Nigeria’s manufacturing sector has some of the most influential and richest men in the country. Among them, the name of Dr. Oba Otudeko rings a special bell.
Though he started out in the banking sector, he is now a notable personality in the manufacturing sector, creating thousands of jobs along the value chain and improving local production for the country.
This week on Nairametrics’ founders profile, we bring you Obafoluke Otudeko’s life achievements and how he has attained such heights.
Ayoola Obafoluke Otudeko was born into a royal family on August 18, 1943, in Ibadan, Oyo state.
He had his early education at St. John’s School, Oke Agbo, Ijebu-Igbo in Ogun State, and Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo, before he travelled out to study Accountancy in Leeds College of Commerce, Yorkshire, UK.
After returning to Nigeria, Otudeko took a bank employment as a clerk in the defunct Co-operative Bank, Ibadan. Over the next two decades, he moved through the ranks to become the General Manager and acting Chief Executive Officer of the Bank. He voluntarily retired from the bank in 1983 and was appointed a Director to the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
His foray into the business world
Having a mother who was a businesswoman, Otudeko always knew he would someday go into business. His retirement from the bank gave him the time to pursue this interest.
It was at this time that Honeywell Enterprises started off as a trading enterprise, importing and marketing commodities between the northern and southern states of Nigeria in the 1970s. The company later grew into Honeywell Group, one of Nigeria’s leading indigenous conglomerates.
To sharpen his business skills, he took several courses from several international institutions, which include the International Institute for Management Development, Switzerland, Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, Hult International Business School, and Arthur D. Little School of Management, USA.
His many businesses
From a flour mill, the Honeywell Group has evolved into a conglomerate with different subsidiaries in different sectors of the economy.
HOGL Energy Limited is in the oil and gas sector, and was incorporated in 1995. As an indigenous oil and gas marketing company. The company procures, imports, and distributes fuels and gases, as well as lubricants which it produces for industrial and domestic uses.
Honeywell Flour Mills Plc is a food processing company focused on flour-based products including baking flour, ball foods, noodles and pasta. The company started operations in 1998.
Pivot Engineering Company Limited (PECL) is in the business of providing engineering, procurement and construction services to the power industry.
Uraga Real Estate Limited is in the real estate sector, providing funding, whilst managing and developing properties and facilities across the country.
Anchorage Leisures Limited makes its investments in the tourism and hospitality sector, and runs the 5 star Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel in Victoria Island.
Pavilion Technology Limited provides security services to individuals and clients in public and private space, from electronic security systems, to manned guards, escort services, and security consultancy.
Courtesy of his many businesses and his stakes in these companies, Otudeko currently ranks among the richest men in Nigeria
In 2003, Oba Otudeko established a non- governmental organisation called Oba Otudeko Foundation (OOF) as an official vehicle to carry out his philanthropic acts. Over the years, the foundation has organised empowerment programmes, as well as capacity building, and building of institutions.
The foundation built an Auditorium for Pan Atlantic University, an Administrative Block to All Saints’ College, Edun Village, Ibadan, Footprints Occupational Training Centre, and the Endowment of the Centre of Entrepreneurial Studies of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State among others.
Otudeko chairs the Board of Directors of Honeywell Flour Mill Plc and FBN Holdings Plc.
He is a Fellow, Institute of Chartered and Corporate Accountants, UK, Chartered Institute of Bankers, UK, and Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, UK. Oba is also a member of the Office of Distinguished Friends of London Business School and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
He is a seasoned corporate governance guru, having served on boards like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Guinness Nigeria Plc, British American Tobacco Ltd, and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, headquartered in Lome, Togo, NEPAD Business Group of Nigeria, Delmar Overseas Ltd and Khali & Dibbo Ltd. He is the Group Chairman, FBN Holdings Plc.
At different times, he was also Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria, FBN Bank (UK) Limited, Airtel Nigeria, Fan Milk of Nigeria Plc, Digital Africa Conference Exhibition in Abuja, Business Support Group, National Maritime Authority, and Nigerian- South African Chamber of Commerce.
He was the 16th President and Chairman of Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange serving between September 2006 and August 2009. He is also a council member, Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Banks Employers’ Association, West African Banks’ Association and the Presidential Advisory Council on Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan.
Otudeko is a member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) in 2000; Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), 2002; Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR), 2011 and most recently, the National Productivity Order of Merit in 2019.
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On Tuesday, August 18, 2020, the business mogul will be 77 years old. He clearly shows no sign of slowing down his activities and impacts any time soon.