Oxford International Group, Vektr Capital Investment and Farmforte Agro-Allied Solutions Limited have reacted to their recently sealed offices by the Security and Exchange Commission for reasons bothering on unlicensed and alleged illegal investment activities.
According to SEC in a statement, the three investment companies’ offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja were shut down for executing investment operations that fall within the ambit of fund management without registration.
The SEC statement read, “These companies do not have registration of the SEC to conduct fund management activities and have been found to promise exorbitant rates of returns to lure investors. The SEC has exercised its powers under Section 13 (w) Investments and Securities Act 2007, to shut them down.”
“The commission hereby notifies the investing public that none of these entities or their investment platforms are registered by the SEC.
“The public is hereby reminded that it is unlawful for any private enterprise whether incorporated as a company or not, to solicit funds from the public by whatever means, to fund its private ventures as doing this will be in contravention of the Investments and Securities Act, 2007.”
What the investment platforms are saying
Dr Solomon Solomon, the managing director of Vektr Capital investment in a phone call told Nairametrics that the office of the investment platform is only temporarily sealed and would soon be opened as the management is currently ensuring that it opens soon.
- He said, “Actually, our company is not closed down. Some group of people wrote petition against us that that we are operating without SEC license. This is a company that has been on ground since 2017 in Nigeria and the company was actually established in 2013 in UK – this year makes it our five years operation in Nigeria.
- “When you are growing, some group of people will just try to frustrate your effort, but fortunately for us, the findings by SEC across Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt shows that we have never defaulted in payment to our investors. Our office will soon be opened because as I am talking to you I am in the SEC office trying to ensure the opening of the office.
- “We are pushing the platform to be the number one capital investment platform in Africa, so we will get back to our feet and the office will soon be opened it is only sealed up because we already started the processes with SEC to a certain level but because of certain factors, that made us stop the process. But I think this is the right time for us to get back on board so that we can move further in our drive.
- “We commenced registration last year July, though we have been in existence prior to that period. What caused the delay was the fact that I haven’t been around and also because of directors’ requirements – even when we give them the requirement, they still find fault.
- “But I think this is an opportunity for us to complete the requirement and we will do that as soon as possible. Even in the midst of rumour that SEC has closed our office, our investors are still receiving their return on investment. As at this morning, quite a number of them received and we are committed to making sure we serve everybody and we will do that.
In a statement signed by the management of Oxford international Group, the platform also assured that it is working to ensure everything goes well, adding that it has commenced registration last year.
- The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to a publication by the security and exchange commission stating that some of our offices have been sealed on the ground that we are unlicenced by SEC to conduct investment-related businesses.
- “Although we have since instructed the law firm of TAYO OYETIBO LP to take appropriate legal step in respect of SEC’s action and allegation; we owe our trusted clients an obligation to provide clarifications on the recent developments.
- “Our business started our profit sharing arm of the business few years ago which helped a group of people to pool funds together, do business and share profit. What started as a little business then has now metamorphosed into a large entity as a result of our integrity and accountability.
- “As a result of our business operation, the need to ensure regulatory compliance and the desire to offer more confidence to ouyr clients, sometime in 2021, we voluntarily applied to be licensed with SEC and paid the necessary fee in this regard. We note that the registration process then has been ongoing since then. We are currently interfacing with SEC to expedite the registration process.
- “We state categorically that we have never represented to the public or to our client that we are SEC licensed. We are also proud to state that we have always performed our business within the ambit of the law.
- “We are doing all within our power to ensure a prompt resolution of the issue and we urge all our client to remain confident that as always, we will not default on all existing contractual obligations.
- “OIG is following close to situations and working with SEC to ensure that our business its integrity as we have not defaulted anyone.”
While Nairametrics has not been able to reach Agropartnership on the issue, we observe from the platform, it stated that it acquired a fund and portfolio management company licensed by the SEC last year. However, it is unclear whether Farmforte Limited or its subsidiary; Agropartnerships Technology Limited is registered by the SEC.