Some Nigerians are distraught right now because of a controversial Ponzi scheme known as Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox (MMM) Nigeria.
The scheme offered customers a perpetual return on the money that they would deposit. The whole thing is rather unclear, with its website declaring it 'a community of ordinary people, selflessly helping each other, a kind of the Global Fund of mutual aid.'
The scheme was considered a financial saviour for many when it launched in the country a few months ago, but it has since declared that all activities and accounts on its platform would be frozen for a month.
They then reminded customers that MMM has always advised them to use their "spare money" - you know, the piles of money you have lying around that you're not using...
What's clear though is that MMM is a Ponzi scheme, a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of returns for older investors, who gain more returns by acquiring new investors. In MMM’s case, participants are promised about 15% to 100% of whatever amount they pledge.
The issue with this scheme is that, eventually, when there isn’t enough money to go around, the whole process crashes and leaves participants whose cash are tied in with nothing.
This appears to be what MMM Nigeria is going through, although 'guiders' of the scheme have come out saying that the platform has not crashed, but has only been “frozen for a month”.
Now imagine all those who put in large amounts of their money - house rent, Christmas holiday spend, or even those that have "borrowed" money from places that they shouldn't have - and invested it MMM.
In the absence of a physical location, Nigerian MMM participants have taken to social media to rant while others are having a good laugh.
Online trolls have even gone as far as making an album cover.
Some even say Instagram comedian Woli Arole had predicted imminent doom for MMM participants in this video.
Woli Arole warned y'all about MMM 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/CIQ7WUI84X— AKIN-MADE (@bibzyCarter) December 13, 2016
However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is somewhat benefitting from this incident. People have been directing questions, attacking the agency about the issue at hand and coming up with illogical ways in which EFCC could have prevented the MMM scheme from entering the country. But it looks like the person behind the official Twitter account of the prosecuting government agency possesses a great sense of humour.
Will MMM Nigeria accounts be unfrozen in a month, if ever? Let’s wait and see.