Not until mid-June 2019, the name AbdulwasiuSowami, was not on the page of most people in the business sector because the young billionaire always wanted to play in the background whereby putting his many brands at the fore front.
His name came into prominence when a foremost billionaire, Femi Otedola, put up his energy company for sale. It was prudent Energy owned by Abdulwasiu Sowami that bought its largest shares.
Few months ago, Nigerian energy tycoon, Femi Otedola, concluded the sale of his 75% stake in Forte Oil, a publicly listed oil marketing company, to Prudent Energy, a local oil trading firm. This was made known when he posted it on his social media page. In a message on his Instagram page where he has more than 1 million followers.
The businessman announced that the completion of his divestment plans and the sale of his 75 per cent direct and indirect shareholdings in the oil company to Sowami’s Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited to make him focus more on the power sector, which in turn makes the astute businessman, Abdulwasiu Sowami the new owner of Forte Oil, a downstream oil and gas company.
Otedola’s 75 per cent equity stake was sold to the new owners in a transaction reportedly worth N65 billion. The billionaire divested his entire 982,971,950 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to the new owners, Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, at N66.01 per unit, amounting to N64.9 billion.
His decision to sell the shares came amidst speculations of his intention to invest in petrochemicals and refining. Rather, proceeds from the deal was said to have been invested in a power generation company, Geregu Power Plc.
Sowami, who acquires Forte Oil, says the next phase is to increase the focus on increasing volumes, diversifying business operations, widening distribution networks and extracting potential synergies with partners. Forte Oil announced the appointment of Olumide Adeosun and Moshood Olajide as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Forte Oil respectively.
Following the divestment of Billionaire, Femi Otedola, from the oil and gas sector, Sowami through his investment portfolio, Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, acquired a 74.02% equity stake in Forte Oil Plc downstream operations.
Forte Oil Plc is one of the Nigeria’s leading downstream oil and gas companies, publicly listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“As a result of the successful acquisition and further to the announcement on December 28, 2018, Ignite will take over controlling stake in Forte Oil Plc the downstream company,” Forte Oil said in a corporate filing on the Nigerian stock exchange.
Sowami said the next phase of Forte Oil’s growth will focus on increasing volumes, diversifying business operations, widening distribution networks and extracting potential synergies with partners.Commenting on the transaction, Abdulwasiu Sowami, Chairman of Ignite, said:
“This investment is of strategic importance to support our quest of continuously adding value to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”
Abdulwasiu Sowami, the Chairman of Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, now doubles as Chairman of Forte Oil Plc.
This young billionaire is also the brain behind Prudent Energy Limited, one of the local oil firms given licence to lift Nigerian crude. In May 2018, NNPC granted his company and 31 others licences to lift 950,000 barrels each of crude oil in a two-year duration of the contract from July 2018 to June 2020.
The company, established in 2014, profiles itself as one of the players in petroleum marketing, marine logistics, and oil sector consulting.He is an Alumnus of the University of Maiduguri, and a Master’s degree holder in Corporate Governance from Leeds Beckett University, UK.
Sowami started his career with Besse Oil and Service Limited, moved on to Cosmos Oil Limited and later to Ignite Energy Limited. He has served in various capacities in those organisations specifically downstream operations.He has a robust industrial background and experience, spanning over two decades in the energy sector, especially, in Petroleum Products Marketing, Distribution and Logistics.
Sowami is an Associate Member of the Institute of Directors, lover of sports and he is happily married with children.
Sowami —in his late 40s— is not given to limelight. Over the years, he had intentionally avoided the publicity of his personal brand and managed to stay off the public eye until recently.
The Ogun State-born big boy is one of the leading oil merchants in Nigeria and he is said to be close to some big shots within the corridors of power.
Now, he has a depot at Oghara, Delta State and many fuel-delivery trucks that delivers nationwide.
He also has three vessels, two named after his late mother and his wife. Alhaji Wasiu, as he is popularly called by his members of staff and close relations, is an ardent lover of football. His company recently partnered with the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) through the signing of a five-year sponsorship agreement.
Having spent over 20 years in the Oil and Gas industry, he is highly revered among his peers because of his intelligence coupled with his keen ability to take calculated risk which puts him ahead of his competitors.
As a philanthropist, he sponsors a large number of persons to pilgrimage every year among other humanitarian activities he engages in.
He is known to have been very close business wise to the Ex- governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.