5 Power Players in Femi Otedola's Network
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African CEOs - April 18, 2023

5 Power Players in Femi Otedola’s Network

Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola’s vast wealth and success in business have partly been attributed to the strong network of business associates and partners he has built over the years. These influential individuals who have played a key role in his success are instrumental in shaping the business landscape in Nigeria.

From banking and finance to energy and philanthropy, these individuals represent some of the most prominent and accomplished leaders in their respective fields. Their collaborations with Otedola have led to the growth and success of numerous ventures in Nigeria and beyond.

Let’s delve into the stories of these influential individuals and see how their relationships with Otedola have helped to shape the Nigerian business landscape.

Aliko Dangote

Africa’s Richest Person, Aliko Dangote is the Founder and Chairman of the Dangote Group, the largest conglomerate in West Africa that employs over 30,000 people and focuses on the manufacturing of sugar, cement, salt and other consumer goods. Dangote’s relationship with Femi Otedola began over 25 years ago and has been described as a friendship made in heaven. Otedola, who has had his fair share of business troubles once acknowledged that he respects Dangote and receives business insights from him.

Otedola and Dangote both control businesses with similar holdings in real estate, energy, oil, agriculture and construction. They have also extended the bond they share with their families and have been sighted together on a number of occasions. They both recently visited the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a mutual friend, to congratulate him on his victory at the 2023 presidential polls. As busy as their schedules are, reports suggest they make out time to occasionally hang out with each other.  

Donald Duke

Donald Duke, Former governor of Cross River State has been greatly celebrated for his contributions to agriculture, urban development, government, environment, information and communication, investment drive, and tourism. He has also been celebrated for making Calabar the cleanest city in Nigeria. The former governor is a close friend of Femi Otedola and Aliko Dangote. Reports say they spent the early days of their lives together in Surulere, Lagos.

The internet is filled with pictures of the three good friends taken at events to commemorate their friendship. Duke has also been celebrated for attracting billion-naira investment to the state in the form of Dangote Cement.

Wale Tinubu

Wale Tinubu, the CEO of Oando Plc, a Nigerian oil and gas company is also a close associate and business partner of Femi Otedola. According to reports, both businessmen have worked together on several business ventures. During one of Otedola’s visits to Oando Plc’s facilities, he commended Wale for bringing Europe to Nigeria.

Wale Tinubu is known for his successful transformation of Oando from a petroleum marketing company to an integrated energy group, adding international supply and trading, gas and power, energy services and exploration and production to its operations portfolio.

Jim Ovia

Jim Ovia is the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, one of Africa’s largest banks. He has worked closely with Femi Otedola on several business ventures. Speaking on how he secured full control of the diesel supply infrastructure with his company, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Otedola said, “I contacted Zenith Bank, sold my pitch on the venture and how we would finance it. I had a meeting that barely lasted for 10 minutes with Jim Ovia, he believed in me and it was a done deal.”

Otedola credited Ovia for his support when he suffered a great financial ordeal that almost made him commit suicide. Otedola noted that “Jim Ovia understood the situation and offered a restructure of the loans for ease of payment.” Asides from his counsel and support to Otedola, the duo also share the same birthdate. 

Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigeria’s president-elect is also a very good friend of Otedola. They both have played critical roles in the political space of Nigeria’s commercial capital city, Lagos. Otedola’s father, Michael Otedola was governor of Lagos, a few years before Tinubu became governor. Ahead of the 2023 presidential elections, Otedola boldly declared support for Tinubu’s candidacy describing him as his great friend.

In a tweet, he wrote,  “I am always excited visiting my Great Friend Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu @officialABAT. May God grant him his heart’s desire in becoming the President of this great Nation …” 

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