Earlier today, I did a post on Nospetco and other so-called “wonder banks”. This evening, I visited Nairaland (a forum targetted at Nigerians) and came by this thread titled: “Hyip Scheme Horror Stories: ‘Investor’ Beware“. This thread was opened by the forum admin Seun Osewa, and started with the text:
If you have lost a lot of money to pyramid schemes, HYIPs, MLM programs, etc, why not share your story with us? (My boring story is that I have never squandered money such ventures, and never will. What’s yours?)
I have always known Seun’s stand against HYIPs and all other forms of pyramid schemes. He simply abhors them. He has never hesitated to express his views about the subject matter. However, the reaction of the forum users, throws a light on how many Nigerians see the “investment” schemes.
If the comments are anything to go by, one can thus conclude that many Nigerians indeed know that the “wonder banks” are scams but still choose to gamble their money. I will summarize the views of the posters, to put this into perspective. (Of course, I will not repeat the insults on my blog 😀 )
- The forum admin maintains a hard stance and only seeks self-glorification when the schemes collapse.
- His opinion that the schemes will collapse is “cheap prophesy”. He is raising false alarms.
- His advice is unsolicited. The forum is not a kindergarten and the forum users are over 18 and can decide for themselves.
- They are not investing his (forum admin’s) money; they did not borrow from him to invest. They prefer being left alone.
- They know it won’t last forever, but choose to make the best use of them.
- A poster suspects “some ill-passionate aspect of jealousy”.
- “Please LEAVE us & our stupidity alone, we are enjoying what we are doing.”
- Buying shares in the stock market can be likened to HYIPs too.
- It’s a free world.
I am forced to reproduce part of this post because I believe it expresses the views of many of these ‘investors’:
Before I started investing in HYIPs, I was in debt. Today I am worth millions. I use to borrow to pay my children’s fees, now I give away money. I pay other people’s children fees. I am able to help my relations. That’s why I believe that 6 months of HYIP is better than 8 years that your brother spent in aso rock.* LEAVE US ALONE TO GAMBLE WITH OUR MONEY. GOVERNMENT HAS NOT OUTLAWED GAMBLING. IF WE COME CRYING TO YOU LATER, FLOG US OUT OF YOUR PRESENCE. QED.
* The poster is obviously referring to Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria who lead for 8 years from Aso Rock, the official office/residence of the President).
If indeed many of the “investors” know what they are about, then one needs to approach the issue with some caution. Like one poster aptly puts it, the warning issued by the Federal Ministry of Health on all cigarette packs in Nigeria, has not stopped many Nigerians from smoking.