The Chairman of Geregu Energy Group and billionaire businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola has debunked speculations that he is interested in holding any board position in FBN Holdings, First Bank or any of their subsidiaries.
Otedola was recently invited by the UK-based Save the Children to join the prestigious group of its Vice Presidents, in recognition of his philanthropic efforts to better the lives of children in Nigeria.
Save the Children is the second largest charity in the world after UNICEF and has Princess Anne as Patron since 2017 after serving as President since 1970.
In a brief chat with THISDAY at the ExecuJet Private terminal in Lagos on Wednesday, Otedola was asked about his next steps after becoming the single largest shareholder of FBNHoldings.
He smiled and said he did not acquire the bank’s shares because he wanted to be chairman of the bank.
“I am simply an investor who saw an opportunity in the financial institution and decided to take advantage of it through the investment I have made. My interest, contrary to speculations is not to become chairman of the bank or its holding company (Holdco). Moreover, I am in semi-retirement,” he explained.
According to him, the hallmark of any good investor was to see opportunities where others don’t, saying that he was convinced that FBN Holdings has a bright future, is strong, solid and would remain a dominant player in the Nigerian financial services sector in the foreseeable future.
Otedola praised the financial institution, saying “being the single largest shareholder doesn’t mean I must necessarily hold a position in the bank. I believe in allowing competent people run institutions in a professional manner and to the benefit of all the stakeholders.”
The billionaire recently acquired an additional 2.5 per cent in FBN Holdings Plc, raising his stake to become the single largest shareholder in the company with a total shareholding of 7.5 percent.
Market analysts believe Otedola must have pumped a whopping N45 billion to attain this dominant position.