Millions of MMM Nigeria members are stranded 24 hours after the digital Ponzi Scheme claimed it is back in operations.
Millions of investors invaded the website to place withdrawal requests but were disappointed as the system told virtually all of them to wait patiently for the system to match them.
While some promoters of the scheme have been accused of using propaganda and outright falsehood to perpetrate the impression that the scheme is really paying its stranded investors.
However, investigations by PageOne.ng in collaboration with people who are conversant with the inner workings of MMM Nigeria revealed that no one has confirmed a verifiable payment in the system. The fact that the scheme opened up on Friday makes it worst as banks will close for the weekend.
An inner member said the opening of the site on 13th and the choice of Saturday 14th is deliberate and strategic. Deliberate in the sense that owners of the scheme used yesterday to gauge the level of panic and withdrawal load the system will be confronting.
He said it is strategic because they can then use the entire weekend to buy more time since no bank will open to pay anybody. The following working days might be followed with a new announcement which might be a decider for many people who are keen to get their money out.
The challenge is that over 90% of all requests were and will continue to be ‘get help’ or withdrawal requests. The problem is how to get people to pay millions of members who are stranded in the system.
A Ponzi Scheme analyst told PageOne.ng that there are only two viable options/solutions for Sergey Mavrodi and his MMM Nigeria promoters.
The first is to use the same strategy it devised in South Africa, Zimbabwe and China. The scheme can slash all deposits by 80% and promise new investors 30% interest. While this will not solve the problem outrightly, it will reduce the pressure on the system. Many MMM members who are putting pressure on the system might struggle to cut their losses.
However, the second option is more disastrous with apocalyptic proportions. It is an outright reboot of the scheme. Sergey Mavrodi might just have no choice than to go to the Super backend of the site and delete all transactions and then announce that MMM Nigeria will restart from zero member.
There are fears that MMM Nigeria might have to take the second option. There are no guarantee that millions of people who have invested millions in the scheme will accept 80% loss on their investments. The move will also scare new investors away as many will conclude the same thing might happen to them.
Millions of investors in MMM were left stranded last year after the scheme froze all accounts on the pretext of holiday withdrawal pressure and media attacks.
For many, MMM was a huge respite in the midst of Nigeria’s recession in 20 years. However, Ponzi schemes can only last for a short period. This is a sad truth that many Nigerians who staked too much money in MMM and many Ponzi schemes cannot stomach.