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Thrive Agric: Investors cry foul play over delayed returns

Delayed returns on investments has forced investors of Thrive Agric to go on social media rants.

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Thrive Agric drama: We only insure the farms, not funds of individual investors - Leadway Assurance

Thrive Agric, a Nigerian agric investment startup, which pays returns on seasonal investments, is in the centre of an online protest, as customers say they can’t withdraw their investments and are not getting returns.

Backstory

On October 2nd, a Thrive Agric customer known on Twitter as theprincelyX, took to the social media platform and called out to the company for holding on to his investments. He claimed the company owes him almost a million naira, and he has been told to wait till next year to see returns on his investments.

READ: Fake labs, travel frustrations, passengers allege COVID-19 test Scams at airport

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He detailed his plight in a long thread titled ‘THRIVE AGRIC: ANOTHER PONZI SCHEME OR BAD BUSINESS?’

Thrive Agric is owing me almost a million naira. They are owing other investors millions. Thrive Agric is telling me to wait till 2021 to get my investment that was due in Sept 2020.”

READ: Flying Doctors to raise $1 billion to invest in African Healthcare

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He added that at the beginning of the year, he planned to invest some of his savings and was referred to Thrive Agric by his peers, who advised him to take the 6 moths investment option with Agric Invest.

He said he invested N510,000 in March and N200,000 in April and expecting a combined N805,000 by October.

“I did not receive any information, I texted them on WhatsApp in the morning for clarification on payment, and didn’t get a reply until 4 pm.”

READ: Customers to pay for metering through cost of tariff – NERC

He said he was in touch with a Manager on Twitter who tried to calm the situation, and after a few days, “they sent a mail saying they will pay us in 12 months. If I wanted a 1-year investment, I know where to keep my money. But I needed this money back in 6 Months.”

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He disclosed Thrive Agric told him they will pay old investors first, then use the balance left to reinvest and pay other investors.

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READ: Tweets wishing Trump dies of COVID-19 will be removed – Twitter

“Basically, a pyramid payment format; they are telling some investors to wait till 2022. Thrive Agric is trying to use COVID-19 as an excuse; meanwhile, they have been owing since March, before the lockdown.This means that people who invested late last year are still being owed. If they are owing those people, what’s the assurance that they’ll pay us? NONE,” he said.

He also disclosed that on the online platforms, Thrive Agric had been giving them updates on the good performance of the farm, only to come out on September 29 to say that the farms weren’t performing anymore.

READ: Economy: Will the FG tax reforms support revenues in 2020? 

“Thrive Agric is also preventing investors from airing their anger online. Their Admins/staff/friends have locked their Twitter accounts, to avoid accountability. Why do we deserve this?!!!” 

Thrive Agric’s response

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The company said in a social media statement that the delay “is an unfortunate outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequent restrictions on physical access to farms and farming markets. Like many other businesses, we were not fully prepared for the impact, and despite the intent upon which this company has been run for the last 3 years, our subscribers now bear the brunt of these challenges with us.”

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They said they want to pass 3 main messages to their investors.

“First, to once again express our deepest apologies to our subscribers, whose payouts are delayed. Secondly, to share our plans to resolve this issue. Thirdly, to reassure you that Thrive Agric remains a viable business that Nigeria needs. Last week, we communicated timelines for repayment to our subscribers of up to 24 months, depending on the specifics of their subscriptions. We expect to payout before the committed due date, but in the past, we have been aggressive in our expectations and not met them.”

 

https://twitter.com/Aurelovesstars/status/1311986824047460352

BottomLine:

The COVID-19 economic lockdown is a major blow to Nigeria’s economy, even the farming industry wasn’t spared. According to the recent GDP report, Agriculture grew by over just 1%, and Thrive Agric’s statements about losing the harvest due to economic hardship is a sign of the disruptions the lockdowns caused in the sector.

This could also discourage Nigerians from investing their savings with Agric Investment firms, and stick to Fintechs like RiseVest and BambooVest that invest Nigerian naira savings in US equity, Bonds, and Real estate markets.

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FG upscales digital skills training, to train 500,000 youths

Ministry of Youths and Sports Development is set to scale up its digital skills training to cover 500,000 youths.

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President Buhari to address Nigerians on Lekki toll plaza shootings after investigation , Youth Investment Fund:  Ministry of Finance and CBN to launch provision of funds- Minister

The Ministry of Youths and Sports Development is set to scale up its digital skills training to cover 500,000 youths across the country after securing funding under the COVID-19 stimulus budget.

This information was shared by the personal Assistant on New Media to President, Bashir Ahmad.

READ: Lessons Nigeria can learn from Microsoft’s Global Skills Initiative 

What you should know

Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported that the Federal Executive Council had approved the N2.3 trillion stimulus plan recommended by the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan.

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READ: FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans

Why it Matters

Given the impact of the pandemic on income and business activities, the Federal Government of Nigeria, took a reactionary approach by instituting a COVID-19 stimulus budget.

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In light of this, the ministry of youths and sports development has sought to tap from this fund for human capacity training and development, which in return has the potential to boost future income/profit and economic activities in general through impacting youths with the pre-requisite digital skills needed in the 21st century work place.

READ: CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund

READ: FG to provide financial support for 1.7 million businesses, individuals in next 3 months

What they are saying

Commenting on the latest development, the minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare said: “The Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) has taken into cognizance the DEEL initiative, and I am glad to announce that we have gotten approval for the funding of a 12-month programme under the initiative that will see 500,000 of our youths upskilled in different digital skills.

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READ: De facto Government: CBN explains why it will keep funding the economy

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Lagos sets up Graduate Internship Programme with a monthly stipend of N40,000 for youth beneficiaries

The State Government has launched a programme to help candidates develop skills that are needed in securing gainful employment.

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Bond: Lagos to rAN100 billion for infrastructural development, COVID-19: Lagos asks civil servants to stay at home, No public buses between 7pm and 6am, Okada ban takes effect from May 4 – LASG, No public buses between 7pm and 6am, Okada ban takes effect from May 4 – LASG, Sanwo-Olu gives incentives to businesses to prevent job loss, #EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu visits victims of Lekki shootings, promises to investigate incident , Lagos sets up Graduate Internship Programme with a monthly stipend of N40,000 for youth beneficiaries

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as part of efforts to reduce the rate of unemployment in Lagos State, has approved an internship programme for 4,000 unemployed graduates.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Honourable Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke via the official Twitter handle of the Lagos state government.

An excerpt from the statement reads,

As part of efforts to reduce the rate of unemployment in Lagos State, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved Internship Programme for 4,000 unemployed graduates in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the present administration and the Youth Development Programme of the State.”

Mrs Yetunde Arobieke said the Graduate Internship Placement Programme is designed to give candidates the opportunity to develop employability and work-ready skills that are needed in securing gainful employment.

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(READ MORE:Sanwo-Olu reads riot act to hoodlums over ethnic clash, promises compensation)

She added that the Internship Programme will be addressing the third and fourth pillars of the present administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.

What you should know

  • Applicants must possess NYSC Certificates or letters of exemption.
  • Applicants must be registered residents of the State with Lagos State Residents Registration Agency, LASRRA.
  • The Graduate Internship Placement Programme is for a period of six months, of which a monthly stipend of N40,000 will be paid for the duration of the internship.
  • Interested candidates can apply through the dedicated link for the programme: http://gipplasg.lagosstate.gov.ng.

Why it matters

The Graduate Internship Placement Programme is expected to play a major role in reducing the rate of unemployment in Lagos State. It will provide candidates, the opportunity to develop key skills that will boost their employability, in a bid to secure gainful employment.

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At the end of the programme, beneficiaries would have gained valuable work experience, built up their professional skills and would have been exposed to entrepreneurial opportunities to strengthen their professional skills and interpersonal relationships.

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CBN discloses eligible businesses, those ineligible to apply for N75 billion Youth Investment Fund

The CBN has revealed businesses and applicants that are either eligible or ineligible to apply for the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has disclosed businesses and activities that are eligible to benefit from the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), which was recently launched by the Federal Government. The apex bank also pointed out the applicants that are not eligible to apply to benefit from the funds.

This was disclosed in the framework for the implementation of the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund, published by the Central Bank of Nigeria and signed by its Director, Development Finance Department.

READ: CBN’s N50 billion loan: NIRSAL warns Nigerians against fake loan adverts

READ: NIRSAL MFB to offer loans to SMEs at 5% interest rate

Those Ineligible to apply

In the publication, applicants who are ineligible to apply for the funds, which is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development are:

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  • Applicants that are currently enjoying NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) loans – which includes Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) and Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AgSMEIS) loans, that remains unpaid.
  • In addition, beneficiaries of other government loan schemes that remain unpaid are also not eligible to participate in this scheme.

READ: CBN introduces N250 billion stimulus package for gas investment to ease pain of fuel price increase

Eligible Businesses/Activities

The CBN also outlined in the framework, the businesses and activities that are legally allowed to be eligible in the scheme. These include;

  • Technology/Innovation
  • Agriculture and related value chain
  • Green Economy and Renewable energy sector
  • Manufacturing
  • Hospitality/Tourism
  • Construction
  • Logistics and supply chain
  • Healthcare value chain
  • Creative sector
  • Trading and services
  • Others as may be determined by NYIF/CBN from time to time.

READ: FG launches application for N75 billion Youth Investment Fund at 5% interest, how to apply

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READ: CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund

The CBN, however, states that preference shall be given to enterprises that will support the growth of priority sectors, specifically those identified by the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) and the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan.

The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is expected to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to identify potential youths for training and mentoring. The youths that are duly screened (and undergo the mandatory training where applicable) shall be advised to log on to the portal provided by the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) to apply for the facility.

READ: Ruffer ’50 cent’ makes $2.6 billion, as Coronavirus strikes financial market

READ: NIPOST now set to deliver 2000 outlets for proposed NIRSAL MFB

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What you should know

The N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund was set up by the Federal Government to invest in the innovative ideas, skills, and talents of Nigerian Youth and to institutionally provide the Nigerian youth with a special window for accessing much-needed funds, finances, business management skills, and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.

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The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is the lead implementation entity and is responsible for budgetary provisions and for funds mobilization.

READ: FG’s directive on IPPIS does not affect us – ASUU

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