Meet Africa's Richest Woman - Mrs Folorunsho Alakija

Meet Africa's Richest Woman - Mrs Folorunsho Alakija

Nigeria's richest woman draws the bulk of her fortune from oil.

Meet Africa's Richest Woman - Mrs Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunsho Alakija started her career in the mid 1970s as a secretary at the now-defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, one of the West African nation's earliest investment banks.

In the 1980s, after studying fashion design in England, she founded Supreme Stitches, a Nigerian fashion label that catered to upscale clientele.

Her biggest break came in oil. In 1993 Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida awarded her company, Famfa Oil, an oil prospecting license which went on to become OML 127, one of Nigeria's most prolific oil blocks.

Meet Africa's Richest Woman - Mrs Folorunsho Alakija

Famfa Oil owned a 60% stake in the block until 2000 when the Nigerian government, led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, unconstitutionally acquired a 50% interest in the block without duly compensating Alakija or her company. The block earns her N157 million a day.

Famfa Oil went to court to challenge the acquisition, and in May this year, the Nigerian Supreme Court reinstated the 50% stake to Famfa Oil. Chevron owns the remaining 40%. Through her charity, the Rose of Sharon Foundation, Alakija supports widows throughout Nigeria.

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