Spy Glass: Different Sides of Dino Melaye


Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West in the Senate, means different things to many people.  To some, he seems to derive pleasure in stoking the ember of controversy at the slightest opportunity, while to some others, the business of lawmaking that he was elected to do has almost been sacrificed for the pursuit of the comforts of life.

However you see him, many of his fans are always quick to say that the fire-spitting Senator still has the milk of humanness running in his veins. As proof of their claim, his generosity and love for fellow human beings were recently acknowledged, as he was conferred with four chieftaincy titles at different events in some parts of the country.  He was conferred with the Jarman of Okuta in Okuta-Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State; Otunba of Bunu Kingdom in  Kogi State; Balogun of Odo-Ape; Asiwaju of Oke Ofin and Arogundade of Okagi-Amuro.

Soon, Malaye may emerge the only serving Senator with the greatest number of chieftaincy titles, as he already has 22 in his kitty.


Of Zahra Buhari and Controversy

Until last year, Zahra Buhari, one of the beautiful daughters of President Muhammed Buhari, was only minding her business as an undergraduate student of the prestigious University of Surrey, United Kingdom. But following the emergence of her father as President in 2015, her story changed, as she was subsequently shot to the limelight. Since then, all eyes have been on her; and not a few have also opened a dossier on her.

Today, she is doing her best to engrave her memories in the hearts of her compatriots with occasional humanitarian deeds. But strangely, her steps have continued to be dogged with one controversy or another.  Though it is inexplicable if the confident and outspoken beauty loves controversy or not, it is bad enough that it has almost become a blot on her profile. 

It will be recalled that before the last general elections, Buhari, who was then an undergraduate student at the University of Surrey, UK, had posted some hot pictures of herself online, which generated mixed reactions in several quarters.

Before the dust raised by that singular act could settle, Buhari, who is described as a social media savvy, was also accused of living a reckless lifestyle by some online publications and blogs. However, her father’s media handlers rose in her defence, fingering his opponents as the sponsors of the odious publications.

Not yet sated, her traducers, again, had a field day shortly after her father was sworn in as President, when she allegedly insulted President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia. She was said to have insulted Jammeh, following his declaration that throats of homosexuals caught in The Gambia would be slit. It reportedly sparked a diplomatic row between Nigeria and The Gambia until the Presidency claimed that Zahra had abandoned the Twitter account a long time ago when it was hacked.

Again, last December, she was an item when she was photographed on her birthday allegedly rocking a pair of Manolo Blahnik Hangisi satin pumps said to worth $965 (N192,000).

Zahra, no doubt, is paying the price of stardom, as she has also been romantically linked with many men in recent times, first was Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and later Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazeez Yari, who has since debunked the story.

Wound in Adama Indinmi’s Heart

Life, it is believed, could sometimes be a baggage of opposing realities. If you are in doubt about this axiom, then you need to read the enthralling tale of sensational singer, Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, aka  D’banj,  and Adama  Indimi,  the beautiful daughter of Chairman of Oriental Petroleum,  Alhaji Muhammadu  Indimi.

Penultimate week, D’banj reportedly married his new found love, Didi Kilgrow, in a secret traditional wedding.  While many share in his joy for bidding bye to bachelorhood, some of the ladies, who have been romantically linked with the award-winning musician, are said to be heartbroken.  

Among the beautiful ladies who are currently nursing some wounds in their hearts over the development is Indimi. It was gathered the pretty lady, who is suffering unrequited love, had reportedly made frantic efforts to speak with the singer on the phone, but it was to no avail.  She was also said to have been given the same cold treatment by D’banj’s friends whom she had called to intervene on her behalf.

Given that she did not part on a sour note with D’banj, she has not stopped nursing the hope of becoming Mrs.  Oyebanjo someday.  To underscore her love for D’banj, she was not perturbed when D’banj was rumoured to be dating South African model and media personality, Bonang Matheba.

It will be recalled that the two were an item when their relationship was in top gear.  In fact, it was revealed that both families were aware of their affair, as Indimi was always visiting D’banj’s mother in Lagos, while he was also a regular guest at her family’s house in Abuja.  Though D’banj allegedly proposed to her with a diamond ring last year, the Indimis kicked on the grounds of religious differences. But that has never quenched the fire of love in her heart, particularly because she has not been seen with another man.

Indimi,  a graduate of the Lynn University Florida in the US, is a model and owns a travel agency, Kauna Solutions.


Wale Tinubu’s Master Stroke

 Like the proverbial cat with nine lives, Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive Officer, Oando Plc., a Pan-African multinational energy corporation, has proven to be one businessman magnate with outstanding survival instinct.

 In the views of some observers, Tinubu’s continued relevance, nay staying power should provoke some careful study by aspiring entrepreneurs or even established ones, especially in the Nigeria’s inclement business environment.

 Or how else does one explain his surprising spring and daring moves just when some people, out of sheer jaundiced criticisms, had thought that he and his company were going under?

 Indeed, you may not totally blame his critics, especially when you consider the fact that his company, among others, was recently hit by the dwindling oil price across the globe.

 However, if the information at our disposal  is anything to go by, then, Tinubu may have stooped not only to conquer his world but to also shame his critics.

 It was gathered that Tinubu has just sealed deal involving  a $210m recapitalization of his downstream business with Helios and Vitol Consortium, thereby making it the largest capital inflow into the Nigerian downstream sector.

 With this, Tinubu has succeeded in rewriting the story of Oando, leaving many of his competitors in wonderment. 

 This may not come as a surprise to those close to him because he has, over the years, shown evidence that he understands the oil and gas business terrain very well; and like a gambler, he knows when to throw the dice and even reinvent in a shaky business environment.

 No doubt, the secret of his abiding philosophy and success lies in the words of a former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill: “The empires of the future are empires of the mind.” 

 In the beginning, he had teamed up with Omamofe Boyo and Onajite Okoloko in 1994 to set up Ocean and Oil Services Limited to supply diesel and Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) to various industries, shipping firms and exploration companies in Nigeria.

 Interestingly, more than two decades after they sowed in pains, the investment has grown, before their eyes, to become a multinational conglomerate worth millions of dollars spread across five West African countries. At the outset, they bought their first vessel, MT Carolina, in the mid-90s to supply diesel to off-shore companies from the Port-Harcourt Refinery.

 Within seven years, the fleet had grown to seven ships; and by 2000, when the government wanted to sell its controlling stake in the defunct Unipetrol Plc, a downstream oil marketing company, they bid for it. Then, many, including the former Managing Director of the old Unipetrol Plc., Mallam Yusuf Ali, had written them off.  But they all got the shocker of their lives from the emerging dinosaurs in the Nigerian oil business.  Ocean and Oil Services successfully paid for the shares and took over the company, with the help of its foreign technical partners, Compania Espanola De Petroleos (CEPSA), the second largest oil group in Spain.

 Also, three years after, when Agip Petroli International BV of Italy decided to divest from the downstream sector, they bought over the foreign company’s shares and added Agip Nigeria, the company’s local subsidiary, to their portfolio.  The newly acquired companies were merged and renamed Oando Limited. By 2005, Oando Plc had secured across border listing on the Johannesburg stock of exchange (JSE) in South Africa.

 Subsequently, some other acquisitions were made in rapid succession, including a local gas pipeline company, Gaslink Nigeria Limited, which came with a 57km natural gas distribution pipeline in Lagos as well as an exclusive gas distribution franchise.  That gas pipeline has been extended to cover100 kilometres and more than 2,300 domestic industrial customers have been added to its grid.

 Oando also recorded a feat in 2007 when it built the first 12.5MW IPP Power plant for Lagos State government, which has saved the state government over 3.5 million USD in energy bills. But that paled into insignificance in 2013 when it executed its most ambitious acquisition till date, with the taking over of ConocoPhillips shares and assets in the Brass LNG Project valued at over $550 million USD.

 From only one vessel it acquired in 1994, Oando now boasts six subsidiaries with interests in at least 10 oil blocks in Nigeria valued at about $600 million USD,  650 fuel stations spread across Nigeria and other West-African countries  as well as lube blending plants, fuel depots, oil rigs and other impressive assets.

Toyin Kolade’s Dance of Joy

What do you expect when the big masquerade chooses to dance in a market place? No doubt, many will beat a path to the venue with interest. This was the scenario that played out last week Wednesday when  Dr. (Mrs.) Toyin Kolade marked her birthday  in Lagos.

Spyglass  gathered that though the event was supposed to be a  low-key though, most of her friends, families and business associates  insisted on sharing in her joy on that day. And encomiums poured from all the invited guests, the day as gathered will lingers in the memory of the business tycoon described as a woman with heart of gold.

By all standards, Kolade is a successful businesswoman and socialite of note.

She has her hands in many pies: Oil and Gas, interior decor, real estate, maritime and hospitality, among others.

A woman of means, she commands deep respect from young and old, especially in the political, social and business circles. More importantly, she is also in tune with the modern trends in the fashion world. Call her a show- stopper and you will only be stating the obvious.

Kolade, Managing Director,  Fisolak Global Resources, Fisolak Royal Furniture and Arikay Oil and Gas, joined the millionaire club at a relatively young age of 21, having learnt the ABC of doing business from her mother.

With so much confidence, hope and clear vision, she laid the foundation of her business empire some years back. Today, Iyalaje, as she is famously called, is a success who has continued to inspire several others.  No doubt, it takes a woman of gut as Kolade to thrive in the ever unpredictable business climate in Nigeria.

Olu Okeowo Giving Back to Society  

In both the construction and real estate sectors in Nigeria, Olu Okeowo, a consummate businessman, towers above many of his competitors.

A careful study of his life shows that he has always been driven, in his inspirational journey in life, by determination and clear vision.  No wonder, his business, over the years, has been sustained on the tripod of uncommon brilliance, strategic planning and faithfulness to the vision and mission of the company.

While the forgoing may not be news, especially to those who have been following his story with interest, he is recognised as a businessman whose love for fellow human beings beggars description. He seems to have entered a vow with his Creator to impact positively on humanity.

Perhaps, this explains why he can’t stand the sight of his fellow human being in distress or wants.  Besides, he is ever ready to donate generously to any course that is beneficial to his immediate environment. For instance, the great philanthropist, who was recently honoured by the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos,Idi-Araba, is said to be building a multi-million naira complex named Sir Olu Okeowo Building for Physiotherapy within the premises of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH.

Apart from this, the shrewd businessman is building a maternity centre in the heart of Lagos Island with world- class medical equipment that will be solely sponsored by him. This is in addition to donating musical equipment, gifts and cash to several churches in and around Lagos.