Saturday, December 10, 2016

NEWS: MMM: How it affects the banks – Bankers

Posted By: young kizzye - 2:48:00 AM


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 Sergey Mavrodi of inventor MMM
•It’s a bombshell that will crash one day, Senators, Reps warn By Henry Umoru, Babajide Komolafe, Emma Ovuakporie, Nkiruka Nnorom, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Ikenna Asomba Against the backdrop of the biting economic recession that has hit the country since 2015, trust Nigerians, they have devised several means to survive the economic down-turn.
One of these several means of surviving the economic recession, which has gained media prominence recently is the wonder bank scheme called the Mavrodi Mundial Movement, MMM. MMM-Nigeria has gained popularity among Nigerians as the programme promises a monthly payment of 30 per cent interest on loans provided by participants. Usually, participants are expected to provide loans for a minimum of N20, 000 to get a 30 percent interest within 30 days. The system operates on two platforms which is Provide Help (PH) and Get Help (GH).

How it works If a participant requests to Provide Help of N20, 000 today, he/she is expected to be matched within the next 14days with another participant or participants, and after payment, the donor gets back a full repayment of his loan (N20,000) and 30 percent (N6,000) within the next 15 days. This implies that the donor gets N26,000 from another participant or other participants after 30days. Other financial benefits However, aside the 30 percent interest on loan, other financial benefits participants gain from MMM-Nigeria include a Referral Bonus of +10% from a contribution amount made by each member (referral) you invited to the System.

The Bonus is paid and available for withdrawal as soon as the referral has provided help and got his Mavro confirmed. For example, if a referral provides help of N20,000, the participant who refers him or her will get a N2,000 bonus. Also, there is Guider’s Bonus comprising of four levels in MMM-Nigeria- +5%, 3%, 1% and 0,25%. You may take this bonus out two weeks after your referral has provided help and got his Mavro confirmed. It works like Referral Bonus. Guider’s bonus is paid only for ‘new’ money. There is also bonus for Testimonial video. Bonus for the video in a “Letter of happiness” is 5 per cent of the amount of received help. After receiving help you have to send a “Letter of happiness”. If you attach a video to it, you will get a bonus. The bonus is credited for each “Letter of happiness”.

The scheme looks attractive, no wonder it has been embraced by even those who belong to the upper class in the society. Nigerians have however been warned to steer clear as it is bound to crash and the consequences will be tragic. Bankers and stock brokers have also reacted to the new wonder bank with mixed feelings No impact on the banks

—–Bankers A banker, Folashade Amosu said “MMM does not have any impact on the banks because it does not involve withdrawal of money from banks but transfer of money from one bank account to another. Also, the amount of money involved per person is usually small, mostly N1 million and below, hence it has little or no impact on the bank. In his own contribution, Michael Ilifo, who is also a banker, said, “MMM is not an organisation, it does not have staff. It is a computer application that matches people who need financial assistance to people willing to provide financial assistance.

The money goes from one individual bank account to another individual bank account. Money does not leave the banking industry, so there is no impact. I think the problem is that people criticise what they have not taken time to study and understand. MMM is not a ponzi scheme but a pyramid scheme. Dr. Uju Ogubunka, President, Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN) however argued that “MMM is a faceless scheme, so I advise people to be careful in their dealings with it because there will be nobody to complain to if anything goes wrong.” A bombshell that will crash

——Capital market operators Jimmy Okugere of Quantum Securities Limited, said some brokers who have joined the MMM community were guided by greed. He said, “they are cautious though, even some have told me to also join, but I dismissed it because personally, I have to understand the risk I am taking and I must make sure that I balance it up. For me, I won’t do any business that I can’t explain the source of funding. Where is the 30 per cent growth coming from; because I took money from one place and I gave help to one person and another person gave help to me.

That is a bombshell that will crash one day; it will blow and when it blows, it is going to be deadly. Not after several experiences we have had in the past in the days of wonder banks. For most of my colleagues who are doing it, well sorry; they are taking a risk.” Paul Uzum, another stockbroker, said it is true that some investors recently started selling their shares in order to invest in MMM. He said that even educated and financially literate people are equally taking the plunge.

 According to him, “Their argument is that, they have at some point lost money in shares and they do not mind losing money. They see it as financial game where some will gain, while others will lose. Because of the fact that some of them are financially savvy, they feel that give and take they will still make money. I have some friends in academia who are even doing it. It is so shocking. For most, they know that MMM is a zero-sum gamer wherein the gain of some people is loss for some people.

That means that you are transferring wealth from some class of financially uninformed to those who understand the game. A lot of people don’t know it is a ponzi scheme and those are the class of people that will lose”. Citing an example, he said that a friend of his who is a doctorate degree student in Economics borrowed N2 million from his Cooperative to invest in MMM and has since recovered the initial capital and is now playing with the gain he made. Another stockbroker, Mr. Charles Fakrogha, of Foresight Securities and Investment Limited, said some of his colleagues told him that their clients were selling their shares to invest in MMM.

He said ”I have heard that a lot of people are getting involved in it, but it pains me that in this 21st century when technology has gone so advanced and awareness about investment community has become so advanced, we find that investing public will still be a victim to this kind of scheme. It is an illegal scheme and all the financial regulators have come out to say that they did not license it; it is still surprising that a lot of people still get involved in it. We have seen things like this in our investment history. We saw that of PlanWell in Benin; we saw that of Umana Umana in Port-Harcourt in the early 90s. So how come Nigerians are still falling victim to MMM. For me, it is a clear case of investment illiteracy.” Investors should be wise

—–Senators Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim in his reaction warned Nigerians to be careful in their engagement with the MMM, saying that it is a pyramid that would soon burst. He said “any Financial institutions of any kind that is not under the regulation of a Regulator such as MMM is a pyramid that will soon burst. We engaged the CBN and they have issued a statement in the recent past. So Nigeria should be wise and know that there is no free money any where. One wonders which investment can yield 30% flat any where in the world.” Also reacting, a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Gbolahan Dada, APC, Ogun West said, “It is important for members of the Public to know this fact. ??? was a Russian company founded in 1989. The company was established by Sergei Mavrodi, his brother named Vyacheslav Mavrodi, and Olga Melnikova. The name of the company was taken from the first letters of the three founders’ surnames. MMM could be called a wonder bank.

Over 5 to 40 million people lost up to $10billion in the 90s when it was introduced. The company was shut down by Russian Police in 1994 and declared bankruptcy in 1997. “It is unfortunate that some unscrupulous Nigerians are capitalizing on current economic hardships to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians by encouraging them to part with their hard earned money with mouth-watering interest or returns. MMM does not contribute or add value to the economy because the records of such transactions are not kept and not made open to the public or regulatory authorities. It is a product of fraud and nothing good comes from fraud. The operator pays returns to the investors from new capital acquired from new investors and not from legitimately earned profits. The operators entice investors with mouth watering offers. The short term returns are abnormally high and unusually consistent. They may struggle to pay the first returns but would bolt away with subsequent capital or deposits made by investors.” When Saturday Vanguard asked if there was any Financial implication, Senator Dada said, “The money involved in MMM are usually spent by the promoters on frivolities. The promoters engage in ostentatious lifestyles. They hardly have concern for the unsuspecting investors. It is fool hardy for any members of the public to fall prey to the scheme despite warnings from stakeholders.
Those patronizing MMM will have a tale of woes to tell after losing their deposits.” On what can the Senate do in the interest of Nigerians, Senator Dada said, “The House of Representatives has taken a step to condemn the Scheme and also promised to investigate the scheme. Secondly, the CBN and majority of the Banks have warned members of the public from participating in the scheme. The EFCC also issued warnings to arrest perpetrators of that scheme. My take is simple. Any Nigerian who decides to participate in the scheme is on his own and should blame himself in the event of any loss.

The only thing the Senate can do is to advise Nigerians to shun the temptation of getting rich quick so as not to lose their meager resources. Also in his contribution, a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Senator Adesoji Akanbi, APC, Oyo South who attributed the rush for MMM by Nigerians to the present economic situation in the country, however warned Nigerians to be careful, just as he said that those involved are civilized and educated people who actually know the consequences.

Senator Akanbi said, “first and foremost, every Nigerian has the right to embark on any investment, it is a choice of anyone. The question is, is MMM real, is it actually threatening the financial institutions in Nigeria; is it posing a security threat and is it capital flight? Those questions need to be looked into. I believe that it is the consequence of recession, it is not MMM, but about the desperation of Nigerians looking for survival and nobody needs to be blamed. If we see the kind of people that patronize MMM, they are civilized, educated people who actually know the consequences of failed investment, but they still take the risk and go into it. The only advise I can give them is to be careful, they have the right to go into it, it is their right, but they must be careful.” It is a scam

—-Reps The House of Representatives apparently disturbed by the experience of such ‘wonder banks’ in the 1990s had on November 10 moved that the activities of ‘MMM’ should be investigated in Nigeria. In his ruling, Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dugara, mandated the Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate the scheme with the view of saving Nigerians participating in it from financial disaster. The Central Bank of Nigeria ,CBN too had admonished Nigerians on the MMM scheme, saying it was fraudulent. Subscribers almost asked for the head of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele for describing the scheme as fraudulent. Most Members of the House of Representatives who spoke to Saturday Vanguard gave a unanimous verdict that the pyramid money spinner was a scam that Nigerians need to be more careful about. Hon Austin Chukwukere, APC, Imo, in his reaction said”we’ve seen this kind of scam in the form of the Umanna Umanna wonder banks in the 1990s. Many Nigerians fell victim then and got their monies pocketed by the smart criminals. The negative effect is that it will further make Nigerians poorer, it is purely a fraudulent act because there is no business that can yield that margin of profit in one month.

Chairman Nigeria US Congress Relations,Hon Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, PDP, Edo in his opinion observed that”it’s too real to believe because in the past it happened, it has reared its ugly head again and we are embracing it. We Nigerians forget too soon when Plannwell was collecting N1m and paying back N1m interest what happened? People became overnight millionaires and suddenly became poor people because they claimed then that the less you look the more you see.
In this scenario it’s now the more you look, the more you see, it’s unfortunate that we believe anything in Nigeria. Also, speaking almost in the same vein, Chairman House Committee on Police Affairs, Hon Haliru Jika simply said”it is extortion of the highest order. Nigerians should beware!

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