Nigerian diesel marketer Femi Otedola couldn’t make it to Forbes’ richest 40 Africans because of his huge debt profile and the steep fall in the share price of his petroleum marketing company, African Petroleum (now Forte Oil), the Magazine reports on its website.
“Otedola had been one of Nigeria’s biggest debtors for the past few years with non-performing loans reported at close to $1 billion”, said the journal, a self – appointed tracker of the world’s wealthiest, quoting the Nigerian media. Mr. Otedola’s flamboyant lifestyle and the fact that he often gets photographed with the country’s president reinforces the perception of an influential man. But media reports, especially since the fuel subsidy bubble bust earlier in the year, have emphasized the liabilities of the son of a former governor of Lagos State.
Forbes reports that Otedola was briefly a billionaire in 2009, but dropped off the magazine rankings. “In October, the Nigerian media reported that Otedola had cleared his debts, albeit in unclear circumstances”, the magazine explained. Today, the former billionaire couldn’t even make a list that had a cut off of $400Million.
The magazine notes, however, that Otedola was “making a bold attempt at a comeback. In October he was part of a consortium that won a bid for a government-owned power plant”. The magazine also adds that Mr Otedola’s Zenon Petroleum “is still the dominant supplier of diesel and kerosene in Nigeria and he boasts an attractive property portfolio in some of Nigeria’s swankiest neighborhoods”.