Folorunsho Alakija Net Worth
|Net Worth:||$1 Billion|
|Date of Birth:||1951 (71 years old)|
|Place of Birth:||Ikorodu|
What is Folorunsho Alakija's Net Worth?
Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman and philanthropist who has a net worth of $1 billion. Folorunsho Alakija works in the industries of fashion, real estate, printing, and oil. She serves as the group managing director of the Rose of Sharon Group and the executive vice chairman of Famfa Oil Limited. Additionally, Alakija maintains a majority stake in DaySpring Property Development Company.
She began her professional career as an Executive Secretary in Lagos, Nigeria, while simultaneously launching her own tailoring business. Her company flourished, and she went on to become the National President and a Trustee for the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria.
In the early 90s, she applied for a license to begin prospecting for oil. It turns out, the plot of land she was granted was sitting on over 1 billion barrels of potential oil. She owns 60% of the drilling venture that is off the coast of Nigeria. Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, a Texaco company, and Petrobras, a Brazilian company, own the rest of the drilling operation.
After the billion barrels were discovered, the Nigerian government attempted to take the land grant back. A 12-year legal battle ensued that reached all the way to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Folorunsho was victorious and her patience was rewarded handsomely. Today, Folorunsho Alakija is one of the richest black women on the planet.
Early Life and Education
Folorunsho Alakija was born on July 15, 1951 in Ikorodu, Lagos State in what was then colonial Nigeria. Raised in an upper-class family, her father was Chief L. A. Ogbara. As a child, Alakija attended the Our Ladies of Apostles nursery school. When she was seven, she moved to the United Kingdom to attend the Dinorben School for Girls in Wales. After graduating in 1963, Alakija moved back to Nigeria and went to Muslim High School in Sagamu, Ogun State. She returned to the United Kingdom to pursue secretarial studies at Pitman's Central College, London.
In 1974, Alakija began her career as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises in Lagos, Nigeria. She later moved to the First National Bank of Chicago, where she became the executive secretary to the managing director. Alakija went on to become the new head of the Corporate Affairs Department at the International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, and then the office assistant to the Treasury Department.
After around 12 years working in the banking industry, Alakija decided to pursue a career in fashion. To do so, she enrolled at the American College in London and the Central School of Fashion. Returning to Nigeria afterward, Alakija founded her first fashion label, Supreme Stitches. In 1996, she rebranded the label as the Rose of Sharon House of Fashion. To further establish herself as a Nigerian fashion pioneer, Alakija became the national president and a trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria.
Looking to further expand her career opportunities, Alakija applied for an oil prospecting license in 1993. Through her company Famfa, she was granted a license to explore on a 617,000-acre block of land southeast of Lagos. In 1996, Alakija and Famfa began a joint venture agreement with Texaco subsidiary Star Deep Water Petroleum, which served as a technical adviser for her oil exploration. The companies ended up striking oil, after which the Nigerian government claimed a 40% stake, and then another 10%, in the asset.
Beyond her for-profit business pursuits, Alakija has also been involved in philanthropic endeavors. Through her Rose of Sharon Foundation, she assists orphans and widows via grants and scholarships. Alakija has also made a donation for the creation of a skills acquisition center at the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos.
Honors and Awards
In 2015, Folorunsho Alakija was listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa, following economist and activist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Later, in 2020, Forbes listed Alakija as the wealthiest woman in Nigeria. In honor of her work in the business world, Alakija was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration from Benson Idahosa University in the summer of 2021.
Alakija wed lawyer Modupe Alakija in 1976. The couple has four sons, and lives in Lagos. Notably, Alakija's nephew is recording artist and record producer DJ Xclusive.