Subscribers and investors of Nigeria's most notorious Ponzi scheme, MMM, have resigned to fate as they await their trapped investments a day after the scheme resumed operations.
The euphoria which greeted the news of the unfreezing of Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox, a ponzi scheme popularly known as MMM, may have subsided as a result of the dearth of people willing to provide financial help.
Subscribers to the scheme had gone into wild jubilations as news of the unfreezing of the scheme filtered through, 24 hours earlier than the Saturday 14, 2017, return date announced earlier.
Over three million Nigerians who subscribed to the scheme were thrown into panic and confusion a month ago when the operators of the scheme announced temporary freezing of the scheme, citing heavy workload on the platform and attacks from the media as the reason for the freezing.
The message, which assured subscribers of its return on January 14, 2017, promised to pay every subscriber as soon as the suspension on the scheme is lifted.
But while announcing its return last Friday, operators of the scheme had announced that the scheme would attend to small investors first, while subscribers with bigger financial commitments would have to wait a bit longer.
A message on the official portal of the scheme read: “Please, be prepared to wait for a couple of days. We are certain things will then calm down, and the system operation will return to normal.
“We’re the ones setting limits, so it’s completely under our control, and we are not expecting any emergencies in principle. Have no fear and go on about your business as usual.
“As the system is socially oriented, we will make paybacks to the poor and the economically disadvantaged in the first place; it means to the members with small PH (Provide Help) amounts. The richer can wait. Moreover, we’ve warned you repeatedly to only provide help with amounts that are not critical for you.”
Findings by Sunday Sun showed that many intending help providers on the scheme may have developed cold feet in pumping money into the scheme, as the list of people seeking to be helped has continued to grow.
A subscriber, who simply gave her name as Mrs. Olanrewaju, told Sunday Sun that she was still taking her time studying development on the scheme before deciding on whether to provide help or not.
Olanrewaju, who described herself as one of the lucky beneficiaries of the scheme, said: “I had provided help on a number of occasions and got rewarded accordingly. In fact, the scheme was suspended last year shortly after I got rewarded for the last help I rendered. But one needs to be cautious in a situation like this because one cannot really be too sure. I am still watching to see if I will still continue,” she said.
It was also gathered that many subscribers who had indicated interest in getting help were yet to be matched with prospective help providers more than 24 hours after seeking to be helped.
This development, according to a participant, Patrick Usenu, may not be unconnected with the fact that many potential help providers might be reluctant to put their money into the scheme because of uncertainties.
“In spite of the assurances given that the scheme will not crash, people still feel they must exercise restraint in order not to lose their monies. Unlike what was obtainable before now, people are only eager to seek help and not to provide help. I have spoken with some people who are into it and what they told me is that they have only sought help; none of them has told me that he or she would provide help. And I want to believe that explains the reasons most GHs are yet to be matched,” he said.
However, another participant, who simply gave his name as Seun, said getting matched with a help provider was not immediate. According to him, “it may take up to 48 hours before a GH gets matched with a PH. At the beginning, the duration of getting matched was very short. In fact, it was less than a day ,but as the platform continued to attract huge traffic, they continue to delay in getting people matched.
“It is wrong to attribute the delay being experienced to the claim that people are not willing to offer help. I know two people who have offered to provide help but who are yet to be matched with those who need help,” he said.