Has Nigerian oil tycoon taken Oprah’s place as richest black woman in the world?

Oprah has held the title of richest black woman in the world for quite some time. But has she been replaced by Nigerian oil tycoon, Folurunsho Alakija?

Ventures Africa reports: Oprah Winfrey has lost her long-held title as the richest black woman in the world to a Nigerian oil tycoon.

Folorunsho Alakija, a 61-year-old Nigerian billionaire oil tycoon, Fashion designer and philanthropist who is worth at least $3.3 billion- contrary to a recent Forbes Magazine ranking which pegs her net worth at only $600 million.

This is roughly $500 million more than Oprah‘s $2.7 billion net worth, Ventures Africa reported.

Alakija is the founder and owner of Famfa Oil, which owns a 60 per cent interest in OML 127, an offshore oil field that produces roughly 200,000 barrels of oil per day and is worth an estimated $6.44 billion.

Wealthiest: Folorunsho Alakija, a 61-year-old oil tycoon from Nigeria, is reportedly worth at least $3.3 billion, or $500 million more than Oprah's $2.7 billion net worthWealthiest: Folorunsho Alakija, a 61-year-old oil tycoon from Nigeria, is reportedly worth at least $3.3 billion, or $500 million more than Oprah’s $2.7 billion net worth

Also a fashion designer and philanthropist, Alakija is married and has four grown sons, as well as one grandchild. She owns at least $100 million in real estate and $46 million private jet, Ventures Africa reported.

Born into a wealthy Nigerian family, Alakija started out as a secretary in the mid 1970s at the now defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria.

Several years later, she quit her job and moved to London, where she studied fashion design. She later returned to Nigeria and launched her fashion line, Supreme Stitches, which caters to upscale, high-society women.

While she was building her name as a fashion designer, Alakija in 1993 applied for an Oil Prospecting License — an expensive permit that allows for oil exploration in a specified area.

The Nigerian government granted her request and allocated a 617,000-acre block of land to Alakija for oil exploration — but she knew nothing about finding and extracting oil.

No longer No. 1: Oprah Winfrey has long been considered the richest black woman in the world, but Alakija now has her beat No longer No. 1: Oprah Winfrey has long been considered the richest black woman in the world, but Alakija now has her beat

So in September of 1996, she appointed Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited — a subsidiary of Texaco — to act as a technical adviser for her business.

In 2000, Star Deep Petroleum determined that Alakija’s land contained an excess of one billion barrels of oil. When this was discovered, the Nigerian government tried to re-acquire half of the oil-rich block it had sold to Alakija.

The Nigerian government was successful and Alakija lost control of all but 10 percent of her oil company until 2012, when Nigeria’s highest court reversed the government’s actions.

With Alakija now back in control of 60 percent of the oil company, her net worth has shot up to $3.2 billion, an estimate that Ventures Africa calls extremely conservative.

Alakija’s sons now run Famfa Oil and her husband, Modupe Alakija, is the chairman of the company.

She recently purchased a $102 million property at One Hyde Park in London, as well as a Bombardier Global Express 6000 jet, which she bought earlier this year for $46 million.

Her charity, Rose of Sharon Foundation, gives out small grants to widows and orphans.

  1. concern nigerian Reply

    Why not?she is after all dealing with the most corrupt sector in nigerian govt.Let her compete with oprah in her initial fashion design bussiness and see the difference,was it not through govt contracts and patronage aliko dangote emerged as the richest african?

    • honesyt Reply

      Who cares!???… She has d owo… Joor ooh… Madam, carry-On, nuffin does U

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