Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Folorunsho Alakija: Nigeria's Richest Woman According to Forbes

Folorunsho Alakija

Nigeria's richest woman draws the bulk of her fortune from oil. Folorunsho Alakija started her career in the mid 1970s as a secretary at the now-defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, one of the West African nation's earliest investment banks. In the 1980s, after studying fashion design in England, she founded Supreme Stitches, a Nigerian fashion label that catered to upscale clientele. Her biggest break came in oil. In 1993 Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida awarded her company, Famfa Oil, an oil prospecting license which went on to become OML 127, one of Nigeria's most prolific oil blocks. Famfa Oil owned a 60% stake in the block until 2000 when the Nigerian government, led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, unconstitutionally acquired a 50% interest in the block without duly compensating Alakija or her company. Famfa Oil went to court to challenge the acquisition, and in May this year, the Nigerian Supreme Court reinstated the 50% stake to Famfa Oil. Chevron owns the remaining 40%. Through her charity, the Rose of Sharon Foundation, Alakija supports widows throughout Nigeria.

Source: Forbes

Forbes estimates her wealth at $600 million and ranks her as the 24th richest person in Africa. Now, that is quite a feat!

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