Nigerian woman overcame their own government, and became one of the richest women in Africa

In 1991 Folorunso flew to London and met his friend who told about their foreign partners, planned to start exporting oil from Nigeria, and asked for help. Back in Lagos, Folorunsho used all his connections to meet with the oil Minister of Nigeria, Jibril Aminu. During the meeting she learned that the government is not happy with the domination in oil and gas sector of Nigeria foreigners that export fuel, but do not invest in the country

This idea prompted the girl to write a letter of resignation and to do what truly interested. Family Folorunso traded textiles, she since the childhood revolved around mom in the store, coming up with his clothes from colored fabrics.

Folorunso studied in the faculty of design at the American College and the Central school of fashion in London and returned to Nigeria, he founded Supreme Stitches, which later became the fashion house of Rose of Sharon. Folorunso actually founded the Nigerian style of high fashion. Instead, like many, become another copy Chanel, she was inspired by the national culture. One of the regular customers was the wife of the Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida. At some point high fashion Folorunso bored, she wanted to do something new. New business was called the Rose of Sharon Prints.

The company is engaged in printing and first produced the materials for the banners. And when the government of Nigeria in the early 2000s limited the placement of outdoor advertising, realizing that the Billboard is no longer visible horizon, Folorunsho switched to printing on clothing. Thanks to t-shirts with prints made the transition from high fashion to mass market. However, by this time, most was another major business in oil.

Despite the fact that the results of the meeting could hardly be called successful, Folorunsho interested in oil production. Soon she again came to the meeting with the Minister and offered his services on organization of catering services for oil companies. Aminu said that the industry already has many contractors. The businesswoman started to bother him, so the next idea Folorunsho had to explain in an official letter to the Ministry. She wanted to deal with the carriage of oil in tanks. But there was no chance the government had planned to transfer the oil industry for the use of pipelines.

However, the Minister asked Folorunso if she wants to engage in oil exploration – is long overdue, he argued, the citizens of Nigeria to explore and mine the resources of their country instead give the opportunity to foreign corporations. Folorunso first took her words as a mockery and attempt to give her a heart attack. But after consulting with friends who had already been engaged in the oil business, decided to take a chance. She found technology partners and has applied for a license for exploration of oil. I had to wait until 1993 – during this time in Nigeria has been only two Ministers of oil, but was overthrown the whole government. However, the long-awaited license Folorunso all the same. And immediately thought it was a disaster.

Initially, the businesswoman claimed on a few sites, but the license is issued only for the one that nobody wanted. The OPL 216 land area of 617 000 acres was far away in the Gulf of Guinea is 70 miles from the coast of Nigeria. The depth of the Bay was 1.5 km and the development seemed cosmically expensive. Folorunso have never had neither the technology nor the experience nor the money, but to refuse a license she was not going, and spending to buy almost all their savings, began to look for partners.

The cost and complexity discourages many. Fortune smiled only three years. American Texaco that has already worked in Nigeria, planned to expand the business. In September 1996, its subsidiary, Star Deep Water Petroleum have formed a joint venture with the company Famfa Oil, Alakija. Star Deep got 40% in OPL 216, and five years later Alakija new partners appeared. Texaco sold its subsidiary company Chevron, which is then sold 8% of its stake in OPL 216 Brazil’s Petrobras in exchange for their technology of deepwater oil production. But of Folorunsho did not arise with transnational corporations and with his own government.

First oil at the field, named Agbami was obtained on 15 July 1998, on the birthday Folorunso. Preliminary work on OPL 216 showed that its reserves can amount to 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. This so impressed the government of Nigeria headed by General Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2000 it was nationalized 40% stake in Famfa Oil, and in 2005 another 10%.

Folorunso decided on the step that everyone thought was crazy. And began a legal battle with the state, despite the corruption, which it was famous. The following years were very difficult for the entrepreneur and her family – old friends had disappeared, the familiar ceased to know, to call someone became increasingly difficult. But she did not give up. And as a result, its share in the company was returned to the Supreme court of Nigeria in 2012 sided Folorunso – “after years of prayers and fasts,” as she writes on her website. Now Famfa Oil produces 250 000 bar of oil per day. State Folorunso after the return of the stake in Famfa Oil was $1.7 billion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *