By Adewale Sanyaolu, Energy Correspondent
Mega businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola is in love with challenges. The reason, some have suggested, might be because he has the secret key to overcoming any challenge that comes his way, no matter how daunting. Indeed, the story of Corporate Nigeria would not be complete without a prominent mention of Otedola, a former Chairman of Forte Oil Plc.
In June last year, Otedola completed the sale of his 75 per cent stake in Forte Oil. The sale was finalised more than three years after the firm sold 17 per cent of its equity to a Swiss oil trading firm. In a message on his twitter handle, the Forte Oil boss said the process had been completed and he was prepared to focus on his investment in the power sector.
He said: “A few years ago, my team and I embarked on an arduous task of transforming a moribund petroleum marketing business, African Petroleum Plc (formerly British Petroleum) into Forte Oil Plc, a leading integrated solutions provider with solid footprints in downstream petroleum marketing, upstream services and power generation and one in which we built intrinsic value to the benefits of our shareholders.
“In line with my principle of business focus, we have divested from our marketing and upstream businesses and shall, from now on, focus and consolidate on the gains of our power generation business, Geregu Power Plc. We wish our successors the very best and urge them to build on our legacies which have been established since 1964.”
Otedola’s net worth and success stem from hard work, consistency and determination. He has also had a fair share of business and personal challenges but never gave up.
Femi Otedola was born on November 4, 1962 to Michael Otedola, one-time Lagos State governor who served from 1992 to 1993, and Lady Doja in Ibadan. He had his first degree at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Otedola has engaged in acts of giving, extending humanitarian services to the less privileged. Among his numerous philanthropic gestures is the donation towards the completion of the National Ecumenical Centre in 2005. He also donates to Michael Otedola’s University scheme, which has helped more than 1,000 students.
In a bid to ensure a crime free Lagos, Otedola gave a N200 million donation to the State Security Trust Fund in 2007. He extended his donation to Otedola College of Primary Education by giving the school N100million in 2007. The Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Port-Harcourt was also a beneficiary of Femi Otedola’s philanthropy when he donated N80million to the faculty.
In 2018, Femi Otedola, who was the chief launcher at Augustine University Fundraising and Founders day, pledged to build a fully furnished Faculty of Engineering worth N500 million for the University. In the last quarter of last year, Otedola donated N5 billion (approximately $14 million) to the Save the Children Fund through his daughter, DJ Cuppy’s Foundation, to support various intervention programmes for destitute children in the North-East region.