As unemployment, lay-offs and low borrowing hit Nigeria hard, MMM came, offering participants an online Nigerian community that can give thirty percent rewards on their donations to each other.
MMM Nigeria has been greeted with applause from many and tough criticism and scepticism from others. From the security man who has to live on peanuts to the chief executive who cannot access bank loans, everyone seems to feel richer and comfortable not necessarily because they have a lot of cash but because they have “confidence” that whenever they need cash, they have a community that can donate to them.
This is what MMM claims is its ideology. Love over selfishness. For these people, MMM is a saviour and they won’t allow any criticism change their view. It is amazing to see thousands of Nigerians donating to each other.
Some other people don’t buy this. They believe “its too good to be true”. They believe MMM is a ponzi scheme because it allegedly needs new members to continue to thrive.
MMM Nigeria has however continued to grow even with bad media, something that really worries the critics and spectators. MMM Nigeria participants spend millions of naira monthly giving to thousands of less privilege persons in hospitals and orphanage homes, spending time with them in almost every state in Nigeria.
According to their website (www.nigeria-mmm.net) and hundreds of participants interviewed, thousands of Nigerians have benefited from donations they provide to each other through the MMM platform.
A participant, Ade, got donations of about N900,000 donations to pay for his medical bills after previously donating N500,000.
MMM boasts of transparency by having no central account (so the money cannot be easily stolen) and being truthful with participants. MMM strongly warns participants to donate only spare money and stick to the ideology of helping each other.
MMM resists those who want to get rich quick on its platform by putting limitations on possible donations (ten thousand dollars) and removing participants with multiple accounts.
These moves by MMM seem not to impress critics, they argue that MMM has collapsed severally first in Russia, South Africa and recently Zimbabwe. Research shows the Russian government in 1994 saw MMM as a threat and seized millions of participants monies in the MMM head office thereby leading to the collapse.
The Russian government excuse was “MMM didn’t pay taxes”. It is hard to trust a Russian government who jailed and killed Nicolai (a foremost economist) by a firing squad for simply predicting the fall of socialism.
The founder of MMM was arrested for not paying taxes (which was impossible because there was no law in Russia to tax a joint stock company for selling stocks) and later released when he was voted into parliament in millions of Russians. Clearly, they didn’t see him as the person who stole their money, they knew what their government had done hence the overwhelming vote.