#WomanCrushWednesday: Folorunsho Alakija -The Slick Oil Baroness

Folorunso Alakija is a highflying Nigerian businesswoman, one of the black women in the world also described as The Slick Oil Baroness. In 2014, she temporarily unseated Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman of African descent in the world. Presently in 2018, her estimated net worth sits at 1.65 billion USD (2018).

She was born July 15, 1951(Ikorodu, Lagos) and has been married to Modupe Alakija, a lawyer since 1976 with 4 sons (one of whom is Rotimi Alakija). At age seven, she’d travelled to the United Kingdom to begin a four-year primary education at Dinorben School for Girls in Hafodunos Hall in Llangernyw, Wales. After returning to Nigeria, she attended Muslim High School Sagamu Ogun State, Nigeria. Afterward, she returned abroad for her secretarial studies at Pitman’s Central College, London. She also studied fashion design at the American College, London and the Central School of Fashion.

The beautiful  business magnate has her hands in other pies apart from oil and gas. In fact, she is also into fashion and printing; combining three huge industries which she makes seem like like easy beans. She is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited, and also the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.

According to Forbes, Alakija is ranked as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion in 2015. She is listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa after Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world.

The mogul started her career in 1974 as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, Nigeria and moved on to the former First National Bank of Chicago, now FinBank now acquired by FCMB (First City Monument Bank) where she worked for some years before establishing a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches. Her company rose to prominence and fame within a few years and Rose of Sharon House of Fashion became a household name. As national president and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), she left an indelible mark, promoting Nigerian culture through fashion and style.

In May 1993, Folorunsho applied for the 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. The block is located approximately 220 miles south-east of Lagos and 70 miles offshore of Nigeria in the Agbami Field of the central Niger Delta. 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 Petrobras, a Brazilian company.

The tireless achiever also on 9 March 2016, became the chancellor of Osun State University, consequently doubling as Nigeria first female chancellor.

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