrance to the school. I went to the school to sign a bond that I would pay latest first week of February, the school wouldn’t allow my children into the classes because I did not redeem my pledge. I feel committing suicide whenever I get home every evening, knowing that I have failed in my responsibility to my children due to my greed.”
Further checks revealed that many students, who invested their school fees in the scheme are all stranded. One of St. Jude School’s Lagos bursars told Sunday Telegraph that a number of students have not resumed classes for non-payment of school fees, noting that, the school across the country has cases of parents pleading for more time to enable them to pay up their children’s school fees.
“But I can’t say whether their inability to pay is connected to MMM crisis or due to the harsh economic condition in the country,” the accountant, who pleaded anonymity, said. A Psychologist, and a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Lagos, Dr. Alex Igundunase, advised the MMM victims to take their minds off the situation in order not to hurt themselves while worrying over the money.