By ANDREW OJIEZEL
The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has disclosed that three million Nigerians had lost N18 billion in the Mavrodi Mundial Movement Ponzi scheme (popularly called MMM).
This was made known by the Managing Director of the Corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim while speaking at the NDIC day at the ongoing 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Thursday.
Represented by the deputy director corporate affairs Alhaji Hadi Suleiman, lamented that despite repeated warnings by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the NDIC, Nigerians still patronise MMM.
The MD emphasised that frequent usage of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Onecoin as currencies for medium of exchange are internet based transactions and are not authorised by the CBN due to the risks involved in their operations.
He cautioned that any person or groups of persons who invest their money in the Ponzi scheme does so at their own risk.
“The Ponzi scheme is the phenomenon of illegal fund managers, popularly called ‘Wonder Banks’ which have continued to defraud unsuspecting members of the public of their hard earned money. This phenomenon has been a source for concern because despite our repeated warnings over the years, some members of the public have continued to fall victims of their fraudulent practices.”
“We would like to reiterate the fact that these fund managers are illegal, as they are neither licenced by the CBN to take deposits from members of the public nor are those who patronise them covered by the NDIC deposit insurance scheme.”
“I want to also draw the attention of some cooperative societies which often go beyond their primary mandate by accepting contributions from members; cooperative societies are only recognised to mobilise savings from their members.”
While advising the general public on the dangers of keeping large sums of money at home or in market shops, he said there are 978 licenced micro-finance banks nationwide; out if which seven are spread across Kaduna state.
He noted that with the advent of the cashless policy and the subsequent licensing of mobile money operators (MMOs) by the CBN, the corporation has extended deposit insurance cover to the subscribers of MMOs to the maximum limit of N500,000 per subscriber per bank through its Pass-Through Deposit Insurance Framework