Folorunso Alakija is a household name and a reference point to many females in Nigeria and what she stands for. She is regarded as the richest woman in Nigeria. Folorunsho Alakija is vice chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company with a stake in Agbami Oilfield, a prolific offshore asset.
Agbami Oilfield is one of Nigeria’s Oilfield. This post is a biography of Folorunso Alakija; Nigeria’s richest and most influential woman.
Folorunso Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman who is involved in various industries such as fashion, oil, and printing. She is best known for being one of the richest black women in the world.
Folorunso Alakija Early Years & Education
Folorunso Alakija was born in Ikorodu, Lagos State on July 15, 1951. She was from a sizable family due to her father, Chief L.A. Ogbara, having been married eight times and fathering 52 children. Alakija was his second surviving child and her mother, a fabric merchant, was his first wife. At the age of seven Alakija and her younger sister, Doyin were sent to study abroad at Dinorben School for Girls in Northern Wales.
The pair of sisters attended the school for four years before they returned to Nigeria at the request of their parents who did not want the girls’ African values, tradition, and culture to be lost. Alakija would continue her studies at Muslim High School Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. She then ventured abroad again, this time to Pitman’s Central College in London to pursue an education in secretarial studies.
Folorunso Alakija Career
In 1974 Alakija began working in Lagos, Nigeria, as an executive secretary and would later transition to working at FinBank, formerly known as the First National Bank of Chicago, for a number of years.
She changed career path in 1984 and went to study fashion designing in the United Kingdom for one year. Upon returning to Nigeria, Alakija established Supreme Stitches, her fashion house, in a three-bedroom apartment in Surulere, Lagos. Within a year she was one of the best designers in the country and became recognized for endorsing Nigerian culture through her works and clothing.
Alakija expanded her business interests and applied for the allocation of an oil prospecting license (OPL) in May 1993. Her company, Famfa Limited, was eventually granted the license to explore for oil on a 617,000-acre block, now known as OPL 216, located 220 miles south east of Lagos and 70 miles offshore of Nigeria in the Agbami Field of the central Niger Delta.
Alakija entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum, a subsidiary of Texaco, in September 1996 and appointed the company as a technical advisor for the exploration of the license. Some 40% of her 100% stake was transferred to Star Deep. Over time her 60% share of the profits contributed to her vast wealth.
Folorunso Alakija’s Family
Folorunso Alakija has been married to Modupe Alakija, a lawyer since 1976 and the couple raised four boys together. The family resides in Lagos and her children are involved in the family businesses.
Folorunso Alakija Philanthropy
Aside from her many business ventures, Folorunso is also known for her philanthropic work through Rose of Sharon Foundation which she started in May of 2008. The organization assists orphans and widows by empowering them through business grants and scholarships.
On July 1st, 2013 Alakija was appointed as the vice-chairman of the Nigerian National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Arts.
Folorunso Alakija’s Net Worth
As of March 2018, Folorunso Alakija‘s net worth was valued at $1.7 billion and she is the third richest billionaire in Nigeria, after Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola. She is also the 2019 19th richest person in Africa, 80th richest woman in the world and 1941 richest billionaire in the world.