In spite of the financial loss suffered by millions of Nigerians who participated in the failed Ponzi scheme, Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox, MMM, in 2016, Twinkas, a similar scheme, is making wave among many Nigerians.
Investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja showed that a large number of residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were willing to take chances with the trending scheme.
Some of the residents, who spoke with NAN on Sunday, attributed their willingness to investment in the scheme to the present economic recession in Nigeria.
According to them, the economic situation has encouraged many Nigerians to participate in money-doubling schemes such as Twinkas, in spite of the possible risks.
The residents said the scheme provides them with 100 per cent interest on their investments.
Valerie Dada, a civil servant, said that she was encouraged to participate in Twinkas, because salaries were delayed sometimes.
“Salaries are sometimes delayed and I have bills to pay, so I decided to take some of my savings and invest in the scheme.
“There are many schemes that arose after MMM, which is suspected to have crashed and these schemes have better packages and interest rates to attract people.
“I am currently participating in Twinkas because it has proven to be reliable so far, with an interest of 100 per cent on all amounts of money invested.
“That is a package I feel is worth the risk, so that I can afford to pay my bills,” she said.
Teju Akindele, an accountant, said; “we know the risks of these programmes and we know how some people became suicidal after MMM failed, but we have all learned from that.
“We know that we have to put in only the money we can afford to lose and not the money we have kept aside for something important.
“It is important for Nigerians who are participating in these programmes or schemes to avoid becoming greed,” she said.
“They should ensure that they don’t get tempted to invest more than they can because the programme has proven to be successful.
“I can’t blame anyone who is into this because the economy has not been too rosy in the last few months.”
Similarly, Kayode Olusemire, an entrepreneur said that he decided to partake in Twinkas and a number of other schemes to support his business.
He, however, cautioned Nigerians not to invest huge amount of money as well as not to exceed a specific duration.
“I took part in MMM scheme for a year and I lost some money at the end of the year.
“I later learnt of other schemes that paid more money than MMM and I decided to take part in some of them, but I will make sure I don’t exceed six months in each scheme.
“I believe Twinkas is making a reliable name for itself, so that they can attract more people into the scheme but I know it will fold up at some point in time.
“Greed is what makes people depressed after these schemes fail and we all know that these schemes have an expiry date after a couple of years.
“I also ensure that I invest only a certain amount of money and reinvest the profit made, that way, I wouldn’t feel depressed if the scheme crashes.
“The money I have gotten from these schemes has been beneficial to the survival of my business in this economy.
“As I wait for government to fix the economy, I think I will continue to take the risk with these money-doubling schemes,” Mr. Olusemire said.
The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), had said that an estimated three million Nigerians lost N18 billion to MMM scheme.
The Managing Director of the corporation, Umaru Ibrahim, while speaking at the NDIC day at the just concluded 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair, said more than three million Nigerians were participating in the scheme before December 2016.
Mr. Ibrahim said this was before the organisers suspended payment to investors due to its system experiencing heavy workload.
When the scheme resumed in January, some new investors joined, while the millions waiting to be paid were disappointed as majority of them were never paid.
The managing director said that in spite of repeated warnings by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and other anti-graft agencies, Nigerians still patronised the Ponzi scheme.
“Any financial deal done through any Ponzi scheme in form of virtual currencies for medium of exchange, is an internet based transaction not authorised by the CBN, because of the risks involved in its operations.