News The African Way

The Intersections Of Greed And Scamming, By Bolutife Oluwadele

I know this is a rather sensitive issue.

The sensitivity is not borne out of fear and lack of concern for the ‘undiscerning’ victims of the endless Ponzi schemes in Nigeria. Instead, it is a ‘feeling’ for those who ‘unwittingly’ with their two eyes and good mental faculty ceaselessly fall victims to gains of unbridled proportion.

In human endeavors, the lookout for fundamentals cannot be overemphasized.

Many things that people market, especially on social media, will not pass even the most rudimentary test of these fundamentals. It battles me how people ignore this and rush out to ‘cash’ on the ‘manna’ from nowhere. A simple understanding of how the economy fares is a litmus test for anyone to query the remote possibility of achieving the gargantuan offerings of returns that are pitched to them.

The only reasonable conclusion is that the people’s greed remains the propelling force exploited by the ‘smart’ alecs.

A lot of people are in pain. As a human, that cannot be ignored either.

Their pains notwithstanding, it is high time we dispassionately confronted the issue of greed that seems to switch off people’s ability to reason.

Ask the hard questions. How is this kind of returns possible? What if they are not able to sustain it? Are they getting the returns from other climes? How much is coming to the promoters that they give so much to the investors?

A nu mọ kìí nu ìlẹ̀ (no one who feeds a child goes hungry). It is out of the abundance made by the promoters that they shared with the ‘investors.’ If the return to the investors is out of this world, how then do you describe what comes to the promoters?

Nobody cares about all these questions? Right?

“The higher the returns, the higher the risks.”

Okay! We are not all professionals in risks related issues. Should common sense also fail us?

The fact that we keep witnessing ‘successful’ Ponzi schemes, one after the other, speaks a lot about our ‘vulnerability’ to quick wealth without labor. We enjoy the filthy lucre of ‘little efforts but significant benefits’ but fail to understand that a vehicular brake may malfunction once in a while.

Our greed is, therefore, our albatross.

Until we deal with personal greed, another Ponzi scheme will still emerge and sweep us of our resources as usual. The irony of this is that the same people who have been shouting “enu gbe” (mouth is dry) to explain their financial predicaments are the ones screaming about losing millions of Naira.

Olé gbe, olé gbáà (stolen by a thief and snatched by a robber).

Ideally, we should empathize with all the victims!

However, except it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that they were jazzed, let them eat the humble pies and address their ‘longer throats’ for unreasonable rewards. It is even worse for those who use other people’s funds to ‘invest’ in such schemes. They have betrayed the basic principle of trust and fidelity. They are criminals that should be prosecuted for multiple offenses.

May their thinking ever be blurry!

It is not a curse.

To the schemers, may they rot in jail if they will ever get there.

It is saddening that we refused to learn from the abundant lessons of the past. There is no justification for Ponzi schemes’ continuous ‘success’ other than the people are ‘blindly’ greedy and suspended their brains to feed their greed.

To the new schemers, come quickly before the people start borrowing themselves sense. You can still make it, you know.

I am pained by the sheer weight of the figures people are throwing around. Were you out of your sense?

Anyway, there is no longer any need for control; everything is already under alarm.

You are free to be angry with me.

Bolutife Oluwadele is a chartered accountant, author, and public policy scholar based in Canada. Email:

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