Friday, July 10, 2009

Money Matters

I met my cousin Dick on his way to the bank. He was very cheerful and couldn't stop laughing.
"What's up, Dick?" I asked him.
"I'll tell you later," he said and kept on laughing.
Only when he came to visit me three days later did he tell me his story.
"You know, Ben," he said. "I never really appreciated money."
"Right," I said "especially when you owed it."
He ignored my remark and continued
"See, the main thing I know about money is what my father, the cheap bastard, taught me - the more you give the less you have," he said.
"That's correct," I had to agree.
"And this is exactly why I don't give," he explained "and why I always have enough money even though my wife still thinks that the $ sign stands for "only". As a matter of fact, I am making as much money as Bill Gates does."
"Oh really?" I said.
"Yes," he answered. "It only takes me longer to make it."
"All that was true until three days ago," he continued. "That was the first time that I let money get to me."
"Yes," I said. "I remember. That was when I saw you laughing all the way to the bank, as they say."
"Well," he said "I did laugh all the way to the bank but I cried all the way back after what happened there."
"Why?" I asked "What happened there?"
"It all began earlier in the day. As I woke up I went to my computer as always to check my emails. As happens often I forgot my password so I clicked on the line that said "Forgot your password?" and the computer answered immediately
"Too bad, Buddy."
At that point I should have known that this is not going to end well, but I continued anyhow and after a short search found my password and went on to check my emails. The first email on the list was this," he said, and then pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to me. It said

From:"Dr Abba Muhammad"Subject: PLEASE RESPOND ASAP. Date: Sunday, November 18, 2007 1:52:48 PM [View Source]NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY HEADQUARTERS SHIP HOUSE MARINA-EAST LAGOS, NIGERIA. From the desk of: DR. ABBA MUHAMMAD DIRECTOR OF FINANCE .( NPA) HELLO, URGENT INVESTMENT PROPOSAL Although this proposal might come to you as a surprise, since is from someone you do not know or have seen before, but based on recommendations, I gathered from a very reliable source here in Nigeria . I am the director and fund coordinator of the finance contract department of Nigeria ports authority. The crux of this letter is that the finance/contract department of the NPA deliberately over inflated the contract value of various contract awarded. In the course of the disbursement, my office was able to track down the sum of US$23.5M (Twenty-Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand U.S Dollars) as the over invoiced sum. This money is now floating in the NPA domiciliary account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).I and my colleagues now want to quickly transfer this fund to a safe nominated foreign account for possible investment. We are not allowed as a matter of government policy to operate any foreign account because of our status as civil/public servants hence the need to solicit for your full banking details, to enable us transfer this money into your account. Upon your acceptance this proposal, we have also agreed on a sharing ratio: (1)30% for you as the account owner (2)60% for my colleagues and I (3)10% will be set aside to defray all incidental expenses both locally and internationally during the cause of this transaction. Furthermore we shall be coming over to your country when the money is finally in your account and we shall be relying on your advise as regards to investment of our share, be informed that this business is genuine and 100%safe considering the high powered government officials involved. Send the following information; 1.Your direct email address 2.Your phone number for effective communication This is to effect the swift transfer of this fund into your account in less than (7) working days. I await your most positive response.Yours faithfullyDR. ABBA MUHAMMAD DIRECTOR.( NPA)

"When I read this email I was immediately touched by its sincerity." Dick said. "Dr. Muhammad did not even try to conceal the fact that he is acting against his government's policies, but he was careful enough to make sure that my money is 100% safe and to come here in person in order to verify that the money is paid to its legal owner, that's me. Furthermore, he is willing to listen to my financial advice. What else can you ask for?"
"Sounds convincing," I agreed "especially coming from a doctor. So what happened?"
"I needed a loan in order to pay you back the money that I owe you, so I went to the bank and asked to talk to the manager and showed him this email in order to convince him to give me that loan," he said.
"And?" I was in suspense for obvious reasons now.
"He was quiet for a second and then he showed me an email that he had received. It said that Dr. Muhammad was arrested in Nigeria on charges of racketeering," Dick said.
"The only reason I'm telling you this is that I want you to know why I won't be able to pay you back right now."
Dick was about to cry and I too was devastated.
"What do you care?" I said after a while. "You did not lose anything."
"Yes, I did," said Dick "I lost my innocence."

1 comment:

  1. Money is a serious business. Why are you making fun of it?