Human potential is one of the biggest marvels of the universe. A single individual, mortal, designed to expire in at most 100 years, can dare to mount dreams and ride into the sunset. Femi Otedola fits this image best. Rising from one end of the corporate skies and extending his shadow to the others, Otedola is gradually filling out the business world in Nigeria. His rise, once debated, is now considered unstoppable.
The First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Holdings recently announced their appointment of Otedola as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Taking effect on January 31, 2024, Otedola’s ascension at FBN Holdings follows his growing influence at the group where it is reported that he possesses the most shares.
Otedola taking over FBN Holdings is not so much a surprise as it is a jerker. Just last year, around July, there were numerous complaints about his increasing financial weight in the group. So rowdy was the series of events that led up to these complaints that another bank got involved, similarly trying to pull their weight.
Yet Otedola has emerged as the champion of them all. More than that, now that his wings have unfurled across the banking sector, the billionaire can pit himself against other business people on the continent. After all, how many Africans wield so much power over the oil, power (energy), and banking sectors of their native economies?
In the meantime, Otedola’s stakes in his oil businesses continue to grow. But they are greatly overshadowed by the swelling returns of his Geregu Power PLC. One might say that Otedola wants to clone his historical success in oil and gas, duplicating his domination of that industry in the energy and banking sectors.
Whatever he does, Otedola’s rise in banking is a welcome development. Should he successfully integrate these sectors, he will be setting a record that few have dared to dream about since past heroes fought for Nigeria’s foundation.