The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, has estimated that three million Nigerians lost N18 billion to the Mavrodi Mundial Movement (MMM) Phonzi scheme, quoting social media sources.
The Managing Director of the agency, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim who spoke at the NDIC day at the ongoing 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair on Thursday said that many Nigerians still patronised the scheme despite repeated warnings by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the corporation.
Represented by the Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Alh Hadi Suleiman the MD said that the usage of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Onecoin as currencies for medium of exchange are Internet-based transactions which are not authorised by the CBN due to the risks involved.
“The Phonzi 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,” he said.
This phenomenon has been a source for 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 fact that these fund managers are illegal as they are neither licences by the CBN to take deposits from members of the public not are those who patronise them covered by the NDIC deposit insurance scheme.
“I want to also draw the attention of some cooperative society which often go beyond their primary mandate by accepting contributions from members as cooperative societies are only recognised to mobilise savings from their members.”
While advising the general public on the dangers of keeping large sums of money at home or in shops, he said there are 978 licences microfinance banks nationwide out if which seven are spread across Kaduna State.
He said with the advent of the cashless policy and the subsequent licensing of mobile money operators (MMOs) by the CBN, the corporation had 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.