Members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Wednesday ordered a clampdown on a ponzi investment scheme popularly known as ‘MMM.’
The Green Chamber mandated House Committee on Banking and Currency and Committee on Financial crimes to investigate the scheme.
MMM (Melnikova Mavrodi Mavrodi) is a deposit money scheme that originates from Russia. It yields 30 per cent interest on investment per month. But the concern is that those behind the scheme are not known to Nigerian financial regulatory agencies including the Central Bank and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, thereby making investments insecure.
The investment business has also not been registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, making its operators difficult to identify.
Although the Central Bank of Nigeria had earlier warned Nigerians against participating in the scheme, Parliamentarians have said that members of a syndicate who regularly conduct seminars to train people on how to invest in the business should be arrested. This followed a motion of urgent national importance raised by Akinlade Fijabi from Oyo State, who described MMM as a ‘Rob Peter to Pay Paul Scheme’.
Mr. Fijabi said the operators of MMM are exploiting the economic situation of Nigerians that had left them desperate for income through any means without considering the implications.
Another lawmaker from Ondo State, Bode Ayorinde, said lawmakers should be concerned because they will likely be inundated with petitions if the scheme goes burst.
“When the business goes burst, it is the same House that people will flood with petitions,” Mr. Ayorinde said.
An Enugu lawmaker, Dennis Amadi, said the House should save Nigerians from themselves, because the collapse of MMM could make many commit suicide.
“The House will not wait until these crooks defraud Nigerians of billions of naira or until people start committing suicide,” Mr. Amadi said.
While adopting the motion, the Speaker Yakubu Dogara urged the committees to expedite its investigation and report back to House within four weeks.