Recession: Nigerian Mogul, Femi Otedola Loses $1.3bn in Value


Latest ranking of the world’s richest people by Forbes has shown that oil tycoon and Nigerian business mogul, Femi Otedola‘s net worth has plunged from $1.8 billion to $550 million as the economic downturn has led to a massive drop in the stock price of Forte Oil, the Nigerian Stock Exchange-listed petroleum marketing company.

At the close of trading last Friday, Forte Oil’s share price plunged to a one-year low of N145 ($0.44) per share, down from an all-time high of N342 ($1.1) in March this year when Forbes published its annual ranking of the world’s richest people.

Apart from the tumble in Forte Oil’s stock price, Otedola’s fortune has also been adversely affected by a central bank devaluation of the naira in June.

In dollar terms, the devaluation in addition to Forte’s floundering share price has knocked about $1.3 billion off the value of Otedola’s fortune which was pegged at $1.8 billion in March.
Otedola, who is Forte Oil Plc’s chairman, is now worth only $550 million as at the close of business last Friday, according to the Forbes’ billionaires’ database.

Otedola was unavailable for comments. However, an analyst at a Lagos-based Investment bank hinted that the share price drop may not be unconnected to the current recession in Nigeria, with inflation soaring at over 17 per cent.

Investors are dumping Forte Oil’s shares as a result of wide-spread disappointing results of Nigerian companies of which Forte Oil Plc is also not immune.

The company’s profit after tax was down at N2.80 billion ($8.8 million) for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016 as against N4.2 billion ($13.5 million) for the same period in 2015.
Sources also attributed the results to reduced demand for energy as a result of the recently increased pump price of petrol, which has adversely affected the fortunes of oil marketing companies in Nigeria.