Nigerians have been thrown into a sudden anxiety following a decision by promoters of deposit money scheme, MMM, to suspend new payouts to subscribers.
The members woke up on Tuesday morning to a disclaimer on the scheme’s website informing them of the move.
But the promoters of the scheme say it won’t go burst just yet, adding that the setback will only last a month.
The MMM is a deposit money scheme that market analysts said remained highly suspicious. The scheme draws from investments of later investors to pay off earlier ones.
Despite repeated warnings by the government for Nigerians to desist from investing their money, the subscriber base of the scheme has continued to boom.
But the MMM said the move was only to prepare its system for intense activities ahead as part of its preparation for a new year, which arrives in less than three weeks.
“As usual, in the New Year season, the system is experiencing heavy workload,” the message, seen by those who logged on to their account this morning read.
The promoters also blamed the hysteria that has greeted the emergence of the scheme in the Nigerian media, as well as attempts by the Nigerian government to shut it down.
“Moreover, it has to deal with the constant frenzy provoked by the authorities in the mass media.”
The alert came two days after the scheme’s founder, Sergey Mavrodi, taunted President Buhari for trying to shut down a business that has supported ‘over three million Nigerians’.
The development immediately sent some subscribers into panic mode.
Harriet Okpara, an Abuja-based lawyer, who has participated in the scheme for several months, told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday morning that she “immediately lost appetite” upon realising that she won’t be able to cash out on her investment.
“I put money out to support other people last month and I expect that money to yield so I can request for my payment with interest from the community, but now I can’t do that,” she said. “I don’t want to believe that we’re gradually getting to see the end of this business.”
MMM Nigeria, which coordinates Nigerian subscribers of the scheme, posted a screen grab of the announcement on its Twitter page on Tuesday morning, saying that the scheme “has not and will not crash.”
The disclaimer reads as follows:
“Dear members!” “As usual, in the New Year season the System is experiencing heavy workload.
Moreover, it has to deal with the constant frenzy provoked by the authorities in the mass media.”
“The things are still going well; the participants feel calm; everyone gets paid – as you can see, there haven’t been any payment delays or other problems yet – but!.. it is better to avoid taking risk.:-)) (Moreover, there are almost three weeks left to the New Year.)”
“Hence, on the basis of the above mentioned, from now on all confirmed Mavro will be frozen for a month.”
“The reason for this measure is evident. We need to prevent any problems during the New Year season, and then, when everything calms down, this measure will be cancelled. (Which we will definitely do.:-))”
“We hope for your understanding, Administration”