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Business

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

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.”

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

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

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“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

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.”

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic Data

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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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Business

Customs Apapa Command generates revenue of N65.4 billion in April

This indicates a 64% increase in collection and an unprecedented record that has never been achieved in the history of Apapa Area Command.

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Border closure: Amid N5bn daily revenue, Customs officials lament allowance slash  

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Apapa Area Command has announced a revenue of N65,463,398,355.85 for the month of April—an increase of N25,585,561,139.92 compared to the same period last year.

This was disclosed by Comptroller Ibrahim Yusuf, Area Controller of Apapa command, in a press briefing on Thursday.

What Ibrahim Yusuf is saying

“This indicates a 64% increase in collection and an unprecedented record that has never been achieved in the history of Apapa Area Command.

In line with the provision of extant laws, trade guidelines and enforcement of government fiscal policy measures, the command was able to further strengthen its anti-smuggling operations against economic saboteurs through credible intelligence-driven operations.

This led to the seizure of 4×40 feet containers laden with unregistered pharmaceuticals (674 cartons of tramadol tablets in 225mg and 120mg, and 805 cartons of codeine syrup in 100ml) at APMT and SIFAX 3 bonded terminal respectively.

Other items seized in the period under review include: two containers of unprocessed wood and one container of scrap copper wire,” he said.

He added that the progress the Apapa Command made in the month of April was possible due to the resilience of the officers, citing that the Command had taken steps to ensure efficient revenue collection by creating an enabling environment for legitimate businesses to thrive.

What you should know

Recall Nairametrics reported that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Apapa Command stated earlier that it generated a revenue of N159.58 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

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Business

Why prices of Iron Ore, others may rise soon

The underdeveloped mining of iron ore in Nigeria has led the nation to import the mineral which can be produced locally.

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Iron ore is an important commodity currently in high demand, due to population and infrastructure growth in developing countries, especially Nigeria.

The underdeveloped mining of iron ore in Nigeria has led the nation to import the mineral which can be produced locally. This development is expected to lead to an increase in the price of the commodity, as the nation relies solely on imported iron ore.

Why is the increase imminent

A surge in steel consumption is certain, as the world emerges from its pandemic-induced slump. This is set to drive iron ore to an unprecedented high as the biggest miners struggle to keep up with the frenzied pace of demand.

An Estate Surveyor and Developer, Tunji Lawal, told Nairametrics that expectations are that benchmark prices can get to $200 a ton – topping the record $194 hit more than a decade ago.

READ: Resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Company – an end in sight?

According to him, this is happening as Chinese steel producers ramp up production in defiance of government attempts to rein in output to control the industry’s carbon emissions.

He said, “That’s tightening an iron ore market that hadn’t fully recovered from a supply shock more than two years ago.

Iron ore prices could go higher in the short-term and exceeding $200 a ton is definitely possible and that will also push the price up in Nigeria. The price here, which is about N325,000/ton (8mm), is bound to go northward and may increase by N100,000 within a month.”

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He added that the increasing demand had been boosting steel prices from Asia to North America.

The hike is not limited to steel, as other building materials are also expected to rise further.

READ MORE: Why Ajaokuta Cannot Make Steel

Meanwhile, Dangote Cement, which increased from N2,600 to N3,800 barely a month ago, stands at N4,000/bag and still counting. The price may rise over N4,000 depending on market forces.

Lafarge Cement and BUA Cement also increased from N2,400 and N2,250 to N3,600 and N3,250 respectively, within the same period. Their prices may also rise further.

Tunde Oluwole, a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Builders, explained that the development was caused by high-interest rates, inflation, increasing exchange rate and scarcity of forex in the country.

He said, “The increasing prices in Nigeria is a result of the combined effects of high-interest rates, devaluation of the naira, inflation, and non-effective distribution network of the materials.”

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READ MORE: Russian company, MetProm Group, identifies the problem of Ajaokuta Steel

What you should know

The mining of minerals in Nigeria accounts for only 0.3% of its gross domestic product, due to the nation’s overdependence on its vast oil resources.

China accumulated a majority of the global iron ore imports in 2019, with a 69.1% share of total global imports. Japan followed behind distantly with a 7.5% share of iron ore imports.

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