Data recently released by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) show that in the past five years, Nigerians have lost over N300 billion from speculative and dubious unlicensed financial operators or Ponzi schemes as it were.
One of the most successful Ponzi schemes in Nigeria was the Mavrodi Mondial Money (MMM). A lot of Nigerians believed in it and saw it as a legitimate investment until went under, taping in excess N15bn in Nigerian funds. Some of the other Ponzi schemes Nigerians lost speculators lost fortunes to include: Yuan Dong, Galaxy Transport, Famzhi Interbiz Limited, Cowlane, Dureil, Nospecto investors among theirs.
In spite the sustained warnings from the Central bank of Nigeria and the SEC for Nigerians to desist from patronizing those dubious ventures, greedy and gullible Nigerians have continued to defy these warnings and have had their fingers burnt. These patronages have emboldened these fraudsters who have taken their trade further. Some of these fraudsters even have the temerity to now place advertisement on radios, podcasts and other social media platforms, calling for participation in their dubious companies’ various investment plans, which included: logistics/bike investment, customer relationship management investment, education virtual reality for students’ investment, location sponsorship investment, real estate and independent investment, offering incredible returns hovering between 60 to 110 percent. These quanta of promised returns that should immediately raise red flags sadly have been the biggest attraction to the greedy speculators. Not even the EFCC Special Fraud Unit (SFU) investigations of some Ponzi scheme operators have stopped their trade.
As part of efforts to address fraudulent financial activities of some dubious characters, the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned the public to stop patronising unlicensed institutions in the country.
The CBN is equally worried that these illegal financial operators whose activities have continued to spread launched a coordinated sensitization effort to stop the scammers, with support from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Recently, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, in Yola, at the 2022 Central Bank of Nigeria Fair reiterated the CBN’s resolve to go after the fraudsters. Even as he warned members of the public to avoid those schemes from unlicensed investments operators
Represented at the two-day sensitisation programme by the Director, Cooperation communication Department, CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, Godwin Emefiele, said that the programme is being conducted concurrently in Adamawa and Taraba.
He stressed that records at their disposal is showing that many Nigerians are becoming victims of these ungodly scammers.
In a similar exercise in Akure, the Ondo State Mr. Nwanisobi, took the crusade there on a similar fair
Nwanisibo who reiterated the need for Nigerians to be mindful of who they transact business with said only the banks accredited by the CBN should be patronized.
These latest CBN efforts in the nationwide campaign against Ponzi schemes is to deepen previous efforts including regulatory circulars it has issued in the past.
Adding to the CBN’s efforts, the SEC has also intensified actions against the Ponzi schemes. The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Lamido Yuguda recently said that the continued activities of Ponzi schemes are a threat to the protection of investors, the functioning of a fair and orderly financial market.
He said Ponzi schemes operators have capitalized on the harsh economic climate to offer unrealistic returns on investment to unsuspecting investors. These illegal schemes …