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Wale Tinubu – Biography, Career And Achievements Of ‘The King of African Oil’

Wale Tinubu

Wale Tinubu is a Nigerian lawyer, entrepreneur and business leader. He is the co-founder of Oando Plc, one of Africa’s largest integrated energy solutions provider. Currently, he sits as the Group Chief Executive (GCE) of the company.

See Also: Seyi Makinde – Biography, net worth and career of the 28th Governor of Oyo State. 

Aside from Oando Plc, he also holds leadership positions in other multinational companies like Axxela Ltd, Equator Exploration Ltd., e.t.c. Basically, Wale is an astute entrepreneur keenly interested in building Africa’s largest energy company.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

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Wale Tinubu

Wale Tinubu Biography

Jubril Adewale Tinubu was born on June 26, 1967 in Nigeria. After his primary and secondary education, he moved to the UK at age 16 to further his education. In United Kingdom, he attended the University of Liverpool, England and earned a bachelor’s degree in Law (LLB) in 1988. 

Thereafter, he proceeded to the London School of Economics and bagged a Masters degree (LLM) specialising in International Finance and Shipping in 1989. Subsequently, he returned to Nigeria at age 22 and attended the Nigerian Law School. After law school, he began his career at the family firm, K. O Tinubu and co. specialising in corporate and petroleum law assignment.

Wale is the nephew of a prominent Nigerian politician and the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

See Also: Muhammadu Buhari – Biography of the 15th president of Nigeria. 

Wale Tinubu Early Career

Although, Wale began his career as an attorney in his father’s firm, he had his eyes fixed on solving bigger challenges through entrepreneurship. As a result, he left his father’s company and began his business in his father’s garage where he was handling corporate assignments for small businesses

Later on, his friend, Jide Okoloto was contacted by a federal government owned oil company, Unipetrol to carry out a task. The task was to transport diesel from the Port Harcourt refinery in Niger Delta and fill up a few fishing trawlers in Lagos.

Jide informed Wale, and Wale approached his friend Omamofe Boyo, and together they successfully executed the contract. This marked the beginning of his oil trading business, Ocean and Oil. he was joined by his two friends. Ocean and Oil (now Oando Plc) has grown to become Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil and gas company.

Till date, Wale has remained a don in the oil and gas industry. He also holds leadership positions in Gaslink Nigeria Ltd, Axxella Ltd, Equator Exploration Ltd, Oando Trading Ltd, Oando Energy Services td, Oando Marketing Plc, e.t.c.

He is also a Member of the Nigerian Bar Association.

See Also: Funke Felix Adejumo – Biography and life of the popular female preacher. 

Oando Plc

Oando first started as Ocean and Oil with a 1945 World War II tanker, The Carolina and was selling oil and gas to indigenous oil companies. Then, in 2000, it acquired the government owned Oil Company, Unipetrol and rebranded it Oando Plc. 

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

Since then, Wale has successfully led the company and together with his team, they made it Nigeria’s foremost-integrated energy service provider. Right now, it is the only Nigerian energy company that is actively involved in all sectors of the petroleum economy. It is also the first African company to have a cross-border inward listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, South Africa.

Oando operates in the upstream, downstream and midstream and comprise of three companies leading in their market. 

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Oando Energy Resources

Oando Energy Resources was incorporated in 2005. It was created as an integrated Oilfield Services company in order to achieve the company’s aim in the upstream services industry. Then, in 2007, it acquired two oil drilling rigs in the Niger Delta region. Also, in 2008, it acquired equity in two oil blocks and subsequently continued its acquisition of swamp rigs, and many more. 

Additionally, in 2014, it acquired an American multinational energy corporation, ConocoPhilips (its Nigeria business operations). ConcoPhilips acquisition made Oando Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil and gas producer. Basically, through this arm, the company divest its onshore asset and offer opportunities for indigenous independents to acquire reserves and resources. 

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OVH Energy 

This is the retail, marketing and the downstream brand of Oando Plc. It distribute and market petroleum services in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Formerly called Oando Downstream, it signed a tripartite agreement and changed to OVH Energy in 2016. Its name is formed from the first letters of its three partners; Oando Downstream, Vitol Group and Helios Investment Partner.

Through the OVH Energy, it provides a wide range of petroleum and energy products for retail, commercial and industrial purposes. Some of its subsidiaries include; OVH Energy Marketing ltd, and ASPM Ltd.

Also, is the Oando Trading which is the supply and trading arm of Oando Plc.

See Also: Allen Onyema – Biography, history and businesses of an uncommon patriotic citizen.


Wale is a philanthropist and gives back to the society personally and through his organisation. In 2011, he pledged to donate 1.5% of Oando’s pre-tax profits to fund education initiatives across West Africa. Aside that, the company have also adopted some government-owned primary schools in Nigeria and sponsored some of its key events.

In 2019, together with some prominent Nigerians, Wale visited the IDP camp, Maiduguri to attend to key issues of some of the victims. Recently, he also donated books to 15 universities and 2 national libraries across Nigeria. According to him, he did it with the aim of educating students and the public on the country’s oil & gas sector; a sector which remains the largest contributor to the country’s forex earnings.

See Also: Cosmas Maduka – Biography and life history of the founder of Coscharis Group

Wale Tinubu Net Worth

According to bscholarly.com, Tinubu is one of the richest lawyers in Nigeria with a net worth of $700million preceding Afe Babalola who has a net worth of $350 million. Tinubu is also regarded as one of Nigeria’s highest earning CEO earning N585 million per annum. 

See Also: Leo Stan Ekeh – Biography and net worth of the founder of Zinox Technology.

Awards And Recognition

Tinubu was named King of African Oil by Forbes Magazine, 2014. He was also named one of the top ten CEOs in the world by ASKMEN. He has been recognised nationally and internationally.

Some of his awards are:

  • Global Young Leader, World Economic Forum, 2007.
  • Africa’s Business Leader of the Year, African Business Magazine & The Commonwealth Business Council, 2010
  • African Business Leader of the Year, Africa Investor, 2011
  • Leadership” Business Person of the Year, 2014
  • Africa Executive of the Year, Oil Council, 2015
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, West Africa by Ernst & Young, 2015

See Also: Youthspark Pan Africa led by Raymond Okpani, championing Youths, solving social problems. 

Wale Tinubu

Wale Tinubu Quotes

“There will be obstacles. There will be doubters, there will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits. This is just a reminder that you can do anything you set your mind to.”

“Don’t let others control the direction of your life.”

“Over the years, I’ve realised that the people you surround yourself with go a long way in affecting your achievements.”

“How is it a dream if it doesn’t scare you? Be audacious.”

“To educate a mind is to guarantee a more prosperous future, to educate a generation is to lift a nation out of poverty. To educate oneself is the beginning of the journey.”

“Self-belief and hard work always equals success.”

“You win some & lose some but what matters is the learning process.”

“The next generation of superheroes are not going to come from Cybertron; they are going to be made in classrooms, which is why investment in education is crucial.”

“Smile more, lend a helping hand where you can, and do more of what makes the people around you happy.”

“Find what you love and concentrate all your energy on it. Work on it everyday. Yes, there will be obstacles; but they prepare you for the successes that lie ahead.”

“It’s one thing to have an idea, or a team that can execute and it’s another thing to raise the capital for it. Most of the time, the capital is unconventional.”

“Africa is a challenging continent; you fight for water, you fight for food, you fight for shelter. We compete by nature, so it’s always difficult but we don’t always know it is difficult because we have a spirit of survival.”

See Also: Charles Soludo – Biography and political escapades of a former CBN Governor. 

Wale Tinubu

Entrepreneurial Lessons From The Life Of Wale Tinubu

Maintain A Standard

According to Tinubu, when Oando began, the only asset the company had was an old 1945 World War II tanker- The Carolina which was really slow. But despite the challenge, Wale ensured his company effectively delivered on time. Because of their effective delivery of service, they became a favourite among indigenous oil firms.

Whether you are a small business or a conglomerate, you have to set a standard for your business and effectively deliver on your promise to customers.

See Also: 11 best planner apps for entrepreneurs to organise and plan. 

Recognise Opportunities

After Wale and his friends fulfilled Unipetrol requirements in 1994, Wale saw it as an opportunity to own a petroleum business. He grew the business and later acquired the Carolina tanker.

Every entrepreneur must be able to see beyond the present. Things may not be clear from the start, the further you go, the clearer the vision becomes.

Are you doing something amazing in the entrepreneurial space and you want the world to hear about it? Reach out to us to tell your story.

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