Samuel Bello, Abuja
Despite the loss of N18 billion in 2017 to an estimated three million Nigerians in the Mavrodi Mundial Movement (MMM), ponzi scheme, most residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have embraced another scheme. It is called “Loom.”
The new scheme, mostly handled and coordinated on a WhatsApp group is fast catching up among young people in Abuja. It is not connected to someone or group of people that you can hold accountable. It is mostly unsustainable money in circulation among connected friends or acquaintances. There is no founder or head behind it.
It requires recruiting people to invest in the scheme to make more money. The more people you bring to the group, the richer you become. You always have a percentage from every donation your group member puts in. People now invest nothing less than N1000 and get eight times the value in less than two days. The fast money making scheme has also added to craves of Nigerians, especially youths who are bent on making quick cash from betting and gambling.
Daniel Elekolusi, group admin of the loom group, blamed government for mishandling many affairs in the country that would have kept Nigerians away from Ponzi scheme: “The way our leaders are destroying the system, youths are no longer interested in legitimate money. When somebody is a big man, your kits won’t know the rudiments of how to make money. I cannot just sit down broke and unemployed.
“I don’t know why our president and most of governors think sharing N10,000 to market women would help Nigerians. It clearly shows that the leaders themselves are confused and greedy. What they are doing mostly is for public opinion. Everyday I wake up I always know Nigeria is not getting better.
“Loom is not a Ponzi scheme or MMM. It is a modern network. Some of you have been asking what if it crashes because it has no website or email. This is purely investment, when it is your turn you will cash out. You do not have to bring eight people, bring just two people. It is teamwork.
“If you have N5000 in your bank account, end of the month, bank will deduct charges and it will remain N4960. If you loom, the N5000 will turn to N40,000 in few hours. Yes it seems too good to be true but you have to know this scheme is like a food chain. Somebody behind this is making more than we think we are making. I do not know the mathematics behind it, but I know I am not cheating anyone instead I am the one being cheated.”
However, Eunice Okpara, narrated how she lost to the scheme: “I transferred money and the group which they put us stopped talking after the first person cashed out. Nobody is questioning anybody after I dropped my last N10,000.
“Someone would always have to convince you to bring someone that would fill up a group of 15 people. If you can add one person to make a payment, you get your free money. If you do not bring, you get kicked out without your investment.
“I would advice no one to do it because it is not ideal to start with. Making money you did not work for means you are very lazy and you should be scared to even spend it. We need to be better and believe in ourselves.
“Things are hard in this country because on a normal day, I would not be doing this. Even if I was, I would not be complaining about an amount as little as N10,000. I do not know if I was stupid, desperate or hopeless, all I know is I will not try it again.”
Henry Ihotu, undergraduate, his narration: “I would not totally condemn this Ponzi scheme called loom because I benefitted a lot from MMM. It was a one-time thing and fortunately for me, I got out of it at the right time. I had to do it that time because I was getting several convincing speeches and evidences from my siblings. I invested N200,000, made close to N700,000. I never tried it again.
“I comfortably paid my rent for another year and settled other expenses. In short, the free money put me back in order. My siblings on the other hand did not leave until they invested N500,000 each to cash out bountifully but it was too late because MMM crashed.
“Even with their predicament, they still joined loom. This time they said they are investing a small amount as low as N1,000 to get N8,000 and as time goes on, it would get to N5,000 to get N40,000. From the looks of it, if you were a social person with good networking, you would make enough money in a week without stress. I do not know the logic or magic behind it but it does work.”