Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian billionaire businesswoman. She is involved in the fashion, oil, real estate and printing industries.
Full Name: Folorunsho Alakija
Born: 15 July 1951
Birth place: Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria Protectorate
Residence: Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
Famous as: Businesswoman
Net worth: US$1.5 billion (August 2018)
Title: Managing director, Rose of Sharon Group Executive Vice Chairman, Famfa Oil
Spouse(s): Modupe Alakija (m. 1976)
Biographical and educational history
Folorunsho Alakija was born on 15 July 1951 to the family of Chief L. A. Ogbara in Ikorodu, Lagos State. She attended her Nursery education at Our Ladies of Apostles, Lagos from 1955-1958.
At age seven, she travelled to the United Kingdom to continue her primary education at Dinorben School for Girls in Hafodunos Hall in Llangernyw, Wales
On completion of her primary education, she attended “Muslim High School” in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. She then returned to England for her secretarial studies at Pitman’s Central College, London.
Folorunsho Alakija started her career in 1974 as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, Nigeria. She moved to the former First National Bank of Chicago, which later became FinBank now acquired by FCMB (First City Monument Bank)where she worked for some years before establishing a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches.
It rose to prominence and fame within a few years, and as Rose of Sharon House of Fashion, became a household name.
As national president and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), she left an indelible mark, promoting Nigerian culture through fashion and style.
In May 1993, Folorunsho Alakija applied for the allocation of an oil prospecting license (OPL). The license to explore for oil on a 617,000-acre block—now referred to as OPL 216—was granted to Alakija’s company, Famfa Limited.
The block is located approximately 220 miles south-east of Lagos and 70 miles offshore of Nigeria in the Agbami Field of the central Niger Delta.
In September 1996, she entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Texaco) and appointed the company as a technical adviser for the exploration of the license, transferring 40 percent of her 100 percent stake to Star Deep.
Once word got out they struck oil, the Nigerian government snatched a 40% stake. Later, they took an additional 10%. For twelve years, she fought the government in court.
The government argument was if Alakija and family were allowed to keep their bloc, they stood to make $10 million a day. Still, she persisted and in the end she won.
Achievement and Recognition
Folorunsho Alakija is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited, Digital Reality Prints Limited and the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited. She also has a majority stake in DaySpring Property Development company.
Folorunsho Alakija is ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion. As of 2015, she is listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa after Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Folorunsho Alakija has a foundation called the Rose of Sharon Foundation that helps widows and orphans through scholarship and business grants.
Family and Personal life
Folorunsho Alakija got married to a lawyer, Modupe Alakija of the Adeyemo Alakija family, in November 1976.
The couple resides in Lagos, Nigeria with their four sons and grandchildren. Her nephew is the Nigerian, DJ Xclusive.