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Thrive Agric drama: What it means for Nigerian investment startups

The ongoing drama between Thrive Agric and its investors could carry implications for emerging startups.

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Nigerian Agrotech Investment startup, Thrive Agric has been trending for the wrong reasons. Investors took to social media, complaining about the delayed payments of their investments.

Nairametrics reported that a Thrive Agric customer known on Twitter as theprincelyX, took to the social media platform and called out the company for holding on to his investments. He claimed that the company owed him almost a million naira, and he had been told to wait till next year to see returns on his investments.

READ: Foreign investment inflow into banking sector falls by 95% in Q2 2020

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,” he said.

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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READ: 5 things you can do to attract equity funding for your business

“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.

The COVID-19 pandemic which paralyzed the Nigerian economy heavily affected the agriculture industry, as goods and services could not be transported to farms due to the lockdowns. However, the decision by Thrive Agric to delay payments may affect how Nigerian customers invest in agriculture through tech.

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Would Nigerians invest less in Agritech startups?

Mathew (name changed) CEO of an Investment startup, says the industry has its risks and people may do less investment in the space after this incident.

“I don’t know, to be honest. There are better ways to invest, and a lot of the constraints on the farming industry don’t go away, because it’s repackaged around tech. Then there are these defaults and delays on payments. So people will probably do this type of investment less,” he said.

READ: CBN says Nigerian Youth Investment Fund is coming soon

Advice for investors on their delayed investments

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“I can’t speak on that, because I don’t actually know what’s driving the delay. I know Thrive Agric enough to believe they’re reputable, so I don’t know what’s up structurally to cause these delays.”

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What should Nigerians about investment through tech?

Odunayo Eweniyi, Co-Founder, PiggyVest says that fintech would always be an opportunity for Nigerians to find good investments for their assets, and startups are already advising Nigerians on better investment awareness.

“I think that existing fintech startups still represent a great avenue for Nigerians to get good returns on their money. I know that there’s a lot to familiarize ourselves with, and so many startups are doing the work of educating young people especially about various instruments, so they can make informed investment decisions,” she said.

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

Mathew says awareness on investment should be learned and people should not always be interested only in high returns; safer equity options should be considered as well.

Understand what drives returns and don’t always follow the lure of high returns. Focus on the underlying asset, not just the tech. And lastly, I’ll put dollar investment options ahead of the rest,” Mathew said.

READ: Analysis: Your pension fund is worth less

BottomLine

Younger Nigerians will always be on the lookout for safer investment vehicles to hedge against the rising inflation of about 12%; and not just any investment but one which they have control of. Delaying investment that we have seen was caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, will likely discourage people from investing in that sector. However, “never bet against tech,” as newer and already existing fintech will learn from this experience and provide better investment alternatives for Nigerians seeking growth on their savings.

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Update: Suspected hoodlums looting Palms Mall, Shoprite in Ilorin

Hoodlums have invaded Palms Mall and Shoprite in Ilorin, looting stores and carting away items.

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Some suspected hoodlums are allegedly looting the Palms Mall on Fate road, Ilorin, Kwara State capital. The mall hosts stores of Shoprite, and Lifemate Furniture among other stores including Mobile phones retailers.

This was revealed by findings conducted by a Nairametrics analyst who is presently in Ilorin.

He said, “They allegedly stole iPhone 11 mobile sets, other mobile sets brands, Refrigerators, and households items among others.”

According to the analyst, the suspected hoodlums forced their way into the Mall after they have stormed and allegedly looted Kwara Agro Hall, an agro resettlement centre, where they carted away Aluminium roofing sheets, mattresses, bags of cement and bags of flour among others.

Back story: Similarly, similar incidents had occured in Lagos when suspected hoodlums looted at Shoprite Malls across Surulere, Sangotedo.

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According to reports, suspected thugs from Orile have invaded the mall and the neighbourhoods.

The alleged looters were seen with a cartload of goods on the streets along Ajah Road.

An eyewitness account also submitted that the hoodlums were looting shops around Bode Thomas and Adeniran Ogunsanya.

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#EndSARS: President Buhari reaffirms commitment to protecting the rights of all citizens

President Buhari has reassured that the rights of all citizens will be protected.

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How Federal Government plans to increase VAT to 7.2% affects you

President Muhammadu Buhari has restated his commitment to improving good governance and ensuring that the rights of all citizens are protected, in a bid to preserving the unity of Nigeria. He made this known during a virtual meeting with all living former Heads of State and Presidents of Nigeria.

According to a statement by the Presidency via its official Twitter handle, the meeting was well attended by former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan,  Chief Ernest Shonekan; former Heads of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The meeting comes less than 24 hours after President Buhari’s state of the nation address, where he called for an end to the #EndSARS protests as their voices have been heard.

Backstory

Nairametrics had earlier reported that President Buhari would be presiding over a National Security Council meeting with former Heads of State and Presidents.

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According to the information contained in the tweets, President Buhari stressed that his administration will continue to improve good governance through the defined democratic process and sustained engagement.

During the meeting, the President recounted the initial concessions made by his administration on the demands of youths protesting against the excesses of some SARS members.

Buhari said that all the demands are accepted and that he has proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and commence the process of addressing the other demands made.

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Instagram tenders apology for flagging #EndSARS posts as fake

Instagram has apologized for its algorithm malfunction that led to the flagging of #EndSARS posts as fake.

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COVID-19: Instagram cracks down on coronavirus AR effects, Instagram Tenders apology for fagging #EndSARS fake

Social media is not just changing the way we communicate, it’s changing the way we are governed and the way we live in society.

Instagram apologizes for its algorithm malfunction that leads to the dismay of its users.

Backstory:

Instagram on the 21st of October flagged a series of posts in support of #EndSARS protest killings, as false information.

Users received messages of, “False: The same false information was reviewed in another post by fact-checkers. There may be small differences. Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.”

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This came as a huge disappointment to some of its users as the company refused to be of help in a critical time.

The social networking service apologizes, saying that its algorithm incorrectly flagged the posts, “Yesterday our systems were incorrectly flagging content in support of #EndSARS and marking posts as false. We are deeply sorry for this. The issue has now been resolved, and we apologize for letting our community down in such a time of need,” they stated

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(READ MORE:#EndSARS: Nigerian Army set to commence Exercise Crocodile Smile VI)

The incident of October 20th took place at the Lekki toll plaza where the Nigerian military shot at several of the youths who were on a peaceful protest seeking an end to police brutality amongst other demands. Amnesty International confirmed that about 12 of the protesters were killed while hundreds of them sustained injures.

What you need to know:

The #EndSARS movement was first introduced in 2017. Its most recent protest started on the 7th of October, youths initiated back the protest to call for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force.

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