The Life of Femi Otedola: Founder of Forte Oil

On this day, November 4 in the year 1962, one of the richest persons in Africa was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. His name is Femi Otedola, the founder of a conglomerate that includes Forte Oil PLC, an oil marketing and power generation company.

Femi Otedola
Femi Otedola (Credit:

Femi Otedola was the son of a former teacher, state governor and owner of a printing press. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in Osun State. After graduation, he joined the family printing business. In 1994, he organized CentreForce Ltd, a company that engaged in trading and finance.

In 2003, Femi Otedola organized Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd. to distribute petroleum products. Four years later, Zenon Petroleum bought a controlling stake in African Petroleum, a former subsidiary of British Petroleum (BP). In 2010, the company was renamed Forte Oil. In 2013, the company acquired a large government-owned power generation facility. At present, it operates more than 500 gas stations all over Nigeria. It has also set up an oil distribution subsidiary in Ghana.

In 2016, with the plunge in oil prices, Femi lost his billionaire status. Outside of the oil and energy industry, Femi has investments in banking, insurance, shipping, and hotel operation.

Femi Otedola has 5 children with wife Nana. The family has donated funds for the university education of indigent Nigerians through the provision of scholarship grants. Femi is one of the Nigerian businessmen who provided funds to help reduced crime in Lagos State.


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