The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said three million Nigerians lost N18 billion in the Ponzi scheme, popularly called Mavrodi Mundial Movement (MMM).
Its Managing Director Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim attributed the figure to social media while speaking yesterday at the NDIC day at the 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair.
Ibrahim, who was represented by his Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Hadi Suleiman, lamented that despite repeated warnings by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the corporation, Nigerians still patronised MMM.
He emphasised that virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Onecoin for Internet-based transactions are not authorised by the CBN due to the risks involved.
He warned that any person or groups of persons, who invest in the Ponzi scheme did 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 of 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 as cooperative societies are only recognised to mobilise savings from their members.”
Advising the public on the dangers of keeping large sums of money at home or in market shops, he said there are 978 licences microfinance banks nationwide of 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.