Members of the Nigerian House of Representatives have described the Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox, otherwise known as MMM scheme as a scam and warned Nigerians not to be carried away by the mouth-watering returns on investment that it promised.
The House of also asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria to immediately go after the promoters of the said scheme as they believe it portends grave danger for unsuspecting members of the public.
The MMM scheme which has lately gained popularity among Nigerians in the midst of the current economic recession in the country.promises 30 per cent return on investment for any money put into the scheme for 30 days. The investment scheme, largely described as a ‘ponzi’ arrangement has a Russian origin and “involves directing clients to make money available for an anonymous person with a promise of 30 per cent return within one month.”
Lawmakers rejected the operations of the scheme in strong terms and warned that the trick being used by the operators was to attract as many Nigerians as possible to invest substantial amounts of money before the bubble would burst.
While calling on the EFCC, security agencies and the CBN to take urgent steps to halt the scheme before many Nigerians would become victims of the alleged scam, the house also asked its committees on Banking/Currency and Financial Crimes to investigate the activities of the MMM scheme in Nigeria “with a view to saving Nigerians participating in the scheme from financial ruin.”
In a motion at the floor of the house, the Chairman, House Committee on Telecommunications, Mr. Saheed Fijabi, drew the attention of lawmakers to the growing popularity of the scheme among the citizens.
“The scheme entered the Nigerian circle in 2016, capitalising on the high level of unemployment and poverty to deceive unwary Nigerians into falling prey to the antics of the promoters.
“Any Nigerian, who is participating in the MMM scheme, which is not regulated by law, is vulnerable to losing his/her investment, as there is no identifiable platform to guarantee the security of such, given the declaration by the CBN that the scheme is fraudulent,” he told the House.
To buttress the motion, Deputy House Minority Leader, Mr. Chukwuka Onyeama, recalled that in the past, Nigerians had fallen prey to ponzi investment schemes and banks that promised huge profits, citing the case of the infamous ‘Umana-Umana’ wonder bank which operated in Calabar, Cross River State, years back.
Onyema noted that the profit margin promised by the MMM is too good to be real. “What type of business gives you such return over a short period?” He added that the House have a responsibility to guide Nigerians before the bubble bursts. He emphasised that very soon, people will begin to commit suicide or resort to this same House by writing petitions on how some investors took their money away.
The Chairman, House Committee on Federal Judiciary, Mr. Aminu Shagari, supported the motion and called on the EFCC and the CBN to urgently look into the operation of the scheme.
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