Nigerian agribusiness platform Agropartnership startup, that went out of public glare over default of customers’ investment have apologised.
The duo of Uyi Osayimwense and Osayi Osazuwa, founders of the agribusiness platform Agropartnership, were last seen in public on February 16, 2022, when Osayimwense apologised publicly to their numerous investors in a social media video.
According to a report by Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) said that prior to this, the duo defaulted on scheduled payout plans to their investors, and as a result, received a lot of backlash and scrutiny.
To add to investors’ concerns, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shut down the agribusiness company and all of its accounts in March, alleging that it was not legally registered to manage funds, and that it offered high interest rates to entice investors.
Olawale Fabiyi, a Nigerian lecturer, was one of the many investors affected. In December 2021, Fabiyi invested N2,250,000 naira in Agropartnership’s Cashew Value Chain Project, an investment plan on the agribusiness platform for which he was supposed to earn interest payouts twice and a final payout, including interest and his N2.25 million principal, at the maturity of the investment.
The investment was to reach maturity on December 21, 2022.
Fabiyi asked for his first payout in March 2022. However, instead of receiving funds, he received a payment rescheduling plan. Agropartnership had sent an email saying they had identified risks in their existing payout structure, and as a result, payment was being halted for five months beginning in February.
The new payout schedule was to be in June and October 2022, with the last batch in February 2023.
The June scheduled time for the first payout came and passed, and there was no payment.
In July, the company wrote to Fabiyi to apologise for the delayed payments and promised to work towards offsetting owed payments.
After waiting with no end in sight, Fabiyi sent an inquiry to the agribusiness platform in August. Agropartnership’s excuse was that their accounts were still frozen and, as a result, inoperative. They said a new payment plan was being put in place to ensure that all investors were paid.
It has been a month since Fabiyi’s final payout date and eight months since the first payout was rescheduled, and he has not received any payment or further correspondence from Agropartnership on his investment.
Serah Olawale, an investor, recently told FIJ that she was yet to get her over N200,000 capital invested in the company’s sweet potato plan in October 2021, and the promised return.
“I invested in January 2021 and I was supposed to get my investment and ROI on it by October 27,” said Olawale.
Adetoun Adekanmbi, a Lagos State-based medical doctor, has joined the long list of investors accusing Farmforte’s Agropartnerships, a platform that claims to offer agricultural investment services, of holding on to their money.
Adekanmbi told FIJ that the platform had refused to pay the close to N600,000 she was still being owed by the company despite sending several emails to demand for it.
“I started investing in Agropartnerships in 2020 and I invested over N800,000 in various cycles,” said Adekanmbi.
Founders Osayimwense and Osazuwa have been radio silent since the February video broadcast and all of their social media platforms have been inactive too.
FIJ attempted to contact the company, but all eight phone numbers were either switched off or unavailable. Mails sent to the company’s email address returned delivery error messages.
Culled from FIJ