Financial Brands News

First Bank Holdings Appoints Femi Otedola as Chairman

The First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Holdings, whose flagship arm is First Bank has appointed Femi Otedola, the billionaire businessman and investor, as the new chairman of its board of directors.

The billionaire investor and philanthropist succeeds the outgoing Chairman of the board, Ahmad Abdullahi.

With a total wealth of $1.1 billion, Otedola was ranked as one of the top 20 richest person in Africa by Forbes on January 22, 2024 — making him the fourth richest Nigerian.

First Bank of Nigeria notified investors of the new development in a corporate filing on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Wednesday.

It said Otedola, who is also the chairman of Geregu Power, was appointed after a meeting by its board of directors on January 31, 2024.

FBN Holdings said Otedola joined its board on August 15, 2023, as a non-executive director.

Otedola is the financial institution’s biggest and only substantial shareholder, holding a 5.6 percent stake.

“He is a visionary entrepreneur with a track record of pioneering businesses, growing and transforming corporations,” the financial institution said.

Geregu Power, which Otedola took public in October 2022, accounts for about nine percent of Nigeria’s grid electricity.

“His first foray into the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry began with Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited thus disrupting and redefining standards in the industry. He thereafter initiated the purchase of majority shareholding in the then African Petroleum Plc in May 2007 and became the Chairman of the Board on 25 May 2007.

“His vision transformed African Petroleum Plc into Forte Oil Pic (FO PIc). The company grew in leaps and bounds to become a model of the possibilities inherent in Nigeria, winning numerous accolades in recognition of the successful business turnaround, diversified portfollo, prompt financial reporting, strong corporate governance, and Investment of choice within the oil and gas industry.

“In December 2018, he divested from the company by selling his shareholdings to the Ignite Consortium led by Prudent Energy Services Limited and handed over in June 2019 after completing the transaction.”

The bank also said he has investments spread across various other interests including storage, shipping, and insurance brokerage in addition to port agency and petroleum retail outlets and “he has built a formidable, value-driven presence along the downstream value chain”.

Prior to the appointment, Otedola has been in the news for his recent acquisition of shares in Dangote Cement, an investment that has since been linked to the increase in the market capitalisation of the cement plant, and pushing Aliko Dangote back to the list of the world’s top 100 billionaires.

Femi Otedola is a dyed-in-wool and visionary entrepreneur whose energy is directed at transforming enterprises and putting them on the path of growth,” First Bank Holding said of the businessman while then announcing his appointment as non-executive director in August 2023.

BusinessDay

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