Folorunsho Alakija, Africa’s richest woman by Forbes reckoning, was
among the 25 billionaires he made during his tenure as President.
Obasanjo stated this at the 2016 Tony Elumelu Foundation
allegation by Alakija at the event, that the Obasanjo administration
frustrated her effort when she ventured into oil business.She alleged
administration illegally took an oil block allocated to her company
after her family had invested all its savings to strike oil in
“This oil block is in 5000 feet depth of water and was extremely
difficult to explore. “It took 15 years from the time that we were
awarded the licence in 1993 till 2008 when we struck the first oil “When
this event happened, 60 per cent out of our 60 per cent equity in the
business, was forcefully taken from us by the government of the day
without due process. “We had to fight back by going to court to seek
redress and it took another 12 years for justice to be served in our
favour. “In all those years it was my trust in God, my perseverance and
the support of my family that got me going,” she said. .
She used her experiences to charge the 2000 budding entrepreneurs at
the event to be dogged, determined and not to give up in the face of
challenges. When Obasanjo spoke, the former president seized the
opportunity to reply to the allegation by Alakija.
“There is a saying in my part of the world that when a proverb touches
you and you failed to reply, then you are a coward,” he said.
“For you to come here and say that, for no cause whatsoever, you were
denied what was rightfully yours, is not fair. “I do not know you from
Adam and there is no reason I would have denied you what rightfully
belonged to you. “So, you have struggled, and you have struck oil. God
bless your heart. “My delight is to be able to create Nigerian
billionaire and I always say it that my aim, when I was in government
was to create 50 Nigerian billionaires. “Unfortunately I failed. I
created only 25 and Madam, you are one of them,” he said.