Motivational Personality of the Week- Femi Otedola

Femi Otedola is a Nigerian businessman, entrepreneur, billionaire, and philanthropist who was born on 4 November 1962 in Ibadan, Oyo State, into the family of the Late Sir Michael Otedola, a one-time Governor of Lagos State between 1992 and 1993. He is the Chairman of Forte Oil Plc., an importer of fuel products, the founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, and the owner of a number of other businesses across shipping, real estate, finance and power generation.

  1. Upon obtaining a degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, between 1980 and 1985, Femi Otedola took charge of the marketing of his family’s printing press. In 1994, after consolidating his father’s businesses, he diversified and set up his own company, Centreforce Limited, specializing in finance, investment and trading, before going on to trade petroleum products.
  2. In 2003, Otedola spotted an opportunity in the fuel retail market and then secured the finance to take advantage of it. This led to the establishment of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, a petroleum products marketing and distribution company.
  3. Later in 2004, he invested N15 billion in the downstream infrastructure development and acquired storage depots at Ibafon, Apapa, as well as four cargo vessels. In the same year, he acquired a fleet of 100 DAF fuel-tanker trucks for N4 billion.
  4. By 2005, Zenon had become a major player in the Nigerian diesel market, supplying fuel to most of the major manufacturers in the country including Dangote Group, Cadbury, Coca-Cola, Nigerian Breweries, MTN, Unilever, Nestle and Guinness.
  5. In 2007, Otedola was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive of Africa Petroleum after he acquired a controlling stake in the business. Africa Petroleum recorded losses in 2009 due to the slump in world oil prices and credit squeeze. In December 2010, however, Africa Petroleum rebranded, changing its name to Forte Oil PLC. Otedola carried out a restructuring of the business, focusing on technology and improved corporate governance, that made it return to profit in 2012.
  6. In March 2009 Otedola became the second Nigerian after Aliko Dangote to appear on the Forbes list of dollar-denominated billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion. 
  7. In 2013, as part of the Federal Government’s push to liberalize Nigeria’s ailing power sector, Otedola financed 57% of Forte Oil subsidiary Amperion Ltd, which acquired the 414 MW Geregu Power Plant for $132 million.
  8. In September 2015, Forte Oil sold 17% of its equity to Swiss commodity trader Mercuria Energy Group, giving Forte access to global commodity markets. The deal was thought to have given Otedola an estimated $200 million.
  9. He has served as a member of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) since 2004 and was appointed to a committee tasked with developing commercial relations with South Africa in the same year. In 2011, Femi Otedola was appointed by erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan to Nigeria’s National Economic Management Team.
  10. Femi Otedola, the Chairman of Forte Oil PLC, is valued to be worth $2.3 billion according to the latest release by Forbes.
  11. He is married to his wife, Nana, and they have four beautiful children.

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