|Abdulwasiu Olatunde Sowami 2nd from left.|
|Abdulwasiu Olatunde Sowami, 2nd from right in white|
It is very interesting that in the last few months the name of this very quiet and under the radar, big fish but filthy rich oil and gas czar has sprung up. Prior to a few months ago when it was discovered that he was the one buying out Femi Otedola many had not known him, except maybe those very conversant with the oil and gas dealings in Nigeria. That Femi Otedola billionaire owner of Forte Oil had decided to divest totally his investment in the downstream sector of the oil and gas business had caught every one napping. Though the announcement was surprising, but what was more surprising was that it was a Nigerian Company-Prudent Energy Services owned by a Nigerian–Alhaji AbdulWasiu Olatunde Sowami, who many had not known prior to that time, was the brain behind the brand.
The truth is that, it’s not as if he was a neophyte who had only just barged in into the very lucrative oil and gas business, far from it. It was just that unlike many of his colleagues in the business who loved the notoriety and fame that big money brings, as a practicing moslem he just preferred to be under the radar. Not for him the Banana Island or Parkview Ikoyi gigantic home, not even a house yet at the famous Billionaire’s row in Ikoyi (he apparently lives in Ogba, Ikeja), not for him the private jets, not for him the many humongous cars that are tagged the super automobile of the rich and famous, or even the luxury yacht, that became the separator of the rich and wealthy sometime ago.
Apart from the time a few years back, when he was one of the 6 bigwigs who were arrested then in 2012 and interrogated for their alleged involvement in the fuel scarcity scam, he was just another businessman in that sector doing his business without unnecessary attention. The others arrested then were Odjegba Onoriode of Eurafrica Coastal Services, Ejiofor Innoma Chikadibia of Caades Oil and Gas, Gladys Amaefula of Somerset Oil and Gas, Mallam Bashir Adamu Gusau of Imad Oil and Gas and Sir Daniel Chikwudozie of Dozzy Oil and Gas limited. They had all been recommended by the then Presidential Committee on Oil Subsidy.
Sowami’s company, Prudent Energy had been paid a total of N1.3 billion based on a single importation of 18,316,767 million litres of PMS. They were supposed to have been arranged at the end of investigation but nothing ever came out of it. Fast forward to 2017, Prudent Energy Services was still one of the 50 companies that got approved to lift a total of 1.3mbd oil amongst 50 companies to have gotten the approval then for 2017/2018 meaning they either must have scaled through the allegations of past or that the allegations against them didn’t hold no water. What Prudent Energy Services got with the approval of their bid was a crude oil term contract to lift 32,000 barrels of crude per day.
So from the above one would have been able to deduce that the graduate of the University of Maiduguri, didn’t just stumble on money today and him or his company emerging on the scene and buying Femi Otedola’s 75 % stake in Forte Oil is not a flight of fancy or a bolt out of the blue. For you to better understand the level at which Sowami plays, maybe you should all know the condition attached to being one of those successful to lift crude oil in Nigeria. The potential off-takers must have a minimum annual turnover of $500 million dollars for 2016 & a networth of at least $250 million Dollars for 2016, that’s apart from having audited their 2015/2016 accounts.
So when somehow you begin to hear that the man behind PRUDENT ENERGY Services is a close, very close friend of the outgoing Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and that the quiet man in his personal capacity was in fact, the big boy sponsor of APM’s Adekunle Akinlade’s Gubernatorial ambition with the full support of Senator Amosun, then one must take notice. Not until after the election was over and Hon. Akinlade lost to another oil and gas Czar in the person of Prince Dapo Abiodun who owns Heyden Oil, before the cat behind the mask was actually discovered, to be Alhaji Abdulwasiu Olatunde Sowami. Now at least one can understand the reason behind the confidence that Hon. Adekunle Akinlade showed throughout. You can not have men of timber and caliber likes of an influencial Governor & a man of extraordinary means and not be over filled with confidence.