Momentum builds as Critical Communications World d... » Critical Communications World (May 16-18, Hong Kong) is the leading and most influential congress an... New initiative shows increasing importance of CSR » A major new survey on corporate social responsibility (CSR) is now open to electrotechnical busine... OF FOOLS OF THE MIDDLE BELT, ONE NORTH AND PASTORA... » SERIES: BUHARISM AND THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW A treatise on pastoral jihadism, islamism, arabism a... Commvault partners with Pure Storage » Cisco Live, Melbourne, AU and Tinton Falls, NJ: Commvault has announced the integration of its Commv... OF FOOLS OF THE MIDDLE BELT, ONE NORTH AND PASTOR... » A treatise on pastoral jihadism, islamism, arabism and cultural imperialism in Nigeria (Ephesians ... Where was Aisha Buhari when idiot Kumapayi flagr... » "Clip-clip..clip-clip...Did you not hear when BABA DAURA say women's place is in the kitchen?" ... UKCloud launches Disaster Recovery to the Cloud se... » London: UKCloud has announced the launch of Disaster Recovery to the Cloud, a self-service replicati... ADG Holdings bolsters security protection with Tra... » SAN MATEO, CA : TrapX Security™ has announced that ADG Holdings, a provider of proprietary trading a... ExtraHop combines analytics and low-cost storage... » London, UK: ExtraHop has announced several major platform enhancements as part of version 6.2. These... DEFENCE MINISTER MEETS TEENAGERS TAKING PART ... » Defence Minister Earl Howe today met teenagers at the Army’s first ‘Supercamp’, a new initiative whi...

CLICK HERE TO

Advertise with Vigilance

SOCIAL BOOKMARK

Got News?

Got news for Vigilance?

Have you got news/articles for us? We welcome news stories and articles from security experts, intelligence analysts, industry players, security correspondents in the main stream media and our numerous readers across the globe.

READ MORE

Subscribe to Vigilance Weekly

Niger Delta Watch

Nigeria used to be a foremost nation pointing the light for other African nations to follow, but today like the eagle which was brought down from the sky by an ant gnawing at her wings, corruption has brought down Nigeria from her Olympian and soaring height, such that in the comity of nations, smaller African nations including those which gained independence recently are the ones now speaking for the continent.

The soul of Nigeria died the day, Sunday 15th January, 1956 when oil was discovered at Otuabagi and Otuogadi in Oloibiri in present day Bayelsa State by Shell Darcy. That day it was too that the spirit of enterprise and competitiveness died, and following afterwards Nigeria lost her heart and senses of rightness/justness and wrongness including of course, universal altruism. Hence what passes for Nigeria today is the relic of her old self walking with her head and legs up.

Thus, in conceiving Nigeria Watch International (NWI) we are embarrassed by the current stagnation to regression in every facet of that country and disappointed at Nigeria’s current zero image at international level.

The aims of NWI therefore, are:

  • To expose all levels of corruption in Nigeria, especially official corruption
  • To re-orientate the psyche of all Nigerians, both at home and in the Diaspora
  • And usher in the Nigerian renaissance.

The task ahead is not going to be easy, but with the collective efforts of all Nigerians at home and abroad, all friends and well-wishers of Nigeria across the globe joining us in this crusade by reporting all sharp practices in that country including all their unpleasant experiences in the course of doing business, or just visiting Nigeria for other enterprises, we are well able to uproot the evil tree in the House of Nigeria.

Above all, with God on our side we are able to root out corruption and general insecurity in the erstwhile giant of Africa, make her a paradise of glory and a beautiful bride for foreign investors and tourists once more.

We therefore, call on all Nigerians, friends and well wishers of Nigeria to send us information-documents-facts and figures detailing all forms of corruption in that country. Although steeped in stupendous corruption, the current Government may not be willing to take action against established corrupt cases or be favourably and genuinely interested in fighting corruption as the saying goes, “He who lives in a glass house should not throw stones,” we are prepared to press for prosecution of all cases relating to corruption in any form in Nigeria by enlisting world leaders and relevant international bodies such as the United Nations and Transparency International.

According to recent information on Nigeria courtesy of the National Bureau of Statistics, more than 100 million Nigerians live on less than $1.00 a day. Oil - rich Nigeria, and indeed, Africa with all its superabundant natural and manpower resources has no business being poor.

Although our focus at this time primarily is Nigeria, we should welcome information on corruption from other African countries on other African corrupt rulers till such a time when the continental version of NWI - Africa Watch International takes off fully.

We should like to add that the management of Nigeria Watch International does not take responsibility for any publication hereon and their aftermath.

Ridding Nigeria, indeed Africa of corruption is a task that must be done! Don’t just talk about it, report it and take action!

 

JOHN ODEY ADUMA

British Chevening Scholar

UNITED KINGDOM.

What Is A Ponzi Scheme?

Business Dictionary aptly defines a Ponzi scheme as a SCAM in which a GULLIBLE group is enticed with the promise of very high returns in a very short time, but is actually based on paying off the early 'investors' from the cash from (hopefully ever increasing number of) new 'investors.' Investopedia reconciles a Ponzi scheme with a pyramid scheme in that both are based on using new ‘investors' funds to pay earlier participants. Essentially, such schemes are synonymous with ‘’Robbing Peter to Pay Paul’’. A typical Ponzi scheme flops when the cash outflow exceeds the cash inflow. Ponzi scheme is named after Charles Ponzi (1882-1949), an Italian immigrant to the United States who, during 1919-20 collected more than fifteen million dollars from some 40,000 enthusiastic depositors by promising to double their investment in 90 days.

 

From the above explanation, anyone still in doubt that MMM Nigeria and similar platforms are patent Ponzi schemes?

MMM Nigeria Crises

Since resuming operations on 13 January 2017 from a one month ‘coma’ (recall that MMM Nigeria shut down operations on 14 December 2016), the Ponzi scheme keeps vacillating, changing the goalpost at the middle of the match. Despite participants providing help with hundreds of thousands and millions of Naira, MMM Nigeria says only ‘poor’’ participants will be processed in the interim. Subsequently, N31,000 was set as the maximum withdrawal limit. Monies of those who ‘’provided help’’ (PH) running into hundreds of thousands of Naira are ‘trapped’ in the system thereby fuelling aspersions and frenzy.

Frank MMM Warnings, Disclaimers

Beggar’s belief how folks stake hundreds of thousands, millions of Naira on a Ponzi scheme in the guise of changing the world despite SALIENT warnings, disclaimers on the MMM website which include:

There are no guarantees and promises! Neither explicit nor implicit.

There are neither investments nor business! Participants help each other, sending each other money directly and without intermediaries. That’s all!

There are no securities transactions, no relationship with the professional participants of the securities market; you do not acquire any securities. (Do you need them? :-))

There are no rules. In principle! The only rule is no rules. At all! Even if you follow all of the instructions, you still may "lose". "Win" might not be paid. Without any reasons or explanations.

And in general, you can lose all your money. Always remember about this and participate only with spare money. Or do not participate at all! Amen. :-))

Despite the fact that MMM founder - Sergei Mavrodi is a convicted Russian fraudster, series of point-blank warnings on MMM Nigeria website and repeated warnings by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), seemingly educated but gullible, greedy, diehard adherents of MMM (Mavrodians as they call themselves) vouch for the schemes legitimacy, credibility and champion it as ‘god sent’. When reminded of the inherent risks, dyed-in-the-wool Mavrodians retort - ‘’I stand with MMM’’, ‘’is it your money’’, ‘’you are jealous’’. I now see how easy it is to sell ice to the Eskimos. Mavrodians claim they want to ‘’change the world’’ by providing help (as philanthropists wey dem be) to total strangers. Question is, in the absence of the 30% interest that MMM pays, how many participants will ‘’provide help’’ of say two million naira to a stranger? Where does the 30% ‘interest come from? Brazen greed camouflaged as benevolence!

MMM’s Trail of Sorrow, Tears And Blood

One Tobechukwu Okeke, a final year student of Agricultural Engineering of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), who is also reported to be an MMM participant committed suicide. A Benue State indigene identified as Adekole reportedly attempted suicide after losing N750, 000 meant for his forthcoming wedding to the MMM Ponzi scheme. The Vice Chancellor of Osun State University, Prof. Labode Popoola, asserted that some students of the school invested their tuition fees in MMM leading to the over N2bn debt students owe the school.

Factors Fuelling Ponzi, Sports Betting Schemes in Nigeria

One of our problems in Nigeria is that original ideas are not common. Open a barber shop today in your street and start to rake in turnover, multiple shops spring up soonest offering the same service. This is why there’s proliferation of Ponzi schemes, sport betting platforms in Nigeria. In some families, parents and children are involved and "compare notes’’. Indirectly, such parents tell their wards that money can be earned without some effort (physical or intellectual)? Remind me if the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Cosmas Maduka (Coscharis) became billionaires through Ponzi schemes, sports betting? High rate of unemployment, job losses, economic recession, ignorance and herd mentality are some of the factors blamed for the proliferation of Ponzi and sports betting platforms in Nigeria.

Variants of Ponzi, Sports Betting Platforms Doing Business in Nigeria

As we say, Nigerians no dey carry last! My research unveiled about 18 get-rich-quick, ‘’Rob Peter To Pay Paul’’ Ponzi schemes ‘doing business in Nigeria’. They include: MMM Nigeria (www.nigeriammm.net), MMM Express, MMMBTC Online, NNN Nigeria (www.nnn-office.com) Get Help Worldwide, GHW (www.gethelpworldwide.com), Zar fund (www.zarfund.com), E-cooperative online, Givers forum (www.giversforum.net), Crowd rising (www.crowdrising.net), Icharity (www.icharity.club), Ultimate cycler (www.ultimatecycler.com), MegaCycler, RevoSquad, MutualGrant, Invest Cash Out (ICO), Digital Portal Club, TwinKas, DonationHub, MySureCash, ExEarn, amongst others. Similarly, sports betting platforms in Nigeria include: Nairabet, Merrybet and Bet9ja, Bet365Naija, LovingBet, BetColony, WinnersGoldenBet, StakersDen, 360Bet, 1960Bet, Surebet247, amongst others.

What is 'Herd Instinct or Mentality?'

A herd instinct or mentality is a phenomenon symptomatic of a lack of individual thoughtfulness, decision-making, causing people to think and act in the same way as the majority of those around them. Powerful emotions of fear, superstition, greed and envy, peer pressure, co-workers, community and religious leaders, media spin; anonymity of social media and the internet subconsciously drive people to herd instinct. Herd mentality is also referred to as: Bandwagon effect, Collective intelligence, Conformity, Crowd psychology, Group intelligence, Groupthink, Herd behavior, Monkey see, monkey do, Peer pressure, group or mass hysteria.

Herd mentality in Finance, Sporting Events

In finance, a herd instinct relates to instances where investors settle for the same or similar investments primarily because many others are investing in such. Participating in MMM can be likened to herd mentality. Herd instinct could be blamed for bubbles in the stock market. As Daniel J. Howard, a marketing professor at Southern Methodist University, aptly puts it, “Stock market bubbles and crashes are caused by herd mentality. It’s scary to me because we make our own heaven, and we make our own hell.” Another area where this phenomenon exists is in sporting events. Some people support some clubs or teams because of one sentiment or the other - their friends, colleague’s or family members support them or even because the club is an underdog.

Herd Mentality in Politics

There’s also an element of herd mentality in politics. Sometimes people are sympathetic to certain politicians, candidates not because of their credentials, attributes but because of emotions, sentiments or simply because other people around them support such candidates or because such a candidate is been intimidated by the opposition. Many Nigerians were sympathetic to Rotimi Amaechi then not because he’s a saint but because they perceived he was been hounded by the Jonathan administration. People were surprised how Ayo Fayose trounced sitting governor – Kayode Fayemi despite the later seen to be more cerebral. During the debate as to whether or not APC presidential candidate - General Muhammadu Buhari possessed requisite minimum academic qualification - O’ levels to contest the 2015 presidential elections, some Nigerians boasted they would still vote for Buhari even if he presents a NEPA bill as his school certificate. Now they know better. Despite the plethora of faux pas credited to him including his infamous “grab them by the pussy” gaffe made by Trump, diehard supporters –women and men resolutely stood by him. Herd mentality possibly swayed the Brexit referendum despite overwhelming evidence that exiting the EU would affect the UK.

Conclusion:

MMM Nigeria is fast losing the confidence, trust many participants reposed in the scheme. Mavrodians are increasingly reluctant to ‘’provide help’’ (PH) and potential converts are cagey. The die is cast. The end is imminent. As my Yoruba pals will say, MMM = Mokun Mogbe Modaran. Early entrants and MMM guilders made a killing when the going was good. Many guilders reportedly got streams of help (GH), outrageous bonuses running into millions of naira from their downline but seldom provided help (PH). Taking risks isn’t bad but being foolhardy is. Beware of herd mentality. Wisdom is knowing when to move on.

In Igbo we say: Onye aghogburu ka agbara.