In 2018, Toba and his brother-in-law Seye thought they had seen opportunities to invest in Viyola Foods Nigeria’s cassava plantation, located in Sagamu, Ogun State. In the end, they ended up with lamentations of not getting what was promised by the company.
Toba, an engineer working with a multinational, first got to know Olayinka Odunayo Ayowole, the owner of Viyola Foods Nigeria, through his wife, who happened to be a former associate of his in early 2018. After getting to know each other, Ayowole proposed that Toba invested in a plantation owned by his company, promising huge returns over a period of one year.
Toba did some background checks and felt the establishment was okay. Beyond this, he also travelled down to the said company’s cassava plantation in Sagamu in November 2018, where he saw its Garri processing plants and felt convinced that it would be profitable to invest his money in the project.
N2.8MILLION TO GET N4MILLION
“When I saw that it was okay to invest in Viyola Food’s plantation, I invested some money there. I invested N2,800,000 on the business, with an agreement that within a year, I would get my profit back. I was supposed to get N4,000,000 as returns on the investment”. Toba said to FIJ.
However, when Toba made the trip to Sagamu, he did not go alone. He went with Seye, his brother-in-law, who was also into agricultural business. Seye was equally impressed by what he saw and he decided to invest N1,000,000 in the business, a few days after Toba did.
“After the visit to the plantation, I also decided to invest the sum of N1,000,000 into the business, some days after. When the payment was made, I was promised a return of N1,600,000 within a year. In-between that, and because I was into agricultural business as well, I introduced the cassava by-products I sell to Viyola Foods,” Seye said.
SELLING A CAR TO GET A TRUCK THAT NEVER CAME
During the period Seye started the by-product business with Viyola Foods, he felt the need to also solve his own company’s logistics problems. This coincided with the time Ayowole brought an offer for the equity ownership of a truck and he was very much interested in it.
“I felt the need to invest in the acquisition of the truck. I believed the truck would be able to serve a good purpose and also run other things such that I will be able to realize 100% profit within a year. I was more intrigued by the fact that I would have a truck to use for myself. So, I invested. In fact, I had to sell my car to do that,” Seye further said.
Seye claimed he invested N1,800,000 into the purchase of the truck.
Since then, both Toba and Seye claimed they have had to engage Viyola Foods in a struggle, with the aim of getting what they were promised.
“Since then, I have only struggled to get N300,000 back from Viyola Foods, out of the N4,000,000 promised,” Toba lamented to FIJ.
N1.8MILLION TRUCK MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN
In Seye’s case, he stated that he was able to get N1,200,000 back from the company, out of the N1,600,000 promised on his initial investment on the cassava plantation. However, he claims he is yet to get anything back concerning the N1,800,000 he paid for the purchase of the truck.
“Concerning the truck story now, I am yet to get anything. The excuse he gave was that he was owing the person that was supposed to help clear the truck at the port some money and that the truck was seized by the person. So with the remaining amount being owed from the cassava investment, and the money I invested in the purchase of the truck, I am being owed a total sum of N2,200,000 by Viola Foods,” Seye said.
Seye also claimed that during his numerous attempts at recovering his money back, he accidently met an engineer who was also trying to recover the N24,000,000 he was being owed by the company.
FIJ tried to reach out to Viyola Foods Nigeria for a reaction via the phone lines on the company website but they were unavailable.