The businessmen, under the aegis of Concerned International Brewery Distributors at a press conference have accused salesmen in the company of diversion of consignments meant for distributors, which has resulted to accumulated debt in millions for many distributors doing business with the company.
They claimed that the “ambiguity of statement of accounts” introduced by SABMILLER Limited, the South African firm that took over the management of the company since 2010 in which the statements became too technical for ordinary people to comprehend created room for fraud to be perpetrated by the salesmen.
Speaking on the issue on Friday, the spokesperson for the group, Mr Olatunde Wasiu Adelabu who is the Managing Director of Faidsam Nig. Limited, said the peak of the fraud was when many of the distributors in the company were debited up to fifty million naira for products they did not receive, and the statement of accounts became so cumbersome to be interpreted.
” We are presently at the crossroad, we need government’s intervention into our case. How could a South African company callously defraud legitimate Nigerian businessmen with impunity? This is our country and we shall resist it.
“Our business was going on smoothly until this company (SABMILLER) took over the management of the company from Castel Group in 2010, and that was the beginning of our woes and business trauma.
” What the company first did was to make the interpretation of statement of account so difficult, and removal of customers’ number from the Waybill, making it absolutely impossible for truck drivers to reach out to us at the point of delivery, and created room for diversion of our products even when they have already debited our accounts with them.
“Since the statement of accounts have become so crude to understand, we did not realise the fraud on time until we were presented with huge debt by the company.
” At this point, we have to raise alarm, and secured the services of competent Audit Firms, which eventually discovered fraud in the distribution process of the company, perpetrated by Sales Representatives.
“Even the company itself, after embarking on thorough investigation discovered that we have been defrauded by its employees to the tune of hundreds of millions, by its letter of September 18, 2016, as a response to series of our letters from the audit firms we engaged and our legal counsels,” Adelabu stressed.
Also speaking on the issue, Mr Tunde Salawu, who is also a distributor at the briefing, expressed sadness at the turn of events, saying the company has been less concerned about their plights.
“Despite all the discoveries and admittance of fraud, the company has not deem it fit to write off the debt it claimed hanging on our necks as a result of fraud in its folds, which make us to conclude that the management of the company is out to drive us out of business and destroy our means of livelihood.
“Many of our affected colleagues have become seriously sick, while many have died due to the trauma of mysterious debt created for us by the company.
” Obviously, we need help and support from government and Nigerians at large to save our souls and and our future by getting justice for us,” he resorted.
Investigation on the issue further revealed that, the former Regional Manager of the company,Mr John Terfa, who was the brain behind the fraud was secretly sacked in 2016, alongside several other Sales Representatives across the country.
Meanwhile, all efforts to get the reaction of the company practically proved abortive, as phone calls put through to the Head of the Corporate Affairs, Mrs Folashade Omole was not answered.
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