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My Money Mistake: I Was Defrauded By My Friend And Business Partner

My Money Mistake is a weekly PiggyVest series that explores the worst money mistakes real Nigerians have made, and the lessons they learnt from it.

For this week’s episode of My Money Mistake, we spoke to a 28-year-old farmer who lost all his business’ profit to a friend and business partner. He tells us about how it happened, how it forced him to become a sole business owner, and what he learnt from the experience.

Could you tell me about your money mistake?

I blindly trusted a friend with the finances to my business.

What happened?

I’ve been in business as a farmer since 2016. Around 2020, my step-aunt introduced me to chicken-rearing. I approached my friend with the business opportunity, and he agreed to be part of it. He’s an accountant, so he was in charge of the financial part of the business. 

For our initial capital, we contributed ₦50,000 each and bought some chicks. After a while, we sold some of them off and made ₦400,000 from the sale. That was the last time I heard from him.

Since 2020?

Yes, since then. I don’t know any of his relatives, so there’s no one else I can call or hold accountable. His number has also been unreachable since then. Every time I call him, the line is busy.

How was that?

It was painful because I had invested my time and money into the business, only for me to have to start it all over again.

I’m sorry about that. How’s business now?

It’s going well. I was able to start again and recover from the loss. 

What’s a good month like for the business?

We measure it based on sales and profit. So for a good sale, we make up to ₦300,000 profit. 

Oh, that’s really good. Congratulations.

Thank you.

Do you have any business partner now?

It’s just me now. I had to go and learn how to do accounting myself. I don’t want to involve anyone in my business again. 

I’m so sorry about all that. What did you learn from that experience?

I learnt to be very careful when involving people in my business, especially when it involves finances. If he wasn’t in charge of the money, he wouldn’t be able to run away with all of it.

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