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Billionaire Watch

Meet Abdulwasiu Sowami, the silent billionaire who acquired Forte Oil

Although, Femi Otedola’s decision to divest his shares in Forte Oil came as a surprise to many Nigerians, it was more surprising that it was acquired by Nigerian company, Prudent Energy & Services Limited, owned by a Nigerian businessman and oil mogul.

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Abdulwasiu Sowami, Forte Oil, Femi Otedola

Although Femi Otedola’s decision to divest his shares in Forte Oil came as a surprise to many Nigerians, it was more surprising that it was acquired by Nigerian companyPrudent Energy & Services Limited, owned by a Nigerian businessman and oil mogulPrior to this news, the name Abdulwasiu Sowamiowner of Prudent Energy, was unknown to many Nigerians. 

The name might not have rang a bell with some Nigerians, and the investing public at large, but Sowami is one of the leading energy figures who have been contributing immensely to the commercial activities of the country’s oil and gas industry. 

It is not that Sowami is new in the oil and gas industry, or on the billionaire radar, but compared to many in the country’s billionaire circle who love the notoriety that big money brings, Sowami prefers to explore a quiet lifestyle. 

Despite his intimidating wealth, the oil tycoon shies away from the limelightHowever, with his new acquisition of Forte Oil, public interest has been piqued. 

It is for this reason that Nairametrics is featuring him on our founder’s profile this week. Read on to learn more about this reclusive billionaire. 

Education and career milestones 

Sowami is a graduate of Sociology from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, and holds a Masters in Corporate Governance from Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom (UK). He is an Associate Member of the Institute of Directors. 

READ MORE: Seplat has been accused of violating local content policy

His robust industrial knowledge and experience in the country’s oil and gas sector spans over two decades owing to the leadership positions he held in various, companies. Sowami launched his career, with Besse Oil and Services Limited, later moving on to Cosmos Oil Limited, then to Ignite Energy Limited.  

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In the course of his career, he has cultivated relationships with the leadership of prominent international trading companies including Vitol, Shell Trading Rotterdam, Glencore, and BP Oil International Limited.  

Sowami chairs Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, a firm that facilitates finances for businesses, particularly Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are excluded from accessing financing from regular banks due to lack of collateral and property right. He also leads the operations of Prudent Energy & Services Limited, one of the local oil firms licensed to lift Nigerian crude.   

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His company, founded in 2004, prides itself as one of the leading players in petroleum marketing, marine logistics, and the oil sector consulting in the country. Presently, he has a depot in Oghara, Delta state and a lot of fueling trucks that delivers nationwide. He also has three vessels, two named after his late mother and wife. 

A glance at Sowami’s Prudent Energy & Services Limited 

Since its establishment, Sowami’s Prudent Energy & Sevices Limited has been exploring its core area of specialisation in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry. 

With a 54 Million Litre fully automated ultra-modern petroleum products depot, a self-serving jetty, two marine vessels; MT Ashabi (29,005DWT) and MT Mosunmola (16,326DWT), the company has, within the short period of its establishment, grown to become one of the very few leading indigenous oil trading firmin the country. 

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Sowami’s acquisition of Forte Oil 

few years back, Otedola had embarked on a journey to transform a dying petroleum marketing business, African Petroleum Plc (formerly British Petroleum) into a leading integrated solutions provider with solid footprints in downstream petroleum marketing, upstream services, and power generation. Going by the company’s corporate journey, Forte Oil prides itself as a profit-making company that has built intrinsic value in the best interest of its shareholders and investors at large. 

Sowami is advancing the pride of the company after acquiring Otedola’s 75 per cent stake. In view of Forte Oil’s new CEO, Olumide Adeosun’s interview with Nairametrics and other media executives, one can tell that the acquisition is a step towards new frontiers. 

Controversies 

Oil subsidy scam 

Some years ago, Sowami was fingered alongside other oil companies’ Chief Executives in a N24.6 billion subsidy scam. Prudent Energy at the time, was said to have been paid a disproportionately large amount of money based on a single importation of over 18 million litres of PMS. 

In view of how the subsidy case fadeaway in the media space, Sowami must have made his way out of the debacle, to later become a powerhouse in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. 

Political affiliations 

Coronation ads

In the last election campaign, the business magnate was said to be a financial backer of Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied People’s Movement, (APM) who contested for the gubernatorial seat in Ogun State.  

He was said to have deployed massive funds, even outspending the immediate past governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun, who is a close friend of his. Unfortunately, he backed the wrong horse, as his candidate lost to Dapo Abiodun, the present Ogun State Governor. 

READ ALSO: Lekoil to boost production output by listing on NSE

In all of this, Sowami has neither confirmed nor disproved any of the news making the rounds at the time. 

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Personal life 

The native of Ogun State is said to be married with seven children and is a lover of football. Alhaji Wasiu, as he is popularly called by his staff and close relatives, is said to be in his late forties. 

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Billionaire Watch

Bernie Madoff, mastermind of the historic $65bn investment fraud dies at 82

Bernie Madoff passed away today at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina.

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The man behind what has been described by many as the biggest fraud attempt in US history has passed away in government custody.

Bernie Madoff was the architect of the biggest Ponzi scheme attempt in the United States. He was a famous Wall Street fellow who at a certain time was the Chairman of Nasdaq and CEO/Founder of the Wall Street firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

Bernie Madoff defrauded about 37,000 people in 136 countries over 4 decades according to US investigators. Included in his victim list are prominent Americans like movie director Stephen Spielberg and former New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

READ: Anti-virus creator, John David McAfee charged for U.S tax evasion

Bernie Madoff and the US Govt

Bernie Madoff was arrested on December 11, 2008, following tip-offs. He pleaded guilty to 11 federal crimes and admitted to operating the largest private Ponzi scheme in history. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison with restitution of $170bn.

Death 

Bernie Madoff passed away today at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina. His death was confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Madoff died apparently from natural causes, the AP reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. He would have turned 83 on April 29.

What you should know 

  • Restitution is a payment made to compensate a victim for financial losses related to a crime.
  • Bernie Madoff’s family was badly affected by his fraud case. His older son Mark committed suicide according to CNBC.
  • JP Morgan Chase, the primary bank of Bernie Madoff was forced to pay $2.6bn to the US government in settlements.

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Billionaire Watch

Elon Musk gains $19bn in 3 days, gap with Jeff Bezos shrinks to $4bn

Elon Musk’s wealth jumped from $175bn as of last week Saturday to $194bn this morning.

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Elon Musk, Tesla, SEC, Stock, Twitter, COVID-19: Tesla’s Elon Musk to produce ventilators as fast-spread of disease lingers

Elon Musk has witnessed an eventful past three days as his wealth leapt from $175 billion (as of last week Saturday) to $194 billion this morning.

The eccentric businessman has now closed the gap between himself and Jeff Bezos to just about $4bn according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Nairametrics is quickly going to highlight the reasons for the recent massive surge of dollars for Elon Musk.

Tesla share price increase

According to Market Watch, Tesla stocks ended yesterday at their highest value in 8 weeks. The electric car company stock price increased by 8.6% and sold at $762.32.

According to Motley Fool, the reason for this increase is a generally upbeat mood in the market about growth stocks. It also believed the increase was driven by optimistic comments about Tesla stocks by trusted analysts.

A surge in Tesla car sales

According to Nairametrics finance department, Tesla delivery of new cars in the last 3 months of the year exceeded Wall Street expectations. Tesla delivered 184,800 new cars from January to March. This number exceeded Wall Street expectations pegged at 177,000 cars.

What you should know

  • Jeff Bezos only gained $1bn in the last 3 days, the same duration of days Elon Musk gained $19bn according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s index.
  • Tesla is currently being portrayed and compared to Apple. The EV carmakers are modelling their vehicles and branding them to fit the “Apple of electric cars” persona. This was made public by Canaccord Genuity analyst Jed Dorsheimer. This also played a role in the surge of stock prices.
  • Tesla is currently the most valuable car company in the world with a market capitalization of $593.8 billion according to Yahoo Finance.

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