Gbadebo (name not real) decided to invest in the breeding of turkey after being convinced by an advertising campaign of Farm Funds Africa. She and her husband made an investment, but their money soon went down the drain.
Together, the couple made their first investment of N480,000 in March, expecting to share yields equally. True to their word, Farm Funds Africa paid in June. Subsequently, the company signed Debo Adebayo, popularly known as Mr. Macaroni, solidifying investors’ belief in the scheme.
The couple jumped at another investment opportunity in September, but this time, it wasn’t that great, as the return on their N640,000 investment that was expected to arrive in December is still hanging, nine months after.
“I introduced my friend, who invested, and we were supposed to get our returns in December, but we got nothing. Then Dorcas (CEO of Farm Funds Africa) sent a message that the company was having problems and that we were going to be paid in January. January became June, June became July, and the stories continued,” she told FIJ.
Gbadebo alleged that Dorcas Omamuli, the company’s CEO, stopped answering calls and asked investors to stop reporting her to the police so as not to spend money bailing herself when she should be paying debts.
Amaka, another investor, was paid N150,000 on June 16, six months after her N480,000 investment should have matured. The Canada-based woman said she had high hopes as everyone around her was investing and getting paid.
She said she had to con Omamuli into believing she needed money to take care of her mother before N150,000 was paid out of an expected N552,000.
Amaka said her biggest regret was that her money had lost value with the delay. FIJ learnt that with naira’s N387.6 exchange rate to the dollar back in December when she invested, N480,000 was valued at $1,238.5, but with the current estimated N530 to a dollar parallel exchange, that sum has dropped to $905.7, costing her a $332.8 loss.
While attempting to contact the company’s help desk through phone call, FIJ learnt the number belonged to Sam Afolabi, the founder of Eatrich Farms, who was earlier reported to have arrested investors he owed over N1billion.
Omamuli said Afolabi left Farm Funds Africa around March 2020, after serving as its Chief Operating Officer, shortly before founding Eatrich.
She said she had run into debts of hundreds of millions, but maintained that she was working on getting a loan to offset debts by the end of September. “I have equity partners that are trying to come in because the loan is taking long. We have told investors we would pay them by the end of this month, and we would keep to that. We are taking a loan of N700 million,” she told FIJ.
Mr. Macaroni had also put out a message to distance himself from Farm Funds. “Before taking any job, we will always do our background check to ensure that these brands are legitimate, because I strongly believe that some of you will only trust a brand because some of us vouched for them and I never want to take that trust for granted. However, we can’t know it all,” he said.
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