We are all wishing you a lovely week ahead. Today the choice of topic is a personal one and one that resonates deeply with Nigerian youths. As a Nigerian youth myself who runs this business its really surprising that this could happen to me with a believed to be trusted organization but I imagine that it is time to speak out and raise awareness to this particular issue. We have heard time and time again that ‘Ideas Rule the World’ so most times a creative person is not desperate but patient but this does not mean you as a corporation should take advantage of the trust. With this story we are trying to expose a sick mentality brewing in the minds of old players in the business world that everything comes FREE. Five Star is a family business you can call us at midnight and submit your visa tomorrow thats how reliable and professional we are but we cannot account for others. We cannot say because we take our clients and collaborators seriously and respect them enough to provide services at any time of the day others can. Others are sometimes in this for the money and service is out of the equation. They begin to treat you like their doing you a favor but like play like play these people are sitting on my 50,000,000 (million naira idea). Its expensive I know but thats why theres negotiation after the agreement phase but once you decline to sign you waive your right to negotiation. Evidence of the Demo can be seen on our Youtube page where we uploaded it after they went quiet again to show other companies that take new projects serious. Again they were spooked and invited another lady to give me verbal assurance.
Here is the full story
You will all have to bare with me as I cannot tell this story without naming names but to protect their privacy I will not upload the business card handed to me by Joshua who quickly changed his profile picture after the meeting to his wife lol forgetting they both gave their name. When people want to scam you they all of sudden remember that they have family. I want my day in court but first I am also human so I will encourage others who have fallen or in the process of falling for scam meetings to poach ideas. When my parents sent me to school they had the notion that one day my Education will serve its purpose and today it has.
As everyone knows we have a knack for innovative ideas that change the way we look at Business. Right from a young age I have always pondered how to revive things and how to generate interest. We were relieved yet surprised when we received a visit from Mutual Benefits Assurance Albert Joshua their Assistant Manager for Travel Channels sent by Adetutu Arusiaka from head office on Ikorodu road. This was a visit we were not prepared for but we obliged and invited them in. Albert started by praising our outstanding efforts in the Nigerian Travel Industry since our inception in 1979. He even spoke about how most of the insurance applications made had Five Star Travels on it. This shows that though Five Star Travels and Mutual Benefits had not known each other from inception we did patronize them and purchase travel insurance packages from them on behalf of our clients. To be honest we were very flattered by the praise and we discussed an innovative way to change the insurance process they currently have and switch to a modern way of doing business. I discussed preparing a proposal to the effect and as a result I was invited there and the to meet with Adetutu Arusiaka and Albert Joshua in their head office. First I was told their office was near Awesome College but it turned out to be Aret Adams house so it was a work around going from place to place. I finally arrived and another lady was present in the meeting with us they welcomed me and I presented the non disclosure agreement to them before sending the proposal.
What I find interesting is on that very day entered all their buildings looking for the venue and I now i believe it was God so there would be more witnesses. I also have the card handed to me by the agent. After the meeting I asked that the agreement be signed they said that they needed to go over it with their legal team. We discussed meeting with the IT Staff to discuss the direction of the project and I left for the day. The next day when I didn’t hear anything I had to take my mum to the Police Station to handle a matter and I used the opportunity to call and tell them that I had gotten advise from the Police stating that their refusal to sign the agreement was a breach in its own since they had heard the overall idea of the project. They under pressure and fearing that I had begun a police report sent me the number and name of the head of their Travel Insurance Adetutu Arusiaka. Who coincidentally promised the proposal and agreement will be returned signed. Her feedback was that their Executive Director didn’t want to sign because it wasn’t up and running. Very shady statement because it is a Non Disclosure agreement and not a contract with terms. We obliged being that they came to us and they assured us that we should be patient. The Ideas presented is valued at NGN 50,000,000. Fearing they were facing the law she gave me the email address of her superior who loved the idea and the proposal was sent to him as well.
Working on blind faith (Please never do that as a creative) we proceeded to create a Demo of the advertising we would use to promote the insurance package we pitched to them to show not only interest but our commitment to the project there was even a talk with a live shot with Okocha but due to Mutuals penchant for cheap they couldn’t afford the services it would take we had to choose an affordable way. We were charging them 5% of the modern fees for 2d Marketing but still they wanted it FREE. We left and started work on the Demo since they wanted something live. They loved the demo and in the meeting was another person their Brand Communications Manager who basically told me all the things we planned to do on our site now would be implemented on their site but our agreement would be signed. To spite me they began to hunt my social media platforms with samples of what I pitched with them so I could see that they actually were just after the concept and not the business. Even the same background music we added to the demo was used we said nothing. All we wanted was our agreement. When we didn’t receive the agreement we decided to bring the story public to expose the true and corrupt minds of insurance companies alike. They didn’t sign the agreement because it stated one key fact the idea was not theirs but property of Five Star Travels. They also prevented us from traveling to secure another project that would have given us significant returns. So our advice to creatives is before anything get them to sign if they can’t sign don’t even spend another five minutes in their presence. Most of these companies are devoid of innovative ways so they exploit the youth. It could be you one day so be very careful and if possible don’t deal with a rogue like companies that has more excuses than milestones.
When I realized they were highly inconsistent in their actions and not returning the agreement I told them I will ask my legal team to look into to it thanks to shows like LA Law and Law and Order I got the idea to get an injunction to prevent future use. This is my next step to fight Goliath. Their response was Guilty to say the least instead of offering words of encouragement and signing the agreement they instead began to discourage and talk about Police and legal procedures being long and only for financial gain by the institutions. It will take a while that this is Nigeria and not America where I schooled. Mind you they had no idea I grew up in Nigeria and only went to America for my College Education so I am aware of how difficult justice is but not that it fails. They wanted to reduce our involvement from the people who brought them the whole idea to the people who were just shooting their Ad imagine!
The process has started and Justice will be done in the near future I just want the National Insurance Commission to take note that they are not finding clever ways to exploit other business now and as long as it takes Justice will prevail in this case.
I forgot to add we bought the software of the Demo we created and never billed them but never again will we work on blind trust. (You shouldn’t too) never again will we accept a visitor without signing a Non Disclosure Agreement. Never again will we purchase Travel Insurance on behalf of our clients from them.
What we believe is Mutual Benefits doesn’t want to admit that the idea came from us but we have solid witnesses that can attest to this particularly those who saw the Manager walk away from our Premises.
Tutu and Joshua have dreams of owning their own insurance companies one day and we can only wish them luck because if the foundation is not straight there will be no increase, there will be no profit until Justice is done on this matter if their not interested let them return our Non Confidentiality agreement signed and our proposal we want to move to another capable company one day and prevent them from ever trying to execute the idea.