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Dec 26, 2016

The Positive Effects of Recession in Nigeria


I am sure you might be wondering if recession actually has positive effects since you are only familiar with its negative effects (starvation, hike in the price of goods and services, high unemployment rate, retrenchment, delay in the payment of workers' salaries, dependency, death etc).

Currently, the Nigerian economy is recessed and in bid to survive in such economy, many Nigerians have been exposed to numerous ponzi schemes (MMM, Ultimate Cycler, Payee Cycler, Crowdrising, icharity, e-corporative etc). Undeniably, these ponzi schemes have met the needs of their members although they have also cut short the expectations of members, especially in this festive season.

Linguistically, these ponzi schemes have brought about new English lexicons through coinages and other forms of word formation. These new lexica are like registers which are understood by only members of a given profession. This article explains a few English words and phrasal verbs that have emerged due to Nigerians' contact with numerous ponzi schemes. These words are:

1. Provide Help (PH)
It is a phrasal verb and its acronym shouldn't deceive you. It doesn't mean 'Port Harcourt' but 'Provide Help.' In normal banking term, to 'provide help' simply means to deposit or pay in cash into someone's account. The term is associated with MMM and Givers' forum. To 'provide help' is the first thing every member of any ponzi scheme is expected to do before he/she can 'get help.' In other words, before any member of any  scheme can make withdrawal(s), he/she must first make cash deposit into the account of a fellow member that is assigned to him by the system.

2. Get Help (GH)
The first time someone sent me this phrasal verb (Get Help) with its acronym(GH) on WhatsApp, I thought he was referring to Ghana. He sent, 'I want to GH now.' I ignorantly replied his message, 'Do you mean you want to go to Ghana now?' Lol! He then laughed and explained to me what he actually meant.

'Get Help' is associated with MMM and Givers' forum and it simply means to withdraw. After providing help to a fellow member in the scheme, you can get help from whosoever the system is going to match you with. In other words, after depositing into a member's account, you can also make withdrawal. Usually, it takes a period of 30 days for you to get help, after you have provided help.

3. Purge/Delete
This term is associated with Ultimate Cycler. To purge/delete means to remove a member who has been matched to pay another member but has failed to pay within the stipulated time. In MMM it is called 'Block.' In any of the numerous ponzi schemes, the system automatically performs this action after 48 hours.

4. Mavro
It is an MMM term and it is derived from the name of the founder of MMM, Sergey P. Mavrodi. 'Mavro' is the amount that you can get help with. If you provided help with the sum of #20,000 and at the end of 30 days your mavro grew to #26,000, you can get help of #26,000. The sum of #26,000 becomes your mavro.

5. Mavrodian
A member of MMM (Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox) is called a mavrodian. It is also derived from the name of the founder of MMM.

6. Upline(r)
This term is associated with networking schemes( that is, schemes that are solely based on referral) like Ultimate Cycler, Payee Cycler, E-Corporative, icharity etc. Generally, 'Upline' is used as an adjective and it means a higher level in a hierarchical management structure. However, in networking schemes, this term has been norminalized. It means a person directly above your sponsor. Some persons even call it 'Upliner' in order to make it sound like a noun.

7. Downline(r)
On the other hand, your downline(r) is the person that is directly registered under you. The term 'downline(r)' is not in the dictionary but it is used and understood by members of these networking schemes.

8. Sponsor
In Ultimate Cycler, your sponsor is the person you are directly registered under using his/her referral link. Your sponsor directly registers under your upline(r). e.g. Upline----Sponsor----Downline.

Conclusion
Most of the aforementioned lexica are not found in the English dictionary but are used and well understood by participants of these schemes. Even the ones that can be found in the dictionary carry meanings that are different from their dictionary meanings when used among participants of these schemes. This is indeed the power of recession! From the popular statement, 'when the going gets tough, the tough gets going', I must say Nigerians are tough people; people who can survive in any given circumstance! Recession undoubtedly gave Nigerians an unavoidable quest---the quest for survival and such quest has resulted to new English lexicons. This positive outcome forms the title of this article.

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