The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has warned the public against investing in Ponzi schemes, specifically those of FinAfrica Investment Ltd. and Poyoyo Investment.
SEC in a circular published on its website said the activities of the companies were not registered by the Commission, and therefore declared the business of Poyoyo Investment (Pilvest) Nigeria Ltd., as a Ponzi scheme, where returns were paid from other people’s invested sums.
The circular reads: “The attention of SEC has been drawn to the activities of an illegal operator, FinAfrica Investment Limited.
“The company claimed to be an investment company that engages in business development in commercial sectors of the economy and uses the funds in entities under Chinmark Group.
“The Commission hereby notifies the investing public that neither FinAfrica investment Limited nor Chinmark Group is registered by SEC. The investment schemes promoted by these entities are also not authorised by SEC.
“In view of the above, the general public is hereby warned that any person dealing with the named companies in any capital market-related business is doing so at their own risk.”
It also noted that the attention of SEC had been drawn to the electronic and WhatsApp messages being circulated to investors on behalf of Poyoyo Investment.
“The Commission hereby notifies the investing public that Poyoyo Investment (PILVEST) Nigeria Limited has no tangible business model, hence it is a Ponzi scheme where returns are paid from other people’s invested sum,” it added.
The Commission hereby notifies the investing public that neither FinAfrica investment Limited nor Chinmark Group is registered by SEC. The investment schemes promoted by these entities are also not authorised by SEC.
Chinmark Group reacts
Reacting to the circular, the Chairman, Chinmark Group, Dr Marksman Ijiomah, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview that FinAfrica Investment Limited was not engaged in capital market business.
Ijiomah, who disclosed that the partnership had been on since six years, said SEC had never written the company to notify them that their dealings were not in line with their regulations.
“SEC did not term us a Ponzi scheme in the circular. We do not do capital market business, we do not sell stock or shares. We are not into equity funding.
“What we do is that we have partners who come together and give us funds to run the business and at the end of the month, we give them profit from the business.
“We do not call it interest, we call it profit.
“We have been doing it for over six years and from that partnership, we have been able to build a six unit hotel in Enugu.
“We have also built a restaurant in Dubai and these things are visible for everyone to see,” Ijiomah told NAN.
He added that the company was not into a Ponzi business. “Our rate is three per cent monthly, that is what we pay.
“SEC has neither invited us nor sent us a circular to say that what we are doing is not in line with their regulations before they made the publication,” he said.