Femi Otedola’s Grit, Guts and Candour

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RingTrue with Yemi Adebowale, June 25, 2024. [email protected]; 08054699539 (text only)

The Chairman of FBN Holdings, Femi Otedola, is known for his ambitious goals in business. When he sets his sights on something, it’s “a done deal.” Thanks to his grit, guts and candour. One can confidently describe this man as “master of his craft”. Otedola is wise with his business skills, commits to goals, always well-prepared for long-term journeys, leverages on support systems and never stops working.

Otedola’s ambitions are fired by great business skills and fueled by a desire to positively impact on the society. When his plans to become the majority shareholder of FBN Holdings were still sketchy in 2021, I knew it was a done deal.

So, it did not come as a surprise when his latest acquisitions (this week) gave him a commanding 11.64 per cent majority shareholding of FBN Holdings. About 797,946,415 shares at N21.58 kobo per share were purchased by the billionaire investor on June 24, 2024. Yes, Femi bought new shares worth N17.2 billion in the company to further cement his position as the single largest shareholder of FBN Holdings, owners of the oldest bank in this country. First Bank is also a strategically important bank for Nigeria’s economy.

This is mission accomplished by Otedola (this week) for the good of the bank and the larger Nigerian society! Certainly, when I say, “for the good of FBN,” I know what I’m saying. His emergence as Chairman of the Board in January swiftly impacted on FBN Holdings’ performance so far this year.

In the first quarter of 2024, FBN Holdings grew its gross earnings by 181.43 per cent to N1.60 trillion, with interest income contributing 60 per cent of total earnings, while non-interest income grew by 153.67 per cent to N601.70 billion. FBN Holdings’ Profit Before Tax also increased by 25.15 per cent to N350.59 billion in this same Q1 2024.

On the other hand, the FBN Holdings’ new acquisition is mission accomplished by Otedola “for the good of the larger Nigerian society.” Here, I’m talking about more money for charity. Returns from these investments will evidently be more money for charity. Otedola’s investments in humanity are massive, covering key areas such as health and education. He is guided by the belief that “every life has equal value.”

Otedola is Vice President of “Save the Children”, a UK-based charity group, and this was influenced by the impact of his generous donation of N5 billion to Save the Children’s course in Nigeria. For me, the reward for charity is more charity. My dear Femi, please focus more on improving the health and welfare of millions of traumatised Nigerians. You must lift more people out of hunger and extreme poverty.

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