Virtually everything you would like to know about the popular Nigeria-based oil and gas mogul, entrepreneur, philanthropist who lacked early years formal education is here.
Alhaji Mohammed Indimi was born on 12th August 1947 to Alhaji Mamman Kurundu and wife into the Alhaji Kurundu family in the Northern part of Nigeria, Maiduguri, Borno State. As expected, Mohammed grew up with his parents. His father was a successful trader of animal hides and skins.
Young Mohammed didn’t have the opportunity to have a western education because his father couldn’t afford it. This, however, did not limit Mohammed but rather pushed him to be more and led him to venture into business. In one of his interviews with Premium Times, He says “…as an unlettered person by western standards, I still supervise people with Masters and PhDs who are working in my organization. No teacher of western education can say he or she had taught me how to pronounce the alphabet ‘A’ in my life.”
Due to his father’s inability to give him formal education, he joined hands with his father in trading animal hide and skins until he mastered the trade. He left his father to become independent and set up his own business of some sort. He was so hardworking, managed the business very well that he became one of the reputable traders in the region.
He soon expanded and ventured into clothes selling. This fell into the period of the Biafra war and as such gettings, his good imported into the country became so difficult. Mohammed deployed his resilience and never-giving-up spirit to cross the border and got his goods into the country again.
One thing is captivating about Mohammed and also worthy of note, he used every occurrence of a problem as an opportunity to provide a solution and also make a profit which is the best way to be an entrepreneur.
In 1973, there was flour famine in Maiduguri where Mohammed and family resides. The State Government was aware of the situation and became an importer of flour to be sold at a very reduced cost to the locality.
Meanwhile, Sokoto state, one of the northern and nearby states had excess flour. Mohammed, therefore, contacted the Chief Commercial Officer of the Ministry of Commerce for Sokoto State and contracted the importation of flour into Maiduguri. He bought in very large quantities, transported to Maiduguri, sold and made impressive profits from the transaction.
In 1979, during the former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, there was an ongoing project in South Chad “Construction of a pumping station built with canals from Lake Chad”. Shortly before it was to be commissioned, it was discovered that the water had pulled back and there rose an urgent need for industrial water pumps. Mohammed seized the opportunity to source water pumps and supplied them to aid the completion of the project. After it was done, he went ahead to monopolize the business so no one could venture into this kind of business.
This singular act opened him up to a large goldmine that was birthed after the process. Within six years, he built his first pump factory in Maiduguri. The factory flourished and yielded graceful dividends and profits in his words.
In 1990, though still in the water pump business, he expanded his territory into the oil and gas industry. He was granted an oil exploration license by the then Nigerian President, General Ibrahim Babangida. He founded Oriental Energy Resources. Oriental Energy Resources came into existence with a license to acquire a minimum of 1000km seismic data and the opportunity to drill at least three exploratory well. This business soon grew big to date and currently has three assets under development offshore in Nigeria.
In a bid to effectively spread his wings to others, he established the Mohammed Indimi Foundation with an objective to lift individuals and families in the Northern part of Nigeria out of hunger, illiteracy, and poverty. Some of the gestures extended through the foundation include:
– He sponsored some northerners to study at the Internal African University of Sudan.
– Supported and empower people affected by the Boko Haram Insurgency in the North by providing comfortable shelter, food, clothing, and healthcare.
– Donated multimillion dollars to Lynn University in the USA.
– Built a 100unit multimillion naira residential estate in Enwang.
– Awarded over 470 scholarships in Akwa Ibom state.
– Created a sponsorship program for the University of Uyo’s Department of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering.
Awards and Recognitions
Mohammed has earned good awards and recognition equal to the people with the tag ‘educated/literate’ to become one of the most successful businessmen in Africa.
– Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2012
– Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Lynn University, Florida, 2013
– The richest man in Africa from Forbes, 2015
– Vanguard Businessman of the year, 2017
– Honourary Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Uyo, 2017
– Honourary Doctorate in Management Science from Nigeria Defense Academy, 2018
Indeed, nothing can limit you except yourself. Mohammed has proven over time that one can achieve excellence, make positive impacts and acquire wealth with or without formal education.