A business Guru who serves humanity as a great Philanthropist

The current executive chairman of Geregu Power PLC.

BACKGROUND

Otedola is also the founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, and the owner of a number of other businesses across shipping, real estate, and finance. He has recently invested in power generation as part of the liberalization of the sector in Nigeria. Otedola was born in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, southwest Nigeria, into the family of the late Sir Michael Otedola, Governor of Lagos State from 1992 to 1993.

Femi Otedola’s first daughter, Tolani, is a singer. She was born to Otedola and his former lover, Olayinka Odukoya. Later, Femi married Nana Otedola and had two more daughters—Florence Ifeoluwa and Elizabeth Temi—and a son, Fewa. Florence Otedola, aka DJ Cuppy, is a DJ and music producer, as well as a tourism ambassador for Nigeria. Her younger sister, Temi, is an actress, a style blogger, and an aspiring designer. Otedola has homes in Lagos, Abuja, Dubai, London, and New York City.

In 2003, having identified an opportunity in Femi Otedola (born 4 November 1962), a Nigerian businessman and philanthropist. He is the former chairman of Forte Oil PLC and the fuel retail market. Otedola secured the finance to set up Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, a petroleum products marketing and distribution company.

As owner and chairman of Zenon, in 2004, he invested N15 billion in downstream infrastructure development and acquired storage depots at Ibafon, Apapa, as well as four cargo vessels, amounting to a combined total storage capacity of 147,000 metric tonnes. The same year, he acquired a fleet of 100 DAF fuel-tanker trucks for N1.4 billion.

By 2005, Zenon controlled a major share of 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.

In March 2007, it was announced that ten banks had approved a syndicated loan of US$1.5 billion (N193.5 billion) to Zenon as working capital to build the largest premium motor spirit storage facility in Africa. Later that year, Zenon acquired a 28.7 percent stake in African Petroleum, one of Nigeria’s largest fuel marketers. Zenon also invested across the financial sector, becoming the largest shareholder in a number of Nigerian banks, including Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA). In addition to diesel, Zenon also became an important player in the kerosene market.

In 2012, Zenon was among a number of companies named in a report into an alleged fuel subsidy scam. According to the report, Zenon owed the government $1.4 million. It was further reported that Farouk Lawan, the Nigerian legislator who compiled the report, had apparently been filmed collecting $500,000 of a supposed total sum of $3 million from Femi Otedola to remove Zenon from the list. It subsequently emerged that Otedola had previously reported Lawan’s harassment and demands for bribes to the State Security Services, who had orchestrated a sting operation. Lawan was charged with corruption in February 2013.

In 2007, Otedola was appointed chairman and chief executive of Africa Petroleum through the acquisition of a controlling stake in the business. In December that year, he personally acquired a further 29.3 percent of the company for N40 billion. A merger of this personal holding with Zenon’s brought Otedola’s total stake to 55.3 percent.

Following Otedola’s entry into the company, African Petroleum’s share price rose sharply, increasing the market capitalization from N36 billion to N217 billion in six months. In 2008, in response to public concerns over the availability and pricing of kerosene, African Petroleum launched an initiative to saturate the market and sell fuel at N50 per litre from more than 500 service stations across Nigeria.

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. In October 2009, Otedola announced a move to upgrade African Petroleum’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage terminals in Lagos, Kano, and Port Harcourt. Difficult economic conditions caused by the slump in world oil prices and credit squeeze of 2008–09 led African Petroleum to record a loss in 2009.

In December 2010, African Petroleum rebranded, changing its name to Forte Oil PLC. Otedola carried out a restructuring of the business, focusing on technology and improved corporate governance. Forte Oil returned to profit in 2012.

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.

Forte’s improved financial position and diversification into power generation resulted in a 1,321 percent rise in its share price during 2013. The first half of 2014 saw the company’s pre-tax profit more than double year-on-year to 4.19 billion naira ($25.7 million). Revenue growth for the whole year was 33 percent. In November 2014, Otedola returned to the Forbes rich list having dropped off it following the fall in share price during 2009.

In September 2015, Forte Oil sold 17 percent 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. In 2019, Femi Otedola sold Forte Oil Plc and announced plans to change focus from oil to power with his company, Geregu Power Plc.

In 1994, Otedola established CentreForce Ltd, specializing in finance, investments, and trading. Otedola is also the owner of Swift Insurance.

Otedola is chief executive and president of SeaForce Shipping Company Ltd and was at one point Nigeria’s largest ship owner after extending control over the distribution of diesel products. One of his ships, a flat-bottomed bunker vessel with a storage capacity of 16,000 metric tonnes, was the first of its kind in Africa.

In January 2006, Otedola was appointed a non-executive director of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, a multi-sectoral conglomerate established in 2004 by then-President Olusegun Obasanjo to respond to market opportunities requiring heavy capital investment in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa. He held this post until February 2011.

Otedola has made a number of real estate investments, including a N2.3 billion acquisition in February 2007 by Zenon of Stallion House in Victoria Island in Lagos, from the Federal Government. The following month he was appointed chairman of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja and tasked with driving its expansion and upgrade to a seven-star facility. He is the owner of FO Properties Ltd. Otedola has been reported to be a financier of the People’s Democratic Party and is said to have contributed N100 million to President Obasanjo’s re-election expenses in 2003. He was a close ally of President Goodluck Jonathan. He has served as a member of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) since 2004, and the same year was appointed to a committee tasked with developing commercial relations with South Africa. In 2011, Femi Otedola was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan to Nigeria’s National Economic Management Team.

In 2020, Forte Oil rebranded to Adrova PLC.

Currently, as of October 2021, he was announced as the single largest shareholder (5.07%) of First Bank PLC.

Otedola has made several donations to the Michael Otedola University Scholarship Scheme, which was established in 1985 to give underprivileged students in Lagos State access to higher education. In 2005 Zenon donated N200 million to the scheme’s fund. Since its inception, the scheme has benefited more than 1,000 students.

In 2005, Otedola made a N300 million personal donation to the completion of the National Ecumenical Centre—Nigeria’s primary place of Christian worship—in Abuja. In 2007, he was among a group of donors who gave N200 million to the State Security Trust Fund in a drive to reduce crime in Lagos State. Later that year he donated N100 million to the Otedola College of Primary Education in Noforija, Epe. In 2008, he donated N80 million to the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Port Harcourt. Femi Otedola fulfilled his pledge of 25,000 dollars to the Super Eagles in the match against Algeria in the 2019 AFCON


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