Billionaire mogul Femi Otedola – who started his oil business in the mid-90s with Zenon Petroleum and Gas and later acquired majority shares in AP Plc which transformed to Forte Oil – left the oil giant today (Wednesday, June 19) to begin a new chapter.The chairman of Forte Oil this afternoon confirmed the new beginning.
Here are 10 noteworthy details about the billionaire and his businesses:
1.The announcement was made by the billionaire around 2 pm. Not through a press statement by his aides or corporate affairs department. He wrote on Instagram:
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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 🙏🏿 …F.Ote💲
2.He’s not retiring and going on an endless cruise around the world, lazing in the sun or ensconced in the best hotels. He’s concentrating on his power business, Geregu Power Plant as executive chairman. His new profile on his Instagram page says It all: entrepreneur and philanthropist, executive chairman of Geregu Power Plc (with the company’s website – www.geregupowerplc.org.ng – attached for good measure)
3.The stylish billionaire made the announcement of his divestment from London where he’s enjoying a 6-week summer vacation which will see him stopping over in a few countries.
4. The gentleman who invested in Forte Oil Plc and taking over the reins is Lagos based businessman Abdulwasiu Sowami of Prudent Energy and Services Ltd. He reportedly lives in Ogba, Ikeja area of Lagos.
5. The name Forte Oil won’t disappear from the stations across the country and beyond soon. There’s an understanding to leverage on the brand’s goodwill and reach for many months to come.
6. The likeable mogul – who enjoys adorning white brocade buba and sokoto as official garb, topped with agbada and cap for social events in Nigeria and luxe and elegant Tom Ford pieces while abroad – will still operate from his showplace office on Walter Carrington on Victoria Island, Lagos.
7. Some trusted staffers and top aides of the largehearted Odoragusin, Epe, Lagos indigene are still with him. For one, Akin Akinfenwa who joined Forte Oil from Otedola’s London office in 2010 is still standing by him in this venture.
8. The company founded on December 11, 1964, as British Petroleum metamorphosed into African Petroleum which was acquired by the businessman in 2007 and re-branded in 2010 as Forte Oil Plc.
9. The oil business changed the fortunes of the mogul forever, turning him into a dollar billionaire. But at a point, he lost almost everything, owing banks about N200 billion. His miraculous recovery has been a tale many can’t get tired of repeating.
10. One of the turning points was starting afresh by leaving the management of the company to younger hands, sacking almost all the staffers including family members – and seeking fresh funds from dependable bankers who believed in him.And gradually, he returned to his bona fide billion status.