Alakija – a Nigerian has just been named as the current richest black woman on
earth according to the latest assessment this week thereby ousting the very
famous Oprah Winfrey of
This illustrious daughter of America Nigeria
and Africa is rated to worth at least $3.3
billion mostly accruing from her engagements in the oil and gas activities.
Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, the oil & gas tycoon is also a popular fashion designer, and in fact used to
be the official or personal designer to the late wife of former dictator - army
general, President Ibrahim Babangida. Mrs. Alakija, a philanthropist ,now 61
years old once worked as a secretary in the now defunct International Merchant
Bank of Nigeria in the 1970s
and later resigned to go to
where she studied fashion designing. By the time she was back, she set up
Supreme Stitches, a high profile fashion outfit in England high brow location in Lagos,
in the 1980s, which catered for a long chain of choice high profile clientele.
|Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija|
In May 1993 Alakija applied for an allocation of an Oil Prospecting License (OPL). The license to explore for oil on a 617,000 acre block – (now referred to as OPL 216) was granted to Alakija’s company, Famfa Limited. In September 1996, she entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Texaco) and appointed the company as a technical adviser for the exploration of the license, transferring 40 percent of her 100 percent stake to Star Deep. Subsequently, Star Deep sold off 8 percent of its stake in OPL 216 to Petrobas, a Brazilian company. Folorunsho Alakija and her family owned 60 percent.
According to a popular online magazine – Ventures Africa report, it is also claimed that Alakija has a real estate portfolio worth over $100 million. Earlier this year, Nigerian and British media announced that Alakija acquired a property at One Hyde Park for $102 million.
She owns a private jet (Bombardier Global Express 6000) which she bought earlier this year for a reported $46 million. She is the founder of the Rose of Sharon foundation, a Christian-based charity which gives out small grants to widows. Folorunsho is married to Modupe Alakija and they have four grown-up sons together. She also has a grandchild from her first son. Modupe Alakija, her husband is the Chairman of Famfa Oil. Her sons jointly run the company.
By: Morgan Nwanguma