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Thrive Agric appoints new interim CEO amid repayment challenges

Thrive Agric appoints new interim CEO amid repayment challenges
October 08
19:26 2020

Thrive Agric, an agric-tech company, has announced that Uka Eje, its chief executive officer, will step down in the interim as part of efforts to reposition the company.

In a notice sent to investors on Thursday, Thrive Agric said Adia Sowho has been appointed as interim CEO while Eje serves as the chief operating officer as well as Sowho’s understudy.

The company has been owing investors since April and has said repayment may take up to two years.

Eje and Ayo Arikawe, co-founders of the company, had said the business was not fully prepared for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


TheCable had reported how aggrieved investors expressed displeasure over the company’s inability to deliver returns on investments made and capital.

Leadway Assurance, the company’s insurer, also told TheCable that the contract with Thrive Agric only covers farms and not for funds invested by the public.

“She is here to guide Thrive Agric through a turnaround exercise so that we survive the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the business. Adia has a lot of experience with building businesses from the ground up and shaping them to operate at scale,” the notice read.


“I asked her to support us, recognising that she has the required expertise to move us past this period successfully. I will be stepping down as CEO for the interim, and assuming the position of COO, where, in addition to the attendant duties of the role, I will be Adia’s understudy.”

The co-founder said Thrive Agric has also appointed a chief financial officer, a new head of risk management and compliance unit and also recruited more lawyers to aid its representation on legal matters.

“We have also appointed a CFO who comes with significant experience in finance. We sorely need this experience as Thrive Agric is financing the agricultural value chain and we need to deepen our capabilities in that area,” it said.

“We have also recognized from this episode, that we did not have strong enough protection against risks. As such, we have hired an experienced hand to head our risk management and compliance.


“We have also gotten additional legal representation, to better protect us and more efficiently manage our commercial agreements. This is such that Thrive Agric is exposed to stronger business relationships and fewer counterparty risks.”

Eje apologised for poor communication to investors adding that the delay in payouts is not what Thrive Agric intended in its mission to create a food-secure Nigeria.

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