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Femi otedola became the second Nigerian to make it to the Forbes lists of world billionaires in 2009 after Aliko Dangote. Femi Otedola was born on November 4, 1962 in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state in the family of late Pa Michael Otedola the former governor of Lagos state, his father became the governor of Lagos state within the year of 1992 to 1993. His father has one of the largest printing and packaging presses in Lagos in which he was the one managing in the late 1980s.

He obtained his first degree in obafemi awolowo university, ile ife, osun state. We were not too very aware of is lower level of education. Femi Otedola is like every other successful entrepreneur who took business serious at his early stage and started business at very tender age, he started his first company at the age of 8 which he named FEMCO, where he do cutting of nails for his father and friends in which payment will be made to him and he will issue receipt to his customers then. He later graduated to carrying of briefcase which he urge is father to buy for him, so that his instruments for cutting nails can be movable, his friends had to start mocking him with the briefcase, but so unfortunately the mocking was of no effect to him, he was only concerned about doing his business.

He was also the one that trigger the political life of his father, as he was the person that talk to his father about becoming a politician and contesting for the post of governor, in which his father detest and got very angry, because his father is not someone who show interest in  such things, to the extent that his father promised to disown him if he ever say things like that, I am very sure the undying spirit in him towards achieving greatness will never let him keep quiet about the matter to his father, after a lot of appeals to his father, according to Femi his father later agreed on giving politics a trial which earn his father the governor’s seat in the 1992 to 1993. He is a real lover of business and will never condole with anything that will stop the smooth running of his business.

Talking about his entrance into the oil business, it was not what he initially prepared for, he was  a trader in Iponri market supplying printing material, majorly for his father printing press company and also managing the marketing arm of his father company, since the electricity supply in the country was not as that stable by then even till now, for smooth running of business his father’s company depend mostly on using of generator as an alternative means to supply stable power, and to power a generator diesel is of a necessity, his father don’t really have issues getting enough diesel at start, since they have people that are very close to them then in government, but had to face some challenges when there’s a change in power the regular and very affordable supply stopped unlike before, Femi had to make inquiry on how to get enough supply of diesel for the smooth running of his father’s company. He made a large order from one company, while expecting his supply there was a delay that makes his delivery 3days late than the day of agreement, Femi was very displeased and disappointed with the issue and made a decision to start supplying diesel in a much more efficient way, it is very interesting to note that Femi’s advancement in business was as a result of series disappointment.

In 2003 after identifying an opportunity in the fuel retail market, he secured finances and camee up Zenon petroleum and gas ltd. As the owner of the company he invested about 15 billion naira in the year 2004 so as to get necessary equipment needed for the smooth running of the company both land properties, trucks, and so on where put in place. By 2005 Zenon controlled a major share of the Nigerian diesel market, being the supplier of major manufacturers in the country, the like of Dangote group, Coca-Cola, MTN, Nigerian breweries, cadbury, unilever, and Nestles. It was announced in 2007 that about ten banks granted Zenon a syndicated loan of about 193.5billion naira as a working capital to build the largest premium motor spirit storage facility in African. Zenon also invested in financial sector, becoming the largest shareholder in some Nigerian banks the likes of Zenith bank and United African bank UBA, Zenon did not only play out in the diesel line alone but also became an important player in the kerosene market.

Later in the 2007 Zenon acquired a 28.7 per cent stake in African petroleum, one the Nigerian’s largest fuel marketers, Otedola Femi was appointed the chairman and chief executive of African petroleum through the acquisition of a controlling stake in the business. He later acquired a total 29.3 per cent of company 40 billion naira. When this personal holding was merged with that of Zenon, it brought Otedola’s total stake to 55.3 per cent. After his entry to the company African petroleum, the share price rose sharply, increasing the market capitalization from 36billion naira to 217billion naira in just 6months, that’s massive. In 2008, in response to public concern over the availability and pricing of kerosene, African petroleum launched an initiative to saturate the market and sell kerosene at 50 naira per liter from more than 500 service stations in Nigeria.

In 2008-2009 difficult economic situation caused by the slump in world oil price and credit squeeze led African petroleum to record a loss which led to the fall of Odetola from the Forbe’s list that year. In December 2010 there was a rebranding of African petroleum, changing its name to forte oil plc. Odetola carried out a restructuring of the business, focusing on technology and improved governance. Forte oil returned to stable profit by 2012. Forte improved financial position and diversification in power generation resulted in a 1, 321 per cent rise in its share price during 2013. And they continued basking back into their stable state as a company; he was able to make it back to Forbe’s list in November 2014 after dropping off in 2009.

In September forte oil sold 17 per cent of its equity to Swiss community trader Mercuria energy group, giving Forte access to global community market. This deal was thought to have given Femi Otedola an estimated of 200 million dollars.

Femi Otedola doesn’t only invest in the petroleum sectors; he has investment in other sectors such as CentreForce ltd which specialize in finance, investment and trading. He also owns Swift insurance. He as well the president and chief executive of SeaForce shipping company Ltd and was at a point Nigeria’s largest ship owner after extending control over the distribution of diesel product. He was also one time appointed a non-executive director of Transitional Corporation of Nigeria Plc. the post which he held from the period of 2006 and 2011. He has also ventured into numbers of real estate investment, he owns FO properties Ltd. This man just made is himself so flexible; he can easily venture into anything and succeed. He has function very well in different sector that is not excluding the political sector; Otedola Femi has been reported one of the major financier of People’s Democratic Party PDP, severally appointment both official and unofficial, he was just a man.

Femi Otedola is also a lover of mankind, who has made several donations both to school and help people personally, this is a man that really worth been admired, I was reported that he made several donations to MICHEAL OTEDOLA COLLEGE OF PRIMARY EDUCATION, also reported that he gave about 80 million naira to the faculty of agriculture at university of Port Harcourt, and several donation to both organizations and institution so as to improve the state of mankind.

Mr. Femi Otedola is also a family man, having talked about his early life and career will be telling us life about his family, he is married to Nana Otedola, and he has three daughters Oluwunmi, Ifeoluwa, Temi and a son Fewa. Femi Otedola has houses in different cities both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria, the likes of Lagos, Abuja, Abuja, Dubai, New York city etc.

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