2018 Oil & Gas Industry Nigeria: Where Is Wale Tinubu Of OandO?

Adewale Tinubu is the Group Chief Executive of Oando PLC. He began his career in 1992 as an attorney, specializing in corporate and petroleum law assignments. His journey to owning one of the largest oil and gas companies in Nigeria started when a friend of his, Jite Okoloko approached Wale with a problem. Okoloko, who had contacts at the federal government had been contracted by Unipetrol, a government-owned oil company to transport diesel from the Port Harcourt refinery in Niger Delta to fill up few fishing trawlers in Lagos. Okoloko was desperately in need of a vessel to transport the fuel. Wale had a close friend, Omamofe Boyo, who as a lawyer at FRA Williams Chambers- one of Nigeria’s most senior law firms, represented an oil service firm, which owned a weather-beaten 1945 World War II tanker called The Carolina. Excited and realizing that The Carolina could fulfill Unipetrol’s requirements; Wale immediately contacted Mofe and informed him of the opportunity and this was the genesis of his grand entry into the oil business.

With time, Wale acquired The Carolina from its initial owners and transcended from selling fuels to mere fishing trawlers to independently selling to indigenous oil companies. His oil trading company, which he called Ocean and Oil, earned a reputation for effective delivery of service and soon became a favorite among the indigenous oil firms. His two friends, Mofe Boyo and Jite Okoloko, joined him at the company and together they subsequently increased their fleet from one ship to seven. By the time he was 30, Ocean and Oil had become the market leader in the supply and trading of fuel products.

In 2000, Ocean and Oil acquired Unipetrol during the Federal Government of Nigeria’s privatization exercise and just two years later, Wale led the largest ever acquisition of a quoted Nigerian company, with the purchase of Agip by Unipetrol. The group was re-branded Oando PLC and has grown to become the leading Oil and Gas retailer in Nigeria.

In May 2018, Wale achieved his most recent feat which was the official opening of  ‘The Wings Office Complex’. It was located at Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos to serve as a corporate head office. The building was described as the biggest and most beautiful in Lagos. As gathered, the new building which has 12 floors on each wing cost the company a whopping sum of $172million and can be accessed from the Five Cowrie Creek via a jetty. The towers also offer a swanky rooftop entertainment deck, which will be an excellent venue for hosting social events and corporate get-together. It includes a marquee, bar, ample lounge seating and offers gorgeous views of the city and the creek in an utterly relaxing environment.

Following the commissioning of the new office, not too much has been heard about Wale Tinubu recently as he has successfully been able to stay off the media and keep his business private.

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