One of the richest men in Africa, Femi Otedola who is the Chief Executive Officer of Forte Oil, Plc has had his downs but never gave up.
He was born on the 4th of November, 1962 to Mr Michael Otedola the former governor of Lagos state who served the state between 1992 and 1993 and Lady Doja in the popular city of Ibadan. He had his first degree in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile – Ife. He started his career right from his house in the 1980s where he worked as the marketing personnel for his family’s printing business before he went into oil and gas.
He is married to Nana Odetola who still looks very young and beautiful even at her age. She is the owner and CEO of Garment Care, a dry cleaning enterprise and they both have three daughters and a son. His daughter Ifeoluwa is a popular disc jockey with the moniker ‘DJ Cuppy, an international DJ and tourist ambassador for Nigeria. She was the official disc jockey during the inauguration of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. His daughter Temi is into fashion designing and blogging.
Through hard work and consistency, he has been able to build a wealthy empire through his business although there were challenges on his way but he did not limit himself and has been able to pull himself through to his present state. There was a time he lost a huge amount of money when oil prices suddenly declined. He was not limited by that.
In 1994, he started Centre Force Limited which specialized in investment, finance and trading. He declared himself in the market of the Nigeria oil and gas. This led him to establish Zenon Petroleum Oil and Gas Limited in 2003 which is largely involved in the production, marketing and in the distribution of petroleum and petroleum products.
In 2004, Zenon invested N$16.4 billion in infrastructure development and acquired a storage depot in Apapa and Ibafon. The company has its own storage depots and four cargo vessels, which he named three of it after his father, mother and his wife. The first he called MT Sir Micheal, the second he called MT Lady Doja and the third one MT Nana while the last one he named Zenon conquest. In 2005, it became the leading fuel supplier for companies such as Guinness, Coca Cola, Nestlé, MTN, Unilever, Breweries and Dangote Groups.
He was appointed the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of African Petroleum Limited because of Zenon’s shares in African Petroleum. He acquired 29.3% share of African Petroleum Limited with the additional 28.7% share he made earlier that earned him the post of the Chairman. This made him the largest shareholder of African Petroleum Limited, which was later changed to Forte Oil PLC with a lot of improvement that was pioneered by Femi Otedola.
Recently, he announced that the interest in his company, Forte oil has been sold to Prudent Energy and he is now prepared to focus on Nigeria’s power sector. He wished his successor the best and encouraged them to build on the legacy that has been laid since its establishment.
He is the president of SeaForce Shipping Company Limited and also a major shareholder in Zenith and United Bank of Africa. He’s a big-time investor who is acquiring properties in a different part of the world. He has homes in London, New York City, Lagos, Dubai and Abuja.
Femi Otedola made a donation towards the completion of the Numerical Ecumenical Centre in 2005. He also gave to Micheal Odetola’s University scheme which had a positive impact in a good number of students. He gave #200 million to the State Security Trust Fund in 2007 in a bid to ensure a crime-free Lagos. Apart from supporting University education, Femi also gave out to the progress of Odetola College of Primary Education.
He donated #80 million to the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Port – Harcourt in 2008. In 2018, he was the chief launcher at Augustine University Fundraising and Founders Day where he pledged to build a fully furnished Faculty of Engineering worth #500m for the University.
He also gave the sum of 1 Billion Naira to the COVID-19 Relief fund for Nigeria.
He has several companies which include Swift Insurance, Forte Oil, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Centre Force Limited, Gegeru Power Plc among others.
Due to his achievement, he has been able to have several appointments both in the country and outside the country. Some of which includes, South Africa commercial relationship develop committee member in 2004, Non-executive director of Transnational Corporation of Nig. Plc (2006-20ii) by Obasanjo. Chairman, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja (2007) and the Nigerians National Economic where he was a management team member in 20ii. He was also a member of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC)
His net worth as at 2020 has been estimated to be $3.60 billion