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Jubril Adewale Tinubu’s Deserved National Honour

Jubril Adewale Tinubu

Jubril Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive Officer, Oando Plc., a Pan-African multinational energy corporation, is set to receive the medal of national award of Commander of the Order of Niger, CON, the high-flying oil and gas player and world class business would on Tuesday, October 11 be honoured among eminent and top Nigerian personalities by President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The story of Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc., a sub-Saharan African indigenous integrated energy group, would make a compelling read, any time and any day. Indeed, if anyone could undertake to produce his biopic too, such a person can be assured that he or she would make return on his or her investment. Such is the interesting and inspiring lifestyle of this young man who today is a big player in the oil and gas sector.

At the outset of his business, he faced a lot of daunting challenges. But his uncommon daring spirit and survival instinct made him overcome the teething challenges. Popularly called the King of African Oil, the Lagos State- born oil magnate started out with a small oil firm, Ocean and Oil Services, but with resilience and focus, he has been able to grow the business.

 

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His emergence as a world-acclaimed businessman did not come as a surprise to those who knew him early in life. “As a highly intelligent man, Wale Tinubu began to exhibit a high level of skills and attitude very early in life,” a source said, adding, “When he dabbled into business many years ago, his clear vision was to lead the company as a leading indigenous exploration and production player on the African continent, and today he has achieved that dream.”

 

His early life also portrayed him as a potentially great person in life. And, like most young men of his generation, his dream was to become one of the greatest businessmen in the world. Luckily, providence has granted him his heart’s desire.

 

That he has grown head and shoulders above several of his competitors in the industry is no longer in doubt, and today, he is one of the few Nigerians that rub shoulders with other top executives around the world, making him a glittering star in the global business firmament.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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