In December 2020, Olaide Faturoti, a business associate, was convinced to invest in FarmKonnect, a crowdfunding platform. Usually, Faturoti wouldn’t agree with this, but he succumbed when he researched the company online and found some interesting things on the platform. What could be more reassuring than a governor sponsoring a project?
Fast forward to 2022, Faturoti’s investment in two projects, the NFT project worth N800,000 (which matured in October 2021) and the Onion project worth N1.5 million ( matured in December 2021), which were supposed to yield 45% and 80% profits respectively, are yet to be settled.
“I received 5% ROI in May, June and July, then they stopped. I received another 5% ROI in November, and that’s the last time I’ve received anything from them.
“So far they have not been able to repay my principal and there is no date in sight for that. I wrote to them that I am no longer interested in the promised returns but that they should just return my principal,he told Nairametrics.
What is more heartbreaking for him is that he had planned to use the money for a major acquisition after receiving the money last year.
Like Faturoti, Hope Adebayo, a hairdresser, also entrusted her with N125,000 with FarmKonnect for five slices of potatoes with the promise of recouping her capital with 50% return on investment. Unfortunately, she was only able to get 25,000 Naira out of the expected payment of 187,000 Naira before the company stopped paying; therefore, his plans to send money to his mother were cut short.
For its part, FarmKonnect said it is unaware of the current situation and has been working to resolve the issue.
A FarmKonnect agent told Nairametrics that the company is undergoing restructuring and reorganization after which a payment model will be communicated to subscribers. He said, “Really, we sent out a payment plan for last year and we were able to run it until about September, the ones scheduled for October, November, December haven’t been paid yet and we’ve released a statement to let them know that the company is working to ensure payment will begin soon.
Explaining the reasons for the company’s late payment since last year, he said that every company has its own share of financial challenges and Farmkonnect is going through this right now.
On the specific date the platform planned to begin rolling out funds to investors, the agent, who declined to comment on the cause of the delay, said the information was not released pending instructions. from the administration board.
However, Faturoti believes that the platform is disregarding him and other members by not holding a meeting and not communicating the exact cause of the delay and a possible way forward to affected investors, as he asks to be paid as soon as possible.
He said, “The only and last meeting we had was in July last year after which a payment schedule was released. However, the payment schedule was not adhered to at all.
Faturoti and Adebayo are not the only ones experiencing investment disappointments. Adeniyi Oluwadara, an investor in Bolgate Rice Mill, under an agricultural investment platform, Bolgate Multinational Resource Farms Ltd, also shares his sentiment.
Oluwadara successfully invested in Bolgate Rice Mill between April and July as a return investor. Unfortunately, his capital got locked in alongside his 9.5% monthly interest for three months after he only received the first interest.
He said, “It was around April last year that I got to know them. I made my findings and payment was made to their FCMB account for the primitive package.
“I made an investment with a capital of N100,000 with the company for the first three months ending July 2021 and another, three months later, with a promised interest of 9.5% per month. After the first payment of the second round of investment, I received an SMS that their factory in Katsina State was affected by a shepherd attack and there was a subsequent report to the regulatory authorities that blocked their FCMB account.
“I have not yet received my monthly returns for the remaining two months of September and October 2021 and my capital as well which was due to arrive at the end of the investment period.”
Another social media investor identified as @youngaboy shared how he was introduced to the program by a friend. He said that since last year, returns on his investment have been delayed.
“…he later told me about the company that they were doing agricultural investments so I would have to invest with them with 9.5% interest rate, which I did and that was supposed to be a 3 month contract. Although I started with a small amount to see how it goes.
“I got the first ROI in the first month, but now I am supposed to get the next ROI since last week, but nothing happened. I went to their office to know the cause, this what they said is that it was a technical problem that will be solved but I have not yet received my salary”, he said.
The investors confirmed that they visited Bolgate’s office at 142, Mobolaji Villa, Ayobo Road in Lagos, but it was closed. Nairametrics also tried to reach out, but all efforts were aborted – their website is down and their contact numbers cannot be reached.
Nairametrics earlier explained why crowdfunding platforms are failing in Nigeria. Meanwhile, some crowdfunding platforms appear to be making efforts to address the issue by engaging with members and communicating a possible plan for an exit, but others are silent on this, disregarding members. and being inaccessible.