• Thursday, November 30, 2023
businessday logo


Patricia urges customers to convert alleged ₦2bn debt to shares

Patricia urges customers to convert alleged ₦2bn debt to shares

In a bid to resolve a ₦2 billion debt, Patricia has provided an option for its customers to convert their balances into company shares. While some consider it, others have reported unclear discussions regarding potential partnerships with the crypto exchange.

Customers unhappy as withdrawals stall

The situation has left customers agitated, as they’ve been unable to withdraw their funds from Patricia for over six months. One customer expressed their frustration, saying, “They said they are turning my money into shares, and I have no choice right now,” according to a statement shared with Techpoint Africa, a digital media company.

In an audio recording provided to the company, a Patricia representative said, “We have found investors but this is the only thing keeping us. This is the best we can do right now. It is most likely our last resort. We just need your cooperation.” The representative assured customers they would eventually have access to their funds even after conversion to shares.

Controversial Patricia Token Swap

Two months ago, Patricia controversially replaced customers’ assets, previously held in Naira or Bitcoin, with a newly launched native token, Patricia Token (PTK), without their consent. Bolu Abiodun, a Blockchain journalist, noted that this action conflicted with Securities Exchange Commission guidelines, which require entities launching tokens for Nigerians to submit a roadmap to the SEC.

Read also: Inside Moniepoint’s multimillion-dollar offline strategy

Promised repayment amid freezing of withdrawals

After facing a cyber hack in 2022 that led to losses of about $2 million, Patricia froze withdrawals. During a town hall meeting last month, Patricia’s founder and CEO, Hanu Fejiro, announced plans to start repaying customers. However, the specifics of how this would be accomplished remained unclear.

Multiple updates, zero withdrawals

Customers shared their frustration at receiving numerous updates from Patricia but no clear timeline for when they could access their funds. For many, the funds have been trapped for months. One customer, Nelson, with ₦4 million ($5,224) trapped, has been unable to withdraw for nearly seven months.

Conversion to Patricia shares

In August, Patricia introduced its native token, PTK, as a means to repay customer funds. However, this move was met with skepticism. Patricia clarified that the tokens were essentially debt tokens (IOUs), meant to acknowledge its debts to customers. Nevertheless, customers reported that their PTK balances remained at zero.