Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola has distanced himself from media reports that he’s the new board chairman of FBN Holdings Limited, the parent company of First Bank after he recently acquired more shares in the conglomerate.
Otedola, the chairman of Geregu Energy Group, had acquired an additional 7.57% shares in FBN Holdings after investing over N44.8 billion in the company, making him the largest shareholder.
Otedola says he’s not interested in becoming the board chairman of FBN Holdings or First Bank. According to him, all he desired was to maximize the investment opportunities in the companies.
“I am simply an investor who saw an opportunity in the financial institution and decided to take advantage of it through the investment I have made. My interest, contrary to speculations, is not to become chairman of the bank or its Holdco. Moreover, I am in semi-retirement,” Otedola stated at a charity event organized by Save the children, the second largest charity in the world after UNICEF.
The veteran investor noted that identifying opportunities is his hallmark, and his investment move in FBN Holdings doesn’t necessarily have to confer on him the board chairmanship position.
Otedola added that “being the single largest shareholder doesn’t mean I must necessarily hold a position in the bank. I believe in allowing competent people to run institutions in a professional manner and to the benefit of all the stakeholders.
“That is an institution with a world-class corporate governance structure and strong performing management that creates value and guarantees returns in the form of dividends and capital appreciation.”
Otedola as ‘Save the Children’ VP
In recognition of his philanthropic deeds, Save the Children appointed Otedola as the group’s vice president.
The charity organization commends Otedola for his unwavering support toward the cause.
“Mr Femi Otedola’s addition to the Vice Presidents group is a testament to his long-standing support to the organization. Since 2019, Mr Femi Otedola has supported Save the Children’s programs to prevent and treat malnutrition and advocated for access to quality education for Nigerian children, impacting over 6000 children in the states of Adamawa, Borno, and Katsina”.
“In November 2019, Mr Otedola hosted a Gala in Abuja where he made a personal donation of N5 billion,” the group wrote in a statement.