The shorter the better

Can you imagine? I haven’t written a single technical article in months. The folks at CFDJ (I promised them heaven and earth) must be thinking of spilling my blood by now. And to make matters worse, I’m adding a short story section to my blog.

What will you find there: true life stories, half truths and plain fiction. But all they have in common is just to entertain you & me of course.

The Greatest Disappointment

A Yoruba adage made popular by the legendary singer, King Sunny Ade, says “Akinkaju t’o mo’ja ti’o mo’sa iru won ma’n b’ogun ibo mi lo ni”. Meaning a good warrior knows when to advance and when to retreat. And a better warrior even knows whether to go to war or not.

Now I’m talking about Donald Duke. I am so pissed off with him that if he was Dara (my baby) I would have whipped his bum silly. Can you imagine this guy raising up everyone’s hope then throwing in the towel so cheaply without a fight? I know politics is about strategy and it is about give and take.

Well, we all remember that when the issue of presidency came up, Duke was playing hide and seek and he wouldn’t come out on time. But when he decided to, everyone was happy. There wasn’t any doubt that I was going to march every member of my family (at gun point!) to go and vote for him. His credentials are impeccable. He’s up to the task. At last, we all felt Nigeria was set to graduate from the remedial classes.

How wrong we were. Baba just called him last Thursday night (two days to the December 16 PDD Presidential primaries) to shakara the guy and he just collapsed like that. What a shame! Didn’t he know all these before? Didn’t he know there would be an anointed from the north? We all thought he had all it takes to fight it to the end.

No wahala. We must move on, but Duke better not bother come and disturb me again because I only stake my votes with people who know what they want to do. And em, with Yar’ Adua, I don’t know what to say because I don’t know him. I didn’t ‘en know there was a governor called a Yar’ Adua before this presidential primaries. However, the few I have heard people say about him are pretty ok. Not fireworks in terms of, em, say reforms and ideas, but at least, I heard he’s honest and not corrupt and no matter what, we need a massive dosage of that in Nigeria, especially after the last 8 years of garrison politics.

NOSPETCO: A Classic Ponzi Scheme

I have always wanted to write about a classic Ponzi scheme that is making raves in Nigeria of recent but never got around to it until this afternoon when I read about what a like minded person wrote about it.

This is the short take: There is a company in Nigeria, Nospetco, who takes a minimum deposit of N450,000 (about $3,516) for a minimum of 6 months and gives you a flat interest of roughly 8.8% every month. Isn’t that interesting?

Yeah, it is interesting if you are a blind fool. What kind of investment will give that kind of return? At that rate, the investment yields to you 106% per annum. Well, there are investments like that but for the company to give you that kind of interest, they are getting something much more. And if that line of business is that good (heard they are into oil and gas or something weird like that) why wouldn’t they take a loan from a bank for say 22% pa?

There is an old adage that says nothing is new under the sun. Ponzi scheme, also called pyramid scheme are as old as my great grandfather’s grandfather (assuming that Darwin is wrong and I ain’t descendant of some black monkey. Duh!).

According to Wikipedia,

“A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that involves paying abnormally high returns (“profits”) to investors out of the money paid in by subsequent investors, rather than from net revenues generated by any real business.”

Now, I can bet my a**e that 106% is way beyond what any business can legitimately pay investors in Nigeria. This is different for stock where the appreciation in value is dependent on demand and supply and the general believe of inherent value. Even when a stock goes too high then you know a burst is just a mile around the corner.

I also remember an old CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) advert that use to say “when it is too good to be true, then it is not true”. I have seen people tell me (even some of my learned colleagues) that Nospetco has been around for 2 years plus. But some of the most notorious schemes even operated for over 5 years before the authorities came around to shut them down.

The truth is I might be wrong about this. But I would rather discover that I should have put my money there than discover that I shouldn’t have gone around their end.

For more about Ponzi schemes and the man it was named after, head on to Wikipedia.

What else can I ask for?

Sincerely, what else can one ask for except for a good wife? Unless you are related to the Dalai Lama, you have got to get married one of these days. For me, I have always seen marriage as an inevitable life sentence in which a jail break is not favorably viewed. So back in the wild wild days, my plan was if I couldn’t dodge going to jail, I could at least postpone the evil day. Until I met my wife. Then my game plan changed. I knew if I lost her, I wouldn’t meet anyone like her again. Moral of the story, I married the best woman in the world.

Tongue in cheek: I know a lot of good wife materials but I haven’t even seen a better wife material.