Patricia’s Controversial Debt Resolution Strategy Leaves Customers Stranded
Patricia, a prominent financial services provider, has recently taken a bold step to address its staggering ₦2 billion debt crisis. In a move that has sent shockwaves through its customer base, the company has offered customers the option to convert their outstanding balances into company shares. However, this decision has been met with mixed reactions and has even sparked discussions about potential partnerships with cryptocurrency exchanges.
Customers in Distress
The fallout from Patricia’s debt crisis has left customers in a state of agitation, as they’ve been unable to withdraw their funds from the platform for over six months. Expressing their frustration, one customer lamented, “They said they are turning my money into shares, and I have no choice right now,” as reported by Techpoint Africa, a reputable digital media company.
A Ray of Hope
Amid the growing discontent, Patricia’s representatives have sought to reassure their customers. In an audio recording shared with the public, a Patricia spokesperson stated, “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 company assured its customers that they would eventually regain access to their funds, even after the conversion to shares.
The Controversial Patricia Token Swap
Adding fuel to the fire, Patricia made a contentious decision two months ago when it unexpectedly replaced customers’ assets, previously held in Naira or Bitcoin, with a newly launched native token, Patricia Token (PTK), without obtaining their consent. This move raised eyebrows, particularly due to potential violations of Securities Exchange Commission guidelines, which require entities launching tokens for Nigerians to submit a roadmap to the SEC.
Challenges Following a Cyber Hack
The turmoil began in 2022 when Patricia faced a severe cyber hack, resulting in losses amounting to approximately $2 million. To protect its assets, Patricia froze withdrawals. Last month, during a town hall meeting, Patricia’s founder and CEO, Hanu Fejiro, announced plans to start repaying customers. However, the details of this repayment scheme remained shrouded in uncertainty.
Communication Without Clarity
Customers have voiced their frustrations at the frequent updates received from Patricia but with no clear timeline for when they can regain access to their funds. For many, these funds have remained inaccessible for several months. Nelson, a Patricia customer with ₦4 million ($5,224) trapped, has been unable to withdraw his funds for nearly seven months.
Conversion to Patricia Shares
In August, Patricia introduced its native token, PTK, as a means to begin repaying customer funds. This move, however, was met with skepticism. Patricia clarified that these tokens essentially represented debt tokens (IOUs), designed to acknowledge their debts to customers. Nonetheless, many customers reported that their PTK balances remained stagnant at zero.
Patricia’s attempt to resolve its substantial debt issues has stirred controversy and widespread customer dissatisfaction. As the situation continues to evolve, many questions remain unanswered, and customers anxiously await clarity on when they can regain access to their funds. Patricia faces significant challenges in regaining the trust of its customer base, and the path forward is uncertain.