Geregu Power Plant Executive Chairman, Femi Otedola: Champion Extraordinaire!
Quintessential businessman, Femi Otedola, is the real definition of the man with the Midas Touch, a mesmerizing maestro in the art of money making. For him, everything good seems conspiring in his favour. He has made good for himself as a businessman and one of Africa’s wealthiest.
But there are lots yet unknown about the taciturn entrepreneur – His towering disposition and unequaled business wisdom.
What this unassuming businessman has going for him is that in spite of conquering the business world like a volcano, he does not allow the frills and thrills of vulgar materialism erode the more sublime traits that are prime requirements in an astute businessman.
His razor sharp intellect, to a large extent, has made great impact in the nation’s business , thereby taking his businesses to enviable heights.
In 2009, Otedola became the second Nigerian after Aliko Dangote to appear on the Forbes list of dollar-denominated billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion. But in 2017, the mogul fell off the ranks of the richest black people on earth as a result of the plunging share price of his then oil company, Forte Oil. But this never bothered the savvy entrepreneur who rather prefers to tread the quiet side of life.
The astute magnate has regained his spot on Africa’s richest list.
We were able to reveal that since the long-awaited listing of his power-generating company, last year October, Otedola has seen his fortune grow in leaps and bounds as his stake in Geregu Power approaches a valuation of $2 billion.
Notwithstanding the eclipse, fluidity and uncertainty hovering in the country’s business terrain, the listing of the shares of his power-generating company has proved highly lucrative for Otedola, with his stake experiencing a substantial increase in market value.
Geregu Power owns three natural gas-fired power plants generating a combined capacity of 435 megawatts representing 10 percent of Nigeria’s total power generation capacity.
As the company establishes itself as a formidable player in Nigeria’s energy generation sector, it is also poised to significantly increase its total capacity ,over the next two years, from 435 megawatts to a remarkable 1,300 megawatts. The strategic move not only demonstrates the company’s commitment to meeting the energy needs of Nigerians, but also aims to boost its earnings and revenue through continued growth in the power sector.
This year alone, Otedola’s stake has surged by more than $900 million, propelling him to return to the exclusive ranks of Africa’s richest billionaires.
Four years ago, Otedola, proved to the world that he is indeed a genius and a cognoscenti when it comes to investment and the art of making money.
When he announced that he would be quitting the oil and gas sector by selling off his shares in Forte Oil in June 2019, many business analysts saw this as a wrong move.
Reason: they could not fathom why he should quit the business that had given him fame.
But he followed his intuition, and it has turned out to be one of his best investment decisions ever. It is fact that he knows when to invest and when to re-invest.
Little wonder, his fans and those who know him well maintained that he still has the magic with which he turned around the moribund African Petroleum, AP, which he rechristened Forte Oil.
Besides, they insisted that Otedola must have thought it out.
As predicted, Otedola, who is blessed with a proven magic wand, successfully re-jigged the company from its former declining state to a flourishing one that became a brand to beat in the sector.
Indeed, barely four years after he diversified into the power business with Geregu Power Plant, he has proven that he is a master of the game.
Evidence that his N64.3bn investment in the energy sector, Geregu Power Plant, is already giving his rival a sleepless night is that the company is not only yielding good profits, it has changed the energy sector for good.
He has yet scored another first as his electricity generation company has been listed on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), to allow the public become part owners by buying the company’s shares.
Geregu Power Plant, it was gathered, had a market capitalisation of N250 billion when it was listed on the Nigerian stock exchange on October 5, 2022, through way of introduction.
The public listing comes at a time when the power plant wants to expand its operations by acquiring another power plant, Geregu 2, which has a capacity of 434 MW.
This will increase Geregu Power Plant’s capacity to 735 MW. It is expected to also positively impact the company’s revenue, which rose to N70.9 billion in 2021, recording a 32.3 per cent year-on-year growth last year.
Geregu Power Plc, became the first power generating company to be listed on the NGX.
What a feat and astounding success from the man many loved to be called champion extraordinaire!
Oando, Lagos Begin Operation Of Electric Mass Transit Buses
Oando Clean Energy Limited, the renewable energy subsidiary of Oando, in partnership with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, on Tuesday, marked the formal commencement of operations of Oando’s electric mass transit buses at the Lagos Bus Services Limited Head Office, Ilupeju, Lagos.
A statement from Oando stated that the initiative aimed at transitioning the Lagos State public transport system through the development of a pathway to a carbon free mobility ecosystem within the state.
It stated that the buses would provide a viable, competitive, and environmentally friendly alternative to the current internal combustion engine mass transit buses.
The Managing Director, LAMATA, Abinbola Akinajo, highlighted the importance of public-private-partnerships, by stating that “this initiative is a major aspect of our vision for transportation in Lagos State, we are desirous of having a clean and efficient transportation system.
“Today’s event is proof of our desire to involve the private sector in our activities to give the average Lagosian the ability to meet their mobility needs. LAMATA is a multi-fuel transport regulatory agency for Lagos, hence the partnership with OCEL for the use of EV buses in passenger operations.
“From LAMATA’s perspective we are open to do business with the private sector while ensuring that these partners are aligned with the vision of Lagos state. I am elated that in just over a year that Oando Clean Energy came to us to discuss the possibility of working with us in the deployment of electric buses we have signed an MoU with a key deliverable being the implementation of a PoC that would allow us finally include electric buses in our ecosystem.”
On his part, the commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Lagos State, Engr Olalere Odusote , said “We had identified transportation as a major cause of pollutants and health problems in the State. For us, this initiative is another step we’re taking as a Government to ensure we clean up the environment in addition to ongoing initiatives in the energy sector.”
Speaking at the event, the president/CEO of OCEL, Dr. Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune noted that it was an opportunity for Oando and Lagos State government to revolutionise transport in the country, especially Lagos.
“In the very near future, we will have a multitude of locally trained engineers who are capable of operating, maintaining, and servicing these buses and other renewable energy assets,” he added.
‘Our Electric Buses can travel up to 280km on a Full Battery Charge’- Oando Group tells Lagos Residents
‘Be the start of something that is good, revolutionary and powerful. Everything after that is a bonus!’
The OANDO group and its team of experts must have had the above quote by Carlos Wallace in mind when they embarked on the journey to revolutionise motoring in Nigeria and introduced the first set of fuel less vehicles into system.
Determined to be part of the revolution to end air pollution which ultimately has been made worse by the emission of toxic elements destroying our planet, the Oando Clean Energy Limited (OCEL) made history with its inroad into the transportation business in Lagos State.
The organisation, in April 2023 acquired and took delivery of an undisclosed number of electric vehicles from Chinese carmaker, Yutong Bus.
OCEL is the clean energy arm of Oando Plc, largely owned by Wale Tinubu. His company had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lagos State Government through the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) on April 28, 2022.
Following the delivery of the vehicles to OCEL, curious Nigerians have been asking questions about the viability of electric vehicles in the country. Expectedly, this elicited a robust response from the company when it took to its twitter handle express its readiness to kick-start the novel project.
The company said: “Following our recent announcement about introducing electric mass transit buses in Lagos State, we noticed many questions about the viability of electric vehicles in our terrain, battery lifespan, and more. But don’t worry; we have got you covered!
“So, let us challenge ourselves to reach new heights, to discover new horizons, and to achieve greatness.
“For it is through our willingness to dream big and take bold action that we can create a better tomorrow for ourselves and those around us.
“Great ideas have the power to transform the impossible into the possible. They inspire us to see the world in a new light and to push beyond our boundaries.”
The company also took time to explain how the fuelless vehicles would be put to use in Nigeria. “Our electric buses can travel up to 280km on a full battery charge, which is equivalent to a round trip from Ajah to Ibadan!
“Additionally, the regenerative braking system helps the battery to last longer and reduces maintenance costs.”
Meanwhile, commenting on the acquisition and deal between the state and his firm, Wale Tinubu, who is the Chairman of OCEL, said: “The arrival of our electric mass transit buses and development of an EV infrastructure ecosystem is a reminder that the only way to remain ahead of the curve is by being unafraid to break new ground and consistently looking for opportunities to leapfrog.
“Public-Private Partnerships have been critical to getting the project to this point and will continue to fuel our expansion across the entire country.
“The commencement of this project gives us a platform to showcase to other States what is possible and open the door for engagements on bespoke solutions to suit their local needs as well as act as a model to be adopted by other organizations looking to venture into sustainable transportation.”
REA CEO Salihijo Denies Wrongdoing In Contract Award
The Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, has denied allegation that bothers on “breach of contract code”, raised by Donnington Nigeria Limited.
Salihijo, while responding to a petition to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) by the firm denied any wrong doing.
The allegation had claimed that the MD/CEO, was a Director in Velocity Logistics and Marine Services Ltd (Velocity) while equally serving as the MD/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency.
In providing clarification on the issue, Salihijo, said, “It became necessary to respond to this claim as it is untrue and defamatory. For the sake of clarity, I want to emphasize that my employment history had been thoroughly vetted and approved by the appropriate authorities, upon my assumption to the role of MD/CEO at the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) on the 29th of December, 2019.”
Continuing, he said, “Prior to taking on this critical role at the Agency, I had been in the private sector and had equally relinquished my position as one of the Directors of Velocity as far back as 25th of April, 2019, long before I was appointed MD/CEO of the REA.”
These details, he affirmed, are accessible and available at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
In addition, he said, as an administrator committed to serve while upholding the mandate of the Agency, he acted with the highest ethical standards and has never engaged in any behavior conflict with the interest of my position as the MD/CEO of REA.
“I am in no way privy to any and all business dealings between Donnington Nigeria Limited and Velocity as I have had no connection whatsoever with Velocity since 25th of April, 2019. It is unfortunate that this publication was made and directed to harm my reputation, defame my character and that of the agency I lead.
“I hereby demand that, the publisher and the petitioner retract this unfounded allegation, publish a rejoinder to set the records straight, and desist from further defamatory publications.
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