Femi Otedola … strong dedication to company and philanthropy.
By Udeme Akpan.
M Femi Otedola is our Character of the Year 2019 since of his impressive and strong dedication to not only company, however likewise philanthropy, hence touching lives in lots of favorable methods. Born in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, Nigeria, on November 4, 1962, into the household of the late Sir Michael Otedola, Guv of Lagos State, Otedola saw and made use of company chances in the downstream sector of Nigeria’s petroleum market much earlier than his contemporaries.
Subsequently, he rapidly raised funds to develop Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited. As chairman of Zenon, he invested N15 billion in downstream facilities advancement and obtained storage depots at Ibafon, Apapa in addition to 4 freight vessels, totaling up to a combined overall storage capability of 147,000 metric tonnes in2004
He likewise obtained a fleet of 100 DAF fuel-tanker trucks for N1.4 billion to improve the financial investment, hence allowing Zenon to provide fuel to significant markets, consisting of Dangote Group, Cadbury, Coca-Cola, Nigerian Breweries, MTN, Unilever, Nestle and Guinness.
The operations of the business began to bring in the self-confidence of banks and in March 2007, 10 banks offered $1.5 billion (N1935 billion) syndicated loan to Zenon to allow it develop the biggest premium motor spirit storage center in Africa. A couple of months later on, Zenon obtained a 28.7 percent stake in African Petroleum and invested enormously to end up being the biggest investor in some banks, consisting of Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa, UBA.
In December 2007, he personally obtained another 29.3 percent shares in African Petroleum for N40 billion, which contributed to Zenon’s shares increased Otedola’s overall stake in African Petroleum to 55.3 percent. Undoubtedly, his development triggered African Petroleum’s share rate to soar, increasing the marketplace capitalisation from N36 billion to N217 billion in 6 months.
2 years after, the rate of development was so remarkable that Otedola ended up being the 2nd Nigerian after Aliko Dangote to appear on the Forbes list of African billionaires, with an approximated net worth of $1.2 billion. By December 2010, when African Petroleum altered its name to Specialty Oil Plc, Otedola invested enormously in reorganizing business, with unique attention to brand-new innovations and business governance, which began yielding revenue by2012
Headed by Otedola, Specialty Oil moneyed Amperion Limited, its subsidiary to obtain the 414 MW Geregu Power Plant for $132 million. With enhanced fortunes in Specialty Oil, Otedola was noted once again as one of the wealthiest Africans by Forbes in November2014 In September 2015, Specialty Oil offered 17 percent of its shares to Mercuria Energy Group, a global product trading business. In 2019, Otedola offered Specialty Oil Plc and revealed strategies to concentrate on Geregu Power Plc
. From readily available records, Otedola is emerging among the best benefactors of our times. For example, he developed the Michael Otedola University Scholarship Plan, in 1985 to provide impoverished trainees in Lagos State access to college. In 2005 Zenon contributed N200 million to the plan’s fund. In 2005, Otedola made an individual contribution of N300 million towards the conclusion of the National Ecumenical Centre in Abuja.
In 2007 Otedola and others contributed N200 million to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund in order to deal with criminal activity in Lagos State. Still that year, he contributed N100 million to the Michael Otedola College of Main Education in Noforija, Epe. In 2008 he contributed N80 million to the Professors of Farming, University of Port Harcourt and satisfied his promise of $25,000 to the Super Eagles that bet Algeria in the 2019 African Cup of countries, AFCON.
Otedola promised and redeemed his promise to contribute N1 billion towards financing scholarships for indigent trainees in Lagos State. Previously in 2015, the energy tycoon paid $50,000 for the medical treatment of Christian Chukwu, a previous nationwide gamer and settled the medical expenses of Peter Fregene, another previous global goalkeeper. Prior to then, he had actually contributed $100,000(N36 million) for the treatment of Victor Olaotan, a veteran star. He guaranteed to look after the medical costs of another ailing Nollywood star, Sadiq Daba.
Through his philanthropy organisation, the business person has actually contributed over N2.6 billion to different schools throughout the nation, consisting of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) -N1 billion, University of Ibadan– N300 million, and a N1.2 billion ultra-modern company school to Bayero University (BUK) in Kano. He paid the medical expenses of reggae legend, Majek Fashek, and left everyone gasping when he contributed N5 billion (roughly US$14 million in assistance of Conserve the Kid.
The list of Otedola’s expression of human compassion appears to be unlimited, hence leaving observers questioning his source of motivation.
Nevertheless, he when stated: “God has actually been so kind, the only method I can reveal my appreciation to Him is to utilize my resources to support those who are impoverished. This I mean to do for the rest of my life. In a world filled with disputes, illness, catastrophes and inequality, all of us require to reveal the milk of human compassion, to connect and comfort the ill and provide an assisting hand to the weak.”.
For these and other gestures, Femi Otedola, is certainly our Character of The Year2019