AbdulWasiu Sowami, the Billionaire who acquired Femi Otedola’s Forte Oil

Billionaire Femi Otedola’s decision to divest his shares in Forte Oil surprised many Nigerians.

But what is more interesting is that his company was acquired by a Nigerian company, Prudent Energy & Services Limited, owned by a Nigerian businessman and oil mogul. 

Before this news, Abdulwasiu Sowami, owner of Prudent Energy, was unknown to many Nigerians. 

The name might not have rung a bell with some Nigerians and the investing public. Here’s what we know about this billionaire who hasn’t been on everyone’s radar; compared to many in the country’s billionaire circle.

His robust industry knowledge and experience in the country’s oil and gas sector spans over two decades, owing to his leadership positions in various companies. Sowami started his career with Besse Oil and Services Limited, later moving to Cosmos Oil Limited, then to Ignite Energy Limited.  

In the course of his career, he has cultivated relationships with the leadership of prominent international trading companies, including Vitol, Shell Trading Rotterdam, Glencore, and BP Oil International Limited.  

Sowami chairs Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, a firm that facilitates finances for businesses, particularly Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are excluded from accessing financing from regular banks due to lack of collateral and property rights. He also leads the operations of Prudent Energy & Services Limited, one of the local oil firms licensed to lift Nigerian crude.   

His company, founded in 2004, prides itself as one of the country’s leading players in petroleum marketing, marine logistics, and the oil sector consulting. Presently, he has a depot in Oghara, Delta state and many fueling trucks that deliver nationwide. He also has three vessels, two named after his late mother and wife. 

A glance at Sowami’s Prudent Energy & Services Limited 

Since its establishment, Sowami’s Prudent Energy & Sevices Limited has been exploring its core area of specialisation in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry. 

Prudent Energy has a 54 Million Litre fully automated, ultra-modern petroleum products depot, a self-serving jetty, and two marine vessels.

MT Ashabi (29,005DWT) and MT Mosunmola (16,326DWT), the company has, within the short period of its establishment, grown to become one of the very few leading indigenous oil trading firms in the country. 

Acquisition of Forte Oil 

It is taking the baton from Otedola, who had embarked on a journey to transform a dying petroleum marketing business, African Petroleum Plc (formerly British Petroleum), into a leading integrated solutions provider. Forte Oil prides itself as a profit-making company that has built intrinsic value in the best interest of its shareholders and investors at large. 

Sowami is advancing the company’s pride after acquiring Otedola’s 75 per cent stake.

AbdulWasiu Sowami’s Profile

Mr. Sowami is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Prudent Energy & Services LTD., a $600m gross-revenue mid to downstream company.  He sits on the boards of several companies including Prudent E&P LTD., FES Energy Limited (UAE), Ignite Investment & Commodities Limited, Prudent Gas LTD., and Prudent Effsow Commodities LTD.

By developing and leveraging on first tier relationships with the leadership of top international trading companies including Glencore, Shell Trading Rotterdam, Vitol and BP Oil International LTD., Mr. Sowami has amassed a combined trading line of over US$100m.

Mr. Sowami is also well-known for his philanthropy. He established the Abdul-Lateef & Sanni Foundation to build schools and provide scholarships to indigent students. 

Education & Certifications: Mr. Sowami holds an M.Sc. in Corporate Governance from Leeds Beckett University, England and a B.Sc. in Sociology from the University of Maiduguri. He is a member of the Institute of Directors, Nigeria. 

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