Calling business magnate, Segun Adebutu, a Nigerian visionary is no exaggeration. For ten years, Adebutu quietly and organically nurtured his energy firm, Petrolex Oil & Gas Limited, into a key player in a volatile sector.
But in December 2017, Adebutu came under the spotlight when he drew the high and mighty, including Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, to Ibefun, Ogun State to announce his major projects.
For the debonair businessman, it was the first time many would truly see him outside the operations of Premier Lotto, the lottery megalith built by his multibillionaire father, Chief Kessington Adebutu.
On that day, the vice president inaugurated Africa’s largest tank farm built by Adebutu’s indigenous oil and gas firm. The tank farm is a 300-million litre storage facility with 20 storage tanks.
But inaugurating the largest petroleum products depot was just a tip of the iceberg, as Society Watch gathered that the intention of Adebutu is to turn the small town of Ibefun, particularly the project axis, into one large energy complex that will be reckoned as the biggest and best in Africa.
While running for years now, the Petrolex tank farm at Ibefun has become a prime jewel for the Nigerian government as the nation faces a storage crisis occasioned by the downturn in oil prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With over 84 million barrels of crude oil sitting at sea without buyers, upstream oil companies may have found a reprieve with this massive storage facility.
With other mega projects such as the ongoing 250,000bpd oil refinery, a lube plant, a fertilizer plant, gas processing facility, and a power plant to power these operations but also with an option to sell the excess to the national grid.
Evidently, Adebutu is committed to seeing his over $5-billion refinery helping to make up for the poor output of government-owned refineries that have been operating between 5 and 10 percent capacity.
When completed, the refinery, described as the second-largest refinery in sub-Saharan Africa, will complement the Dangote Refinery in Lekki, Lagos, which will process 650,000bpd and already nearing completion. As of now, work is going on at the refinery with Petrolex’s technical partners at the site.
The choice of Ibefun, the sleepy town at the bank of a river connecting Lagos lagoon, as the location for Adebutu’s legacy investment, has put the Ijebu ancient town’s name on the global business map and created immense opportunities for its people.
Adebutu, an Economics graduate of the University of Ibadan, started trading in oil and gas in 2004.
His entrepreneurial dexterity has seen him grow that small business into a world-class conglomerate with interests in shipping, mining, construction, infrastructure, real estate, telecommunications, and entertainment.
Aside from his businesses, the amiable businessman also sits on the board of Premier Lotto, Nigeria’s most successful lotto and sports betting firm, founded by his philanthropist father, Odole Adebutu.
Besides his monumental investments in oil and gas, and involvement in the gaming industry, Adebutu’s vast business empire reaches into mining with a company that arguably has one of Nigeria’s most endowed sets of mining assets in one portfolio; a marine logistics firm also reputed to be quietly amassing the largest fleet in sub-Saharan Africa and already quietly executing several multimillion-dollar contracts across West Africa; coupled with an urban entertainment outfit based in America and Nigeria and boasting of top artistes like Skales and Aramide.
In addition to his strides in business, Segun Adebutu is also a major philanthropist. His insatiable desire to solve problems and contribute towards ameliorating pain in the society propelled him to create the Oladiran Olusegun Adebutu (OOA) Foundation, a non-profit and non-political organisation in 2016.
The foundation engages in philanthropic initiatives ranging from educational support, health support, nutritional support, psychosocial support, recreational support, shelter, and provision of clean water.
The foundation has carried out several initiatives that have buoyed access to education and healthcare for hundreds of children.