Updated: Sometimes ago, I was watching the popular TV Quiz Series, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and being that I love to play game, so watching the show became a regular occurrence. And on this fateful day, Frank Edoho, the game presenter asked his audience a question, “What makes the world go round?” and among the options were money, heart, music and one other; so without looking at the options and without using my lifeline even when I was not on hot seat, I said, “music”. Alas! I was badly wrong, the answer is money. Anyway, the usual saying is, money makes the world go round; so not the moon or the sun.
Anyway, everybody needs money. The end result of all our aspirations, visions and dreams is money. So why is it that money is so powerful that everyone runs after it? Like words remain a channel for proper communication, so also money, a catalyst for economic activity. As the rate of poverty is high today, majority live below one dollar per day. With recent happenings around us in this nation, it is a fact that citizens live below 50 cent per day not even a dollar in Nigeria. Our economy is in recession due to global oil falls, militancy in the Niger-Delta and host of other sundry issues surrounding our economy as a nation. However, with the advent of Internet in late 90s, there is high increase in online transactions, e-commerce and e-payment, which means everybody can transact business virtually.
No doubt, money facilitates exchange, promoting enterprise, invigorating production, driving innovation and invention. Before money, the human race lived below survival levels producing only enough to meet the immediate requirements of their families for self-sufficiency and for local barter exchange, according to Garry Jacobs, “Money and trade changed all that. They provided an incentive for each person to produce the maximum of which they were capable, so that it could be converted into money and used to obtain a wide range of other goods, services and intangible social benefits produced by others.” What makes the world go round is now in short supply today, due to this fact unemployment rate is high, and insecurity and terrorism are on the increase and illicit drugs and human trafficking. To be candid, our financial market does not favour the common man; only the rich and elites benefit most from financial markets leaving the rest to live below poverty line.
Since then man has been looking for how to survive and try as much as possible to make use of loopholes in existing laws whether by commission or omission in making ends meet. This was seen as injustice to those who are underemployed, unemployed or short-changed within the process, which led to citizens coming out with different ideas (genuine or criminal in nature) and ways to beat poverty line and unfavourable financial system.
Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the popular money-making scheme, MMM is a scam. Before now, we have seen series of high yield investment initiatives promising huge returns on investment such as Pennywise, Nospecto Oil & Gas, WealthSolution, SuccessPoint, Artmaster, Sefteg, Silver trust, DivineSuccess, Megawealth and host of other fund managers which later promulgated as ‘wonder banks’. Many lost fortunes, many died and many were unable to recover their investment from the so called, wonder banks. Although many made fortunes out of this too, but the larger percentage of people that participated in this scheme lost their investment and entered into what I called, personal recession.
Unfortunately, our government left it to linger before they stepped in, the promised to recover people investment from all of these wonder banks were not fulfilled even up till date. Series of verification exercises backed up with advertisement in the newspapers were carried out both by security and financial agencies of government such the EFCC, ICPC, SEC, CAC, Nigeria Police, CBN and host of other government institutions with no positive response. While government froze their accounts, it is to be noted that the said money were never returned to the owners and none of the people (management of the said companies) were prosecuted and jailed.
Casey Olugbenga Adeleye is the founder/National Coordinator of the Youth Crime Watch of Nigeria African Centre for Citizens Orientation, an NGO in special consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). He’s also the Chief Strategy Officer, Pan African Institute for Entrepreneurship and Community Development.