MMM Nigeria which has well over 3million Nigerians in its talons said it has removed all requests for payment on the system.
A report in The Cable said that the scheme in a statement on Tuesday explained that “although some people called it ‘cancelled’, the truth of the matter is that it was only removed not cancelled.
“Please note that the GH orders were not cancelled because if cancelled, you will see it at the right-hand side as deleted. It was removed because of the following reasons:
“There is an ongoing upgrade because programmers are always working on the MMM system every day so the promised New Model can be unveiled as soon as possible.
“More so, many participants have formed the habit of cancelling their GH orders and creating new GH orders hoping they will be matched earlier.
“There is no need for that anyway but to forestall that, the created GH orders were removed and that is why you can’t create new GH orders because the old GH orders have not been cancelled but removed and withdrawal is still pending.”
The scheme said there was no need for participants to panic, maintaining that it would pay those who had requested for their monies.
However, a cross section of participants interviewed in Abuja either said that the scheme only made half or no payment.
Timothy Oshi who said he was to be paid a day before the scheme was shut down in December disclosed that he learnt some people received little payments but he was yet to be matched for payment.
“At the moment, I have not been matched, and last year we were told that as the scheme resumes on January 14, they will be the ones to release those who are ready to be matched even if you are due for payment,” Mr. Oshi said.
Another participant, Pascal Onuarah, who provided help in November and asked for help on January 13, said he was matched with four persons but only two paid.
“I was only paid N4000 and N10,000, leaving two failed transactions waiting to be rematched,” Mr. Onuarah said.
A top guider of the scheme, Chinwe Ofoma, while explaining the reason for delayed payment said that the number of people requesting for payment was higher than the number providing help.
“They have started matching people, but there will be delay in payment especially for those that pledged huge amount of money. There should be enough money in the system before everybody can get paid. However, I’m sure we will all get paid”, Ms. Ofoma added.
MMM earlier said it was setting a limit on daily withdrawals, in order to control panic withdrawals.
In the message on its site, MMM said it “will only pay a certain amount per day”.
Citing panic withdrawals as a reason for delayed payment, MMM Nigeria called on the media to “leave the scheme alone”.
“As the System is socially oriented, we will make paybacks to the poor and the economically disadvantaged in the first place: it means to the members with small PH amounts.
“The richer can wait. Moreover, we’ve warned you repeatedly to only provide help with amounts that are not critical for you. Therefore, if these large amounts are not critical for them (the richer), they can wait a few days. No need to be tragic about it.
“This is the way it’s going to be. I’d like again to call on the authorities and the mass media: Please, leave us alone! Have mercy on people.”
MMM, Nigeria’s No 1 Ponzi Scheme which had earlier placed a one-month ban on all withdrawals from December 13, 2016, upon resumption, introduced the use of bitcoins as part of its payment options.
Nigerians however have been warned against investing in digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Swisscoin and OneCoin.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, advised the public to exercise extreme caution with regard to digital currencies as a vehicle of investments.
Another top guider of the Scheme, Ikechukwu Ofomo, disclosed that with the use of Bitcoin, there will be no third party or intermediary such as banks. Meaning that all transactions will be strictly online with no bank charges.
“By implication, you can be paired with someone in Egypt for payment using Bitcoins,” Mr. Ofomo added.