Home » Billionaire Femi Otedola triumphs as FBNH directors oppose Otudeko’s stake purchase

Billionaire Femi Otedola triumphs as FBNH directors oppose Otudeko’s stake purchase

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Femi Otedola

Nigerian billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Femi Otedola has achieved a resounding triumph with his appointment as a non-executive director on the board of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBNH).

During the group’s annual general meeting, an impressive 97 percent of voting shareholders endorsed Otedola’s directorial role within the prominent Nigerian bank.

Otedola’s appointment as a Non-Executive Director, validated by 1,628 out of the total 1,682 votes cast, solidifies his influential stature within Nigeria’s business landscape. The overwhelming support of shareholders underscores Otedola’s substantial impact on the nation’s economy.

In a noteworthy development on the sidelines of the annual general shareholders meeting, directors of the financial services conglomerate voiced their dissent against a recent acquisition of 4,770,269,843 FBNH shares by Nigerian magnate Oba Otudeko.

The directors disapproved of Otudeko’s latest share purchase, equating to a significant 13.3-percent stake in FBNH. Their concern stemmed partly from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to dissolve the FBN Holdings board of directors in May 2021, a move that led to Otudeko’s removal as the lender’s largest shareholder and chairman at the time.

Notwithstanding this internal disagreement, FBNH’s board of directors united in supporting Otedola’s appointment as a non-executive director. The board praised Otedola’s visionary acumen, branding him a household name distinguished by exceptional leadership skills and a track record of transforming companies into profitable ventures.

Since he emerged as a significant shareholder in FBNH in 2021, the financial services behemoth has demonstrated a remarkable surge in profitability, accompanied by considerable value creation for its stakeholders.

According to its recently published half-year financial report, FBNH witnessed an astounding 230.8-percent increase in profits, rising from N56.6 billion ($72.91 million) in H1 2022 to N187.2 billion ($241.3 million) during the first half of the ongoing reporting period.

This boost was largely due to the revaluation of investment securities in naira terms following the unification of the naira in Q2 2023, resulting in a total of N110.96 billion ($142.57 million) in interest income.

Otedola’s appointment to the FBNH board dovetails with his recent efforts to fortify his presence in Nigeria’s power sector.

His energy generation company, Geregu Power Plc, has sparked interest as Otedola pursues collaboration with the Lagos State government and the African Development Bank Group to establish Nigeria’s inaugural PPP power transmission project to enhance the nation’s power infrastructure.

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