• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Meet AbdulWasiu Sowami who acquired Otedola’s Forte Oil, Awobokun’s Enyo

For many, AbdulWasiu Sowami, one of Nigeria’s silent billionaires was not a name that rang a bell five years ago but the astute businessman is gradually rising from oblivion to hitting the bulls’ eyes for mega acquisitions in the Nigerian downstream market.

The astute businessman, Sowami, is the chairman of Ardova Plc, one of Nigeria’s major downstream oil and gas companies, publicly listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, following the divestment of Billionaire Femi Otedola from the oil and gas sector and the recent acquisition of the acquisition of Enyo Retail and Supply Ltd.

Otedola had in December 2018 disclosed his intention to sell his controlling stake in the company he founded, Forte Oil Plc. Forte Oil was incorporated on December 11, 1964 as British Petroleum.

Forte Oil was into downstream petroleum marketing, upstream services and power generation.

Otedola’s divestment from the downstream business is pursuant to his decision to explore and maximise business opportunities in refining and petrochemicals.

The billionaire had a controlling stake which is 75 percent of the shares held in Forte Oil as it was transferred to Sowami’s Prudent Energy for an undisclosed amount.

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The name was changed to Ardova Plc in February 2020, based on a decision reached in a shareholders meeting in December 2019.

But Forbes reportedly said that Otedola received $250m from the new owner, a claim that has not been verified.

The man behind the acquisition is AbdulWasiu Sowami, the owner of Prudent Energy.

Sowami’s Prudent Energy again came with another surprise acquisition on November 17, when it announced that it has completely acquired 100 per cent equity stake in Enyo.

The newly acquired Enyo was established in 2009 and has 95 filling stations across the country.

Sowami is also the brain behind the upstream performance of Prudent Energy. The company is one of the local oil firms given licence to lift Nigerian crude. In May 2018, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation granted his company and 31 others licence to lift 950,000 barrels each of crude oil in a two-year duration of the contract from July 2018 to June 2020.

Sowami is a graduate of Sociology from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, and holds a Masters in Corporate Governance from Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom.

He launched his career with Besse Oil and Services Limited, later moving on to Cosmos Oil Limited, then to Ignite Energy Limited. In the course of his career, he cultivated relationships with the leadership of prominent international trading companies including Vitol, Shell Trading Rotterdam, Glencore, and BP Oil International Limited.

Sowami also chairs Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, a firm that facilitates finances for businesses, particularly Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are excluded from accessing financing from regular banks due to lack of collateral and property right. He also leads the operations of Prudent Energy & Services Limited, one of the local oil firms licensed to lift Nigerian crude.

His company, founded in 2004, prides itself as one of the leading players in petroleum marketing, marine logistics, and the oil sector consulting in the country. Presently, he has a depot in Oghara, Delta state and a lot of fueling trucks that deliver nationwide. He also has three vessels, two named after his late mother and wife.