The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has been fighting a serious war against Ponzi schemes, as well as advising the public to transact business with only operators duly registered with the Commission.
The Director General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda stated this at a forum in Abuja recently, said the Commission will continuously collaborate and engage relevant agencies to eliminate completely all Ponzi schemes operations in the capital market.
In his words, “We have their list on the SEC website and we have always said that if you go to an operator or when an operator approaches you, you must confirm that he is a licensed operator with the SEC”.
“We have our numbers on how to reach our offices in the zones and we have done a lot of sensitizations in terms of seminars, webinars all in an effort to discourage people from going to Ponzi schemes”, he said.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people continue to patronize this Ponzi schemes, we have had cases that have been reported to us, our Enforcement Department and the police unit have been on many of these cases that have been reported to us trying to resolve them”, he added.
“I will like to use this opportunity to say that it is not very difficult to recognize a Ponzi scheme and many of the people who patronize Ponzi scheme are probably aware that there is a type of risk that they are taking…
“Because when somebody tells you that I will pay you a 10% per month on your investments, that means if you invest a million naira, every month you get 10% of that which is N100,000.00”, Yuguda stressed.
‘If you see something like this, it is probably too good to be true. Because when you compound the annual rate of return, you find out that it is way higher than any decent investments can give you.
“There are people who think they can be amongst the first people to go in and probably go out before it collapses but you may be taking a huge risk because you do not know if you are the first…
“May be the 1000th and could be that it is your own money that could get trapped. It is important for investors to understand the tale-tell signs of a Ponzi scheme and to alert the commission if they need some clarity.”
The SEC boss noted that the Commission has been working with other agencies of government to limit the access of Ponzi schemes to advertising channels, the print media and electronic media.
“These collaborations are very important because Ponzi schemes are cancers to the capital market, a lot of money has been lost and it is unacceptable to continue to have this kind of investment losses by people”, he maintained.
“In terms of the synergies between the Commission and the law enforcement on the fight against Ponzi schemes, I can say that there is very good synergy and harmony between the SEC and the law enforcement agencies”, he noted.
“It is worthy to mention that the SEC has a detachment of the Nigerian Police working directly with the SEC on capital market matters including Ponzi schemes and we have a good collaboration with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, the EFCC especially on the fight against money laundry and Ponzi schemes”, revealed the DG.
He further disclosed that the Commission has intensified enlightenment on Ponzi schemes to ensure the message gets to the street while also working with various state and local governments as well as various agencies of government including non-governmental organizations gets to the nooks and crannies of our country