Indigenous oil and gas giant, Jubril Adewale Tinubu, is like a mustard seed that grew into an oak. For the business executive and lawyer, who, today, is a big player in the oil and gas sector, early life portrayed him as a potentially great person. And, like most young men of his generation, his dream was to become one of the world’s greatest businessmen. Luckily, Providence has granted him his heart’s desire. At the outset of his business, Tinubu faced a lot of daunting challenges.
But his uncommon daring spirit and survival instinct made him overcome the teething challenges. He began his career in 1990 as an attorney, specialising in corporate and petroleum law assignments. In 1994, he co-founded Ocean & Oil Group and guided its strategic development from an oil trading and shipping company. From his humble beginning with a small oil firm, Ocean and Oil Services many years ago,his clear vision was to lead the company into a leading indigenous exploration and production player on the African continent.
For the Lagos State-born magnate popularly called the “King of African Oil,” his emergence as a world-acclaimed businessman did not come as a surprise to those who knew him. With resilience and focus, he has achieved that dream, as he has been able to grow the business into a conglomerate playing in the continent’s energy sector. And today, he is one of the few Nigerians who rub shoulders with other top executives around the world, making him a glittering star in the global business firmament.
Oando Marketing, the group’s downstream subsidiary, is the largest marketer and distributor of refined petroleum products with over 650 service stations strategically positioned all across Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, and Sierra-Leone, among other West African countries. The group also owns deep offshore exploration assets, power generation interests, and is currently managing the development of a greenfield refinery with the capacity to produce about 240,000 barrels per day (bpd). Oando is currently one of the largest indigenous energy companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE. In 2005, the company made history as the first Nigerian company to dual-list on both the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.
Wale Tinubu, made it all happen. The trained lawyer has carved out an enviable position as one of Nigeria’s most venerable dealmakers, placing himself atop the pecking order in Nigeria’s oil industry. The company has become an African success story. It now has six subsidiaries; Oando Production and Development Company; Oando Refinery; Oando Trading Company; Oando Marketing; Oando Power Company; and Oando Energy Services. It has over 500 petrol stations in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, the Republic of Benin, and Sierra Leone.
In 2008, Oando paid $197 million for 15 percent equity in two deep offshore oil mining leases. A few years ago, the company announced it generated about $49 million in revenue from one of the rigs and has now acquired three more drilling rights. Between drilling and production, Oando has interest in at least 11 oil blocks in Nigeria, valued at around $600 million. Additional revenue comes from their 12.15 MW independent power plant in South West Nigeria, which serves the Lagos State government. A natural gas pipeline project was embarked upon in 2007.
Apart from this, the trained lawyer’s philanthropic gesture is worthy of emulation. While some are so engrossed with their own lives and interests they are unable to spare a second in consideration for others. Others measure the value of their lives based on how many lives they have touched and blessed, not to mention the degree to which they have done these things. Tinubu belongs to the latter category and has become one of the brightest beacons of hope for the underprivileged in Nigeria. Indeed, when you think of a philanthropist in today’s Nigeria, his name will come to mind right away. It will be recalled that, in 2019, he, alongside some prominent Nigerians, visited the IDP camp in Maiduguri, Borno State, to attend to the needs of some of the inmates.
He also donated books to 15 universities and two national libraries across Nigeria. Speaking on the initiative, he said it was aimed at educating students and the public on the country’s oil and gas sector, which remains the largest contributor to the country’s forex earnings. In addition to giving back to society, Tinubu, also a devout Muslim, recently donated 300 million naira towards the completion of the Al-Noor Masjid at the International Centre for Islamic Culture and Education, ICICE, in Wuse 2, Abuja.
In addition, Oando PLC, one of Africa’s leading energy solution providers, decided to invest in education with the Oando Foundation ten years ago. Today, the foundation has not only lived up to its expectations but has also bridged the gap and transformed the lives of Nigerian children through education.
Since its establishment in 2011, Inspired Hands has dedicated its time, talent, and resources to putting smiles on the faces of Nigerian school pupils, teachers, and indeed the larger community. The foundation has held four career talks, three book drives, and four school rehabilitations across Nigeria over the years, as well as donated 1500 educational aids and awarded and sponsored 221 scholarships.Through the scholarship programme, it has impacted 1153 students from poor socio-economic backgrounds. Beneficiaries have recorded remarkable strides, consistently performing above the 70% average; others have represented their states and local governments’ different academic competitions. It has successfully supported the professional development of 28,322 teachers and 210 head teachers in school management, modern pedagogical practices, and subject content knowledge.
Adewale Tinubu born June 26, 1967, had his primary education in Lagos State and later obtained the West African School Certificate in 1983 from the Federal Government College, Odogbolu. He studied law at the University of Liverpool and obtained a Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics.
He returned to Nigeria at the age of 22 to attend the Nigerian Law School and was admitted to the Nigerian bar in 1990. Tinubu began his career with his family law firm, K. O. Tinubu and Co, where he specialised in corporate and petroleum law. He co-founded Ocean and Oil Limited, an oil company that later became Oando Plc, in 1994.