Ventures Platform, a venture capital firm that invested in Thrive Agric, says it has put measures in place to ensure the repayment of investments to subscribers, through the hiring of consultants and intervention of its senior management team.
This was disclosed in a statement on Thursday evening. The VC said it is aware of the challenges reported in the media, which has adversely affected some of their crowdfund subscribers, “However, what might not be so apparent is the work being done behind the scenes, to rectify and repair the situation, by ensuring subscribers are repaid in a timely manner.”
In case you missed it
Nairametrics reported yesterday that Co-founder and CEO of Thrive Agric, Uka Eje, announced that he would step down as CEO and assume the position of COO, as it faces challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also announced Adia Sowho as the interim CEO, while a Chief Financial Officer with significant experience in finance has been appointed by the agritech investment firm.
“We have started this process with the support of our investors, particularly Ventures Platform, who has been the epitome of a value-adding investor. I will start first by announcing the new interim CEO, Adia Sowho.
“She is here to guide Thrive Agric through a turnaround exercise so that we survive the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the business,” said Eje.
Ventures Platform said that Thrive Agric is one of its portfolio companies which they invested in as of 2017.
“As early-stage investors, we take our role in how our portfolio companies operate and their overall corporate governance, very seriously.
“Once alerted to the fact that the company was facing some operational challenges; Ventures Platform’s experienced senior management team and hired consultants intervened, working with Thrive Agric founders to put in place deliberate and swift actions, that not only ensures repayment of investments to subscribers but also to realign the business for the long term,” it said.
It also said a core issue they noticed was around sub-optimal communication between the company, its subscribers, and additional stakeholders. They announced the improvement of communication in the following areas;
- Communication to subscribers via email, with a more complete explanation of how COVID-19 impacted farming operations, and an expectation of repayment horizon.
- The commencement of active communications with concerned subscribers, via Zoom calls.
- The release of a robust FAQ online via Twitter, which addresses many of their subscribers’ and stakeholders’ key concerns.
On actions taken with the Thrive Agric Management team, they said the following steps are in full swing;
- Engaging actively with the founders to develop and implement a step-by-step plan to get the company back on track.
- A thorough review of the company’s financial and non-financial operations to fully understand the scale of the problem.
- Supporting the company in strengthening their senior leadership, such that they can frontally deal with these issues. The Thrive Agric team will communicate more on this very soon.
- Providing bridge debt to help liquidate some of the outstanding to subscribers.
The VC firm added that they have yielded small success during the short period and know they have a lot more to do.
“We will continue to push the entire Thrive Agric team to return investments to their subscribers, and rebuild the trust that has been lost in what has been an extremely challenging year,” it noted.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
The CBN also outlined in the framework, the businesses and activities that are legally allowed to be eligible in the scheme. These include;
- Agriculture and related value chain
- Green Economy and Renewable energy sector
- Logistics and supply chain
- Healthcare value chain
- Creative sector
- Trading and services
- Others as may be determined by NYIF/CBN from time to time.
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.
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.
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is the lead implementation entity and is responsible for budgetary provisions and for funds mobilization.
Lagos approves reopening of public, private schools on Monday
The Lagos State Government has directed all public and private schools to resume on Monday.
The Lagos State Government has approved the re-opening of schools for all classes in public and private schools across the state with effect from Monday, November 2, 2020, while boarders in public schools are to resume on Sunday, November 1.
According to a tweet post from the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Gawat Jubril, on his official Twitter handle, this was disclosed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, on Thursday, October 29, 2020.
In her statement, Adefisayo said, “This has been an unprecedented year with the recent happenings that have regrettably led to frequent closure of schools with attendant learning disruptions faced by all children.”
“We pray and hope that there will be no more disruptions in the academic calendar. However, the State Government will always regard the safety of pupils/students, parents, and all staff as a matter of priority,” She said.
“We recommend that when schools resume on Monday, teaching and learning should continue unhindered till the end of the term,” she added.
The Commissioner, therefore, advised pupils/students to take their studies more seriously in a bid to recover the lost period and excel.
FLASH: The Lagos State Government has approved the re-opening of schools for all classes in public and private schools across the State beginning from Monday, 2nd of November, 2020 while boarders in public schools are to resume on Sunday, 1st of the same month. pic.twitter.com/vQQRM3wOVR
— Gawat Jubril A. (@Mr_JAGss) October 29, 2020