Home African Business Icon Nigerian Business Icon: Oba Otudeko

Nigerian Business Icon: Oba Otudeko

by Valentine Ogbamebor

Background and Personal Life

Oba Otudeko is a Nigerian businessman and one of the top billionaires in the country. He is the founder and chairman of the Honeywell Group. In addition, he is also the founder of the Oba Otudeko Foundation and chairman of FBN holdings. By profession, Oba Otudeko is a Chartered Corporate Secretary, Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Banker.

Family

Oba Otudeko was born on the 18th of August, 1943 in Ibadan, Oyo State, South-West Nigeria. In the real sense, he is actually an “oba” because he was born to a royal family. Oba Otudeko is married to Mrs Adebisi Aderonke Otudeko.

Education

Oba Otudeko bagged a degree in accountancy at the Leeds College of Commerce Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom. In the course of his educational background, Oba Otudeko has enrolled in executive management training programs at the Hult International Business School, Harvard Business School, and International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

Career and Business Life

Oba Otudeko began his business career in the banking industry. He worked in the banking sector for 23 years in which he rose to become the General Manager and acting CEO of the then Cooperative Bank, Ibadan. In 1983, he retired from his bank employment at Cooperative Bank. Thereafter, he was appointed as a Director to the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria by the Federal Government of Nigeria. In September 2006, Oba Otudeko emerged as the 16th President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The Honeywell Group, which is one of the major highlights of Oba Otudeko’s business ventures was founded by Oba Otudeko himself in 1972. Currently, the conglomerate is an employer of an estimate of 10,000 people.

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In addition to his leadership position at the Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko has, on different occasions, been appointed as the Chairman of Fan Milk Nigeria Plc and Airtel Nigeria Limited. He also served on the Board of First Bank of Nigeria Plc for a decade and two years until his retirement in 2010.

During the course of his career, Oba Otudeko has occupied leadership positions in private businesses cutting across brewing (Guinness Nigeria), finance and international trade (Ecobank Transnational Inc.) and real estate. He was also a member of the Board of the NEPAD Business Group – Nigeria.

Oba Otudeko was also the chairman of the NSACC – Nigerian South Africa Chamber of Commerce. In a bid to bring about investment flows into Nigeria, Otudeko’s tenure as the NSACC Chairman recorded a significant increase in the volume of Nigeria South Africa bilateral trade from $16.5 million as at 1999 to a whopping $2.9 billion in 2010.

Most of Otudeko’s investments are managed as subsidiaries of Honeywell Group. In fact, the popular Honeywell Flour Mills Plc is one out of a plethora of other businesses under the Honeywell Group. Honeywell Flour Mills Plc is one of the biggest food processors in Nigeria producing pasta, noodles, ball foods, baking flour etc. The business became operative in 1998 and is listed in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Incorporated in 1995, HOGL Energy Ltd is another of Otudeko’s business under the Honeywell Group. The company focuses on procuring, importing and distributing fuels and gases. Other subsidiaries under Otudeko’s Honeywell Group are: Huston Power Ltd, Pavilion Technology Ltd, Anchorage Leisures Ltd, Pivot Energy Company Ltd (PECL) and Uraga Real Estate Ltd.

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Business achievements

During the course of his decades-long business career, Oba Otudeko has proven to be a successful business-oriented person. He is the recipient of a plethora of awards some of which include:

  • Silverbird Extraordinary Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Leadership Newspaper Business Person of the Year (2015)
  • Ernst & Young Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Thisday Award for Entrepreneur of the Year (2009)
  • In addition to these prestigious awards, Oba Otudeko’s accomplishments also features honorary awards such as
  • Honorary Doctor of Science Degree (D.Sc.) from the Ajay Crowther University, Oyo Town, Oyo State, Nigeria.
  • Honorary Doctor of Science in Banking and Finance from Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
  • Honorary Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Net worth, Wealth and Assets

Currently, Oba Otudeko has an estimated net worth of $650 million. His sources of wealth stems from his heavy investments in the financial sector, marine industry, oil and Gas industry, and interests in the real estate sector.

Conclusion

In a bid to give back to the society, Oba Otudeko established an NGO called Oba Otudeko Foundation (OOF) in 2003. He tries to drive sustainable development in Nigeria and other African countries through this foundation.

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