Nigeria’s Richest List
Femi Otedola’s Biography
Son to a former Lagos State governor, Sir Michael Otedola, Femi Otedola was born in 1967, at Epe, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria. He is the founder and CEO of Forte Oil PLC. He is also the president and CEO of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, a petroleum products marketing and distribution company, which supplies most of Nigeria’s biggest companies’ fuel needs. Additionally, he is the founder of Atlas Shipping Agency, Swift Insurance, FO Transport, FO Properties Limited, and Seaforce Shipping Company Ltd.
Otedola isn’t exactly your typical grass-to-grace story, considering his background. He ran the marketing for his family’s printing press before venturing into trading petroleum products in the late ‘80s.
In 2004, he invested over N15 billion in downstream infrastructure development and acquired storage depots at Ibafon in Apapa as well as four cargo vessels, totaling a combined storage capacity of 147,000 metric tonnes in Zenon petroleum and Gas Limited. Later that same year, he acquired a fleet of 100 DAF fuel-tanker trucks for N1.4 billion. By 2005, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited was said to be controlling a major share of Nigeria’s diesel market, supplying fuel to most of the most manufacturers in the country, including the Dangote Group, MTN Nigeria, Cadbury, Coca Cola, Nigerian Breweries, Unilever, Nestle and Guinness, among others.
In March 2007, 10 banks approved a syndicated loan to the tune of US$1.5 billion to Otedola’s Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited as working capital to build the largest PMS storage facility in Africa. Later in the same year, Zenon again acquired a 28.7% stake in African Petroleum (AP), one of Nigeria’s largest fuel marketers at the time. Zenon also invested across the financial sector, becoming the largest shareholder in quite a number of top Nigerian banks, which includes heavyweights like Zenith Bank and UBA. Zenon also expanded into the kerosene market.
Femi Otedola was appointed chairman and CEO of Africa Petroleum in 2007, through his acquisition of a controlling stake in the company. Late in December that year, he acquired a further 29.3% of the company for approximately 40 billion naira.
Femi Otedola became the second Nigerian to appear on the Forbes’ list of dollar-denominated billionaires, after business mogul, Aliko Dangote, with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion in March of 2009.
In December of 2010, his African Petroleum rebranded, changing name to Forte Oil Plc. He then carried out a restructuring of the company with focus on technology and the need to improve corporate governance.
Following the Federal Government’s initiative to liberalise Nigeria’s power sector in 2013, Femi Otedola financed 57% of Forte Oil subsidiary, Amperion Ltd to acquire the 414 megawatts Geregu Power Plant for 132 million dollars.
He currently serves as the chief executive officer and president of SeaForce Shipping Company Ltd. Also, he was at some point Nigeria’s largest ship owner after he extended control over diesel products distribution.
He was listed as the 16th richest man in Africa in 2015 and the 3rd richest man in Nigeria in 2016 by Forbes.
Education: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife
Net worth: $1.1 Billion (June 13, 2016)
Foundation or organization founded: Forte Oil PLC