BrandArena: Cellulant Nigeria CEO Bolaji Akinboro Resigns, 35 Staff Sacked Over Irregularities on Agrikore

Thursday 1 October 2020

Cellulant Nigeria CEO Bolaji Akinboro Resigns, 35 Staff Sacked Over Irregularities on Agrikore

Bolaji Akinboro has resigned as the CEO of Cellulant Nigeria and 35 members of staff were laid off due to irregularities observed with its Agrikore marketplace program.

Cellulant is a Pan-African digital payment and transfers fintech company that has operations in Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique. It was founded by Nigerian Bolaji Akinboro and Kenyan entrepreneur, Ken Njoroge, in 2004.

Agrikore is a mobile blockchain-based platform that has served more than 10 million farmers across the continent, better connecting them to the market and helping them sell their goods to a diverse range of buyers more easily. The platform also expands access to government subsidy programs to help reduce costs for farmers, increase their yields, and raise incomes.
Last week, reports filtered out that Bolaji Akinboro had resigned from Cellulant Nigeria and over 30 members of staff had been sacked. The company officially responded with the following:

“While conducting a compliance review on the Agrikore platform, we identified certain aspects of the compliance infrastructure and control framework of the platform that have not kept up with the platform’s rapid growth.”

“An investigation revealed that 14 Agrikore employees had inappropriately received funds from Agrikore wallets. There is no indication that customer funds were compromised.”

“As soon as we understood the issue, we moved quickly to temporarily shut down the Agrikore marketplace, inform our customers and regulators, and terminate the employees involved.”

Related story: Remita partners with Cellulant on payment technology to boost financial inclusion

“The integrity of the Agrikore platform is our top priority. We have engaged an independent “Big 4” accounting firm to conduct a complete forensic review of marketplace wallets and a well-respected Nigerian law firm to lead a full, independent investigation of the platform.”

“The Agrikore platform is a distinct product line of Cellulant’s broader diversified payments business. The payments business, which operates in multiple countries across Africa, and represents the substantial majority of Cellulant, remains unaffected by this decision and is fully operational.”

In 2018, Cellulant raised $47.5m from the Rise Fund to partly scale its blockchain-based platform Agrikore

This is the 3rd unfortunate case of founders having issues with their boards in last couple of weeks. Cars45 co-founder Etop Ikpe recently left the company after a board issue and HealthPlus founder, Bukky George is fighting for the company after the PE firm that invested in the company is trying to take over the operations of the healthcare company.


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