Folorunsho Alakija | Richest woman in Nigeria

Folorunsho Alakija | Richest woman in Nigeria

alakija!Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian business tycoon who runs multiple businesses.

She is a fashion designer, Executive Director of FAMFA oil, an ingenious Nigerian oil and gas exploration and production company and also the group’s Managing Director of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited.

Known for her passion for philanthropy, Alakija is ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria and second richest woman in Africa with an estimated net worth of 2.5 billion dollars.

As of 2014, she is also ranked the 96th most powerful woman in the world.

There is Always a Beginning

Alakija was born on July 15 1951 in Ikorodu, Lagos state.

Born into a large and wealthy family, she was the second surviving child of her her father Chief L.A Ogbara who had 8 wives and 52 children with her mother being the first wife.

At the age of seven Folorunsho alongside her younger sister traveled to the United Kingdom for her primary school education at Dinorben School for Girls in Hafodunos Hall in Llangernyw, Wales.

At the time of their four year stay, Alakija and her sister were the only black girls who attended the school.

She later returned to Nigeria and got enrolled at the Muslim High School Sagamu Ogun State, Nigeria, after which she traveled back to London were she attended Pitman’s Central College for Secretarial Studies.

A Career Woman with an Eye for Fashion

She started her career in 1974 during which she worked as a Secretary at Sijuade Enterprise and later moved on to First National Bank of Chicago, now Finbank.

Thereafter, she left Nigeria to study Fashion Designing and on return home to the country after her training in 1985, she set up her fashion house, Supreme Stiches which has been since renamed The Rose of Sharon House of Fashion in 1996.

Exactly a year after setting up her fashion house, she emerged as the best Designer of the Year. She became the National President and a Trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN).

In 1993 Alakija got her big break when she got involved with oil business through a friend she met while still in the fashion business.

She applied for the allocation of an oil prospecting license (OPL) which subsequently granted her a lucrative block in Nigeria’s coastal waters which as at that period nobody wanted.

Persevering Even Through Inexperience

In 1996, due to her inexperience in the oil sector, Alakija entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited and appointed them as technical adviser for technical exploration of the license.

Today FAMFA oil is one of the famous oil producing companies in Nigeria.

Alakija became a born again Christian at 40 and in her words “I chose to make a covenant with God that if he would bless me, I would work for him all the days of my life”.

She married her husband Modupe Alakija in 1976 and their union is blessed with four boys.

Also a writer and an author her motto goes “whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well”

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