Monday, March 16, 2009

And his name is Femi Otedola.

Pius Utomi/AFP/Getty Images

At 601 on the Forbes list of billionaires, Otedola is the second Nigerian to be declared one of the world's richest people. Otedola is the son of a former politician who now controls the supply of diesel in Nigeria. For those who know, diesel is practically more important than oil as it is used to fuel the generators that have become a key component of power supply due to Nigeria's unreliable and even non-existent electricity system. As the CEO of Zenon Petroleum and gas, Otedola also plays a significant role in Nigeria's oil industry.

Unfortunately, Otedola has publicly accused his fellow Nigerian 'Billionaire Boy', Aliko Dangote, of reneging on a 'gentleman's agreement', and as such, retaliated with attempts at a hostile corporate takeover of one of Dangote's many companies. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see more Nigerians join the ranks of other international billionaires as this will encourage others to not only work hard, but keep their monies transparent as Forbes will not list billionaires that stole money from public coffers or like late dictator Sani Abacha.

Related Articles of Interest:
- Dangote: Welcome To The Billionaire Boys Club
- Yar'Adua and the Pay Cut Issue
- How To Become A Millionaire
- Did Yar'Adua Lift The Cement Ban For the People's Interest
- Being Cynical About Cement, Nigeria & The IFC

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15 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

Danny Bagucci said...

hmmm... wonder if these 'stakeholders'have a hand in keeping the Power Industry comatose?

joicee said...

Good for him ...hopefully we will have more billionaires spring out from Nigeria

BrownSugar said...

Kudos Femi! And congratulation, SOlomonsydelle on ur nominations!!!


@ Danny: It would be unfair for me to speculate without evidence, but any reasonable person would. Besides, any hardworking billionaire would do their best to ensure that the conditions remain ripe for their company to succeed, no?

But, this is all speculation, of course...

@ Joicee: More billionaires for Nigeria could be a good thing, especially if they reinvest their money in the country. What I really want are simply more middle class individuals and families. Now, that will really take Nigeria a long way. How you dey?

@ BrownSugar: Long time no see. How body? Yes, congrats to Otedola and thanks! Make sure you vote for me if you can.

naijagirl said...

if the billionaires cover their behind well....perhaps, forbes will list their name
its good to see a Nigerian in the list. I always read until 20 and when i see no african, i mumble

Femi B said...

you think as he is making most of his money solely from diesel, he might also not want constant power thereby trying to sabotage all means to getting power/light

N.I.M.M.O said...

@FemiB: Just as Dangote and his Lebanese cohorts killed off Nigerian Railways in the 80s/90s so also Otedola and his Indian generator importing friends killed off NEPA/PHCN. These are not rumours.

In fairness to them however, they really didn't commit the murders - corruption, gross administrative incompetence at all levels and government policy flip-flops had already taken care of that - they just nailed the coffins.

The young men took some serious risks investing in their industries - arguably with a lot of inside help. So maybe they gave the final push but still they took the risks.

The Railways was almost comatose when Dangote brought in his fleet of haulage trucks and NNPC was already in its death throes (perpetual turn-around-maintenance and fuel importation) when Otedola founded ZENON.

Interestingly, they both wanted to buy the NNPC Port Harcourt Refinery and I hear Dangote is in the running to buy NEPA.

If they can run it better than it presently is, sincerely I will say why not?

Anonymous said...

is it possible he is one of the MAIN factors of the power shortage in nigeria ?

Why dont you do an article on this ?
lol !


N.I.M.M.O said...

However, if you look just across to NITEL and you see all the dialectical acrobatics that TRANSCORP is performing, you will wonder.

When we deliberately run legacy corporations to the ground in order to buy them on the cheap, it comes back to bite us in the ass.

Did I hear you say 'Karma is a bitch'?

joicee said...

@ Solomonsydelle
I am fine oh!thanks
Totally agree... up until recently a middle class in Nigeria was nonexistent.

We want a Nigeria, where at least everyone has got a shot.

Beauty said...

... For Alhaji Dangote whose initial offerings of his sugar and flour companies were oversubscribed in 2007, stocks in both have fallen nearly 70% since last February. Using his role as committee member on government economic advisory board to encourage federal government to rescue the nation's capital markets.

Before we get carried away with the toxic billionaires, perhaps we should take time to re-visit this ..."But now, most Nigerians are hypocrites, they see somebody doing something wrong, they laugh with him, they celebrate him, he doesn´t know that he is doing something wrong. That is why I said that lack of integrity is deeper than we think" - Justice Emmanuel Olayinka Ayoola.

There are stories from others about how wealth is made in Nigeria but are there more tales? The truth is not out there but within us. Why should one man in Nigeria be worth billions while 70% live in extreme poverty? So we need more billionaires? I wonder whose money it is in the first place.

9ja_Kuti said...

billionaire. oh, is he?

Living Safe and Green in Nigeria said...

I hope that he takes some of that money and addresses the safety issues in his Zenon House office in Victoria Island. The last time I went there, I had all sorts of concerns starting from the elevators.

brownskinaijachic said...

a billionaire frm nigeria. hmm interesting....

baraal said...

I have to admit, i didn't expect another Nigerian billionaire so soon. It's like they've started unleashing them from somewhere. It is kinda cool though (if the rumours aren't true).

Is it just me or does this man strongly resemble a Nigerian actor? I'm thinking of the guy who starred opposite Bimbo Akintola in Senseless but i don't know his name. His face just seems familiar.

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