Folorunso Alakija is a renowned Nigerian business woman. She deals in Fashion, Oil, Real Estate and printing industries.
Folorunsho was born on the 15th of July 1951 to the family of Chief L. A. Ogbara in Ikorodu, Lagos State. She hails from Lagos state Nigeria.
Her Educational Background
Folorunsho had her Nursery education at Our Ladies of Apostles, Lagos from 1955-1958 and her primary education at Dinorben School for Girls in Hafodunos Hall in Llangernyw, Wales United Kingdom between 1959-1963. On completion of her primary education, she relocated to Nigeria to attend “Muslim High School” in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria.
Alakija began her career in 1974 as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Lagos, Nigeria.
She later went back to England for her secretarial studies at Pitman’s Central College, London. Upon graduation, Folorunsho worked in the former First National Bank of Chicago, which later metamorphosed into FinBank now acquired by FCMB First City Monument Bank where she worked for some years before establishing a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches.
Folorunsho Alakija like any other celebrities worldwide has made remarkable achievements.
She rose to prominence and fame within few years, and as Rose of Sharon House of Fashion, became a household name. As the founder and president, lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), she left an indelible mark, promoting Nigerian culture through fashion and style.
She 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. As at 2015, she was listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa after Ngozi Okonjo–Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes ranking.
In May 1993, Alakija applied for the allocation of an oil prospecting license (OPL) and was given the license to explore for oil on a 617,000 acre block, now named OPL 216—was granted to Alakija’s company, Famfa Limited. The bloc is located approximately 220 miles south-east of Lagos and 70 miles offshore of Nigeria in the Agbami Field of the Central Niger Delta.
She entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited in September 1996. As would be expected, Alakija owned a subsidiary of Texaco and wisely made the company a technical partner and adviser for the exploration of the license, thereby transferring 40 percent of her 100 percent ownership to Star Deep.
As fate would have it, this versatile Nigerian woman made progress after discovering oil. This development did not go down with her as the Nigerian government saw it as too much and snatched a 40% stake. Later, they took an additional 10%.
For twelve years, Alakija fought the government in court. The government funny argument was that, if Alakija and family were allowed to keep their bloc, they stood to make as much as $10 million a day, a development the government sees as too much. With persistence and faith, she held on to the end and eventually won the case.
Folorunsho Alakija has since earned several prestigious recognition. Some and most recent include:
- 2014 listed as the 96th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
- 2015 Nigerian woman listed among the world’s 100 most powerful women according to Forbes. Alakija was 87th on the list including the former minister of Finance, Okonjo Iweala.
As part of her philanthropist gesture, Folorunsho set up a foundation known as the Rose of Sharon Foundation, a platform created to help widows and orphans through scholarships and business grants.
Folorunsho Alakija is happily married to a lawyer, of the Adeyemo Alakija family, in November 1976. The couple resides in Lagos, Nigeria and the marriage is blessed with four sons and grandchildren.
Her Net Worth
Folorunsho Alakija is a successful business woman, ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria and one of the richest women in the world with an estimated net worth of $1 billion dollars.