Nigeria’s Richest Men
Molade Alexander Okoya-Thomas FCNA, MFR, OFR, KSS
Prince Molade Alexander Okoya-Thomas, industrialist and philanthropist, was born on June 8, 1935, in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria into the family of Late Hussam Okoya-Thomas. His mother is Late Suwebat Okoya-Thomas.
Prince Molade was a former chairman of CFAO Nigeria Limited, an industrial conglomerate based in Lagos which engages the trading of automobiles, building materials, technical equipment, electrical equipment, and agricultural equipment wholesale.
He had his elementary education at Princess School in Lagos, from 1942 to 1946 and thereafter proceeded to Baptist Academy, Lagos for his secondary school education and graduated the Academy as the best student, earning a place for himself on the school’s Honors Board.
From Baptist Academy, he proceeded to study accountancy at Balham and Tooting College of Commerce in England from 1956 to 1959, and later had a further training in Accountancy at Columbia University in New York City, USA in 1981. He returned to Nigeria on completing his studies in 1959 and was employed as an accountant by CFAO, a French trading and manufacturing conglomerate, following in his father’s footsteps (his father had worked with the company for 52 years.
As a philanthropist and sports enthusiast, he solely sponsored the popular annual Asoju Oba Table Tennis Championship in Lagos for more than forty years. He was conferred with the Nigerian national honor of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic, and also received the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (the highest national honor given by the French to a foreigner). He also served as vice-chairman of Lagos State Sports Council, the President, Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, and was the Chairman for 3rd All-Africa Games Appeal Fund Committee. He chaired the National Appeal Fund for Sports Development and chairman Sports Trust Fund. In 2009, he built and donated a modern sports hall for students and staff of the Lagos State University. He was also a front member of the fund raising committee for the construction of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos.
Molade served in many capacities in various sectors of the economy. He served as the director of Transcap Nigeria Limited. He was also a director with Niger Motors Industries Limited, and chairman of Studio Press Nigeria Limited. He rose to become the chairman of CFAO Nigeria Limited in 1987.
Molade was also the chairman of several other business concerns which included: Anchoria Investment and Securities Limited, Oktom Investment Limited, CICA (Nigeria) Limited, Itochu Nigeria Limited, and Chiyoda Nigeria Limited. He was the director of NFI Insurance Company Plc as well as Gateway Bank Plc. He contributed in great measure to the economic development of his home country Nigeria.
He also played his part in the development of his hometown, Lagos, serving in numerous capacities and committees including the Lagos City Council, Property Corporation and served as the chairman, Board of Trustees Glover Memorial Hall and Tom Jones Hall, Lagos.
- Princess School
- Baptist Academy
- Balham and Tooting College of Commerce
- Columbia University
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