Billionaire oil mogul Abdulwasiu Sowami has arguably mastered the skill of hitting right at the bull’s eyes. He was thrust into the spotlight when in 2018 his oil firm, Prudent Energy, acquired humongous shares in the then Forte Oil Plc used to be owned by energy tycoon, Femi Otedola.
The Epe-born billionaire had divested and sold his 75 per cent direct and indirect shareholdings in the oil firm to Sowami’s Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited in a transaction reportedly worth N65 billion. After succeeded in buying off Otedola’s prime investment in Forte Oil, now Ardova Plc, Sowami put all his skills into play to weather the storm and focus on the next phase of Ardova’s growth —increasing volumes, diversifying business operations, widening distribution networks and extracting potential synergies with partners.
Ever since, it has been a rollercoaster for the Ogun State-born oilman. In its 2021 financial statement, Ardova Plc posted N3.9 billion loss in the year compared with a N1.9 billion profit recorded in 2020. The losses recorded, according to some industry watchers, were blamed on Ardova’s subsidiary, Axles & Cartage, a transport and haulage services business which commenced operations in August 2020 as well as its recent mega acquisition of Enyo Retail —a technologically driven energy firm with billionaire magnate Tunde Folawiyo as chairman.
Amidst all these were some distracting arbitrations in London and Lagos, yet, 52-year old Sowami —who has spent over 20 years in the oil and gas industry and highly revered among his peers, remains focused. He is already leading Ardova into a sustainable business based on sound corporate governance principles and best ethical standards, while the publicly quoted firm has continued to generate robust cash flows that are in excess of its requirements to fulfill all commitments to counterparties.