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Eleganza On Fire Over Razak Okoya’s Controversial Interview

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“We Built The Empire Before You Married Shade”

– Family Fires Back

Otun Aare of Lagos and the CEO of Eleganza Industries, Chief Rasaq Akanni Okoya may have stirred the hornet’s nest with his recent interview with Modele Yusuf on Arise TV.

Okoya is a notable personality in Nigeria and he is an elderly industrialist, who started making money over 50 years ago.

As a muslim and a man of means, the celebrated billionaire married many women and he has produced children most of whom are now married and having their own children.

But, just about 20 years ago, Okoya, an indigene of Lagos met a young graduate of the University of Lagos, Shade and the chemistry of the two personalities bonded, which resulted in a marriage that has since produced four children.

It is not a news that as soon as Shade got into the life of the billionaire, his other wives went into oblivion and it was as if Shade is his only wife, leaving many to wonder how possible it was for Okoya, who was already 59 years old, when he met Shade not to have been married before they met.

Of course, it is a common knowledge that Shade is not Okoya’s first wife and that he was already a successful industrialist and a billionaire before he met the woman.

However, many discerning members of the public could not believe that Okoya could claim that Shade brought luck to him and that her children are better than his other children.

Okoya claimed in the interview with Arise TV that Shade was the one who consolidated his empire, saying that she walked in and solidified everything one could see in his business empire today.

“I am holding these younger ones (Shade’s children) close so they don’t go astray like the older ones.

“Shade goes to the factory by 7am and comes back by 7pm. She is in charge of everything you see in Eleganza.

“Shade decorates my home and maintains it. I don’t know how she does it. I just walk in and see my home like this.

“I will never make my company public. I will keep it in the family. My eldest daughter, (by Shade) she’s schooling in Europe, but Shade and I bring her to Nigeria to come and know how the business works so that she could take over. I hope she will not make a mistake like other children,” he said.

He added that he was teaching his children (by Shade) experience and skill.

According to him, “Handwork, engineering, carpentry are valuable skills. I need them more in my company even more than accountants.

“Technology can do that, but man needs to still man machines. I am teaching my children that. They will take over from me and Shade. ‘

“I have properties all over Nigeria but the market is getting saturated now.

“Many people are in it. The young salary earners cannot afford homes now. I sell some of them to put in the factory. I hope my children will manage them better when they are done with school.”

Okoya revealed in the interview that he was learning technology now but that he had left most of them to his children.

He stressed that he liked them around him, and that they taught him a lot of things, adding that the children he had with Shade were smart.

“‘I have been married to Shade for 20 years. She gave me four beautiful children. They are good children. They are not like the rest,” he said.

Okoya’s wives and elder children were reported to have fired back and warned their patriarch to stop making sensitive statements that could cause serious divisions in the family.

Sources close to the family informed us that his household was surprised by the statements he made at the interview and that they have warned the billionaire not to divide his family before his death.

A source quoted one of this wives to have vowed to deal with him over the statements and that they were all planning to call a meeting of the household “so that we can tell ourselves the truth once and for all. We laboured to build the great dynasty together as a family before he married Shade and this can never be contested.”

Razak Akanni Okoya is a billionaire industrialist and Aare of Lagos, a Yoruba man from the south-western part of Nigeria born on the 12th of January 1940 to Tiamiyu Ayinde and Alhajha Idiatu Okoya.

He had his only formal education at Ansar-un-deen primary School, Oke popo, Lagos.

He worked with his father’s tailoring business, which also included the sales of tailoring accessories. The experience he got gave him the confidence to start mini tailoring activities on his own. He saved every penny he made until he had 20 pounds. His mother gave him the extra 50 pounds, with the blessings of his father, he needed to start importing and trading goods from Japan.

Razak Okoya’s business expanded swiftly, he traveled far and wide and learnt how things were manufactured having the strong feeling that Nigeria could match that quality if not better.

His first wife, Kuburat Okoya, was obsessed with costly jewelry and he was always baffled at how much she said they cost.

He strongly felt the prices were outrageous since the metals could be designed at a cheaper price and the metals were readily available in Nigeria. Challenged his perceived healthy demand, he traveled abroad, bought the machines. That marked the birth of Eleganza Jewelry.

The success was phenomenal. They could not keep up with the demand because, the products were beautiful, durable and cheap. They were instant best sellers. He also started manufacturing buttons and jewelry.

He began the importation of shoes in large quantities, subsequently. On one of these occasions, the shoes were not delivered despite his payment.

He traveled to Italy to see the manufacturer only to discover that they had used his money to settle their bills. He was so angry that he decided there and then to start manufacturing his own shoes. He imported all the machines and brought in some experts who trained his workers.

The Eleganza Industries produces a wide range of household goods and utensils including cutlery, collieries, food warmers, ice chest, electric fan, cosmetics and ballpoint pen.

His factory locations include, Oregun-Ikeja, Isolo, Alaba and Iganmu, the Company now directly employs over five thousand Nigerians and non-Nigerians including those working in his RAO Property Investment Company.

Okoya’s Eleganza Group is one of the biggest homegrown conglomerates in Nigeria today, with over six factories, and its products are household names in Nigeria and the neighboring African markets.

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Awosika Replaces Belo-Olusoga as Access Bank Chairman

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Mrs Ajoritsedere Awosika has been announced as the new Chairman of Access Bank Plc. She will replace the present occupier of the position, Mrs Mosun Belo-Olusoga, who is expected to retire in January 2020.

A statement issued by the lender explained that Mrs Belo-Olusoga will retire from the post on January 8, 2020 on completion of her maximum 12-year term limit allowed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Code of Corporate Governance for Banks and Discount Houses.

In the statement, Access Bank said Mrs Belo-Olusoga, who became the Chairman of the board in July 2015, confirmed that she has no disagreement with the board and there are no issues relating to her retirement that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the company or the regulatory authorities.

‘The board of directors of Access Bank Plc is pleased to announce that its Chairman, Mrs Mosun Belo-Olusoga, will be retiring in January 2020.

“This follows her completion of the maximum 12-year term limit allowed by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Code of Corporate Governance for Banks and Discount Houses. Mrs Belo-Olusoga became the Chairman of the Board in July 2015.

“Mrs Belo-Olusoga has confirmed that she has no disagreement with the Board and there are no issues relating to her retirement that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company or the regulatory authorities,” a part of the notice read.

It also thanked Mrs Belo-Olusoga for her contributions to the bank’s transformational growth, wishing her successor, Mrs Awosika, success in her new appointment.

The lender said the appointment of Mrs Awosika as its new Chairman was in line with its robust leadership succession plan so as to lead the company to its the next phase of transformation into becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World.

Mrs Awosika joined the board in April 2013 as an Independent Non-Executive Director and has been the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board Credit and Finance Committee and the Board Audit Committee respectively in addition to membership of other Board Committees.

She is an accomplished administrator with over three decades experience in public sector governance. She was at various times, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministries of Internal Affairs, Science & Technology and Power.

Mrs Awosika is a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacy. She holds a Doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom.

She is the Chairman of Chams Plc and Josephine Consulting Limited and a Non-Executive Director of Capital Express Assurance Ltd.

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Seplat Picks CFO Brown to Replace Avuru as CEO

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The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Mr Roger Brown, will from August 1, 2020, be the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the energy firm.

A statement from the company said Mr Brown will take charge of day-to-day activities of Seplat upon the retirement of the present CEO, Mr Austin Avuru, who steps down on July 31, 2020,

For a decade, Mr Avuru piloted affairs of the company, making it a strong organisation, with the deployment of agile systems, processes and stakeholder relationships that allowed the firm to grow rapidly from  a gross production of 22,700 boepd as at December 2010 to peaks of 111,368 boepd gross production as at December 2018 through major drilling campaigns and major new Oil and Gas plants development.

The acquisition of 40 percent of OML 53, post company’s IPO of 2014, created an opportunity in partnership with NNPC, to spawn a mid-stream subsidiary, ANOH Gas Processing Company Ltd currently progressing what will ultimately be a 300MMscf/d of Gas, 22,500bdp of condensate and 1,200boepd of LPG processing company.

Seplat said it could not have achieved all these without Mr Avuru’s leadership skills, personal dedication and hard work, at the head of the company.

“The board of Seplat is grateful to Mr Avuru for these accomplishments and is looking forward to his continued service at the board level,” the statement said.

The energy company said looking forward, it plans to position itself for a next phase growth ambition which would see the expansion of its footprint in terms of energy business activities, a plan to pursue offshore assets as well as opportunity driven entry into different geographies.

The company said it believes that such a corporate transition would require a different kind of organisational structure, people skills set and mentality to compete well in the expanded space, noting that in view of this, it would be reviewing its current organisational and systems structure.

It said to lead the aspiration, it had to settle for Mr Brown to succeed Mr Avuru as CEO so as to lead the restructuring during the transition period between now and final exit date of the present leader.

Mr Brown joined Seplat in 2013 as the CFO and played a key role in the successful dual listing of the company in 2014. Since he joined the firm, he has played significant roles in various asset acquisitions by the company.

Prior to joining Seplat, Mr Brown was an advisor to the company since 2010 while he was the Managing Director and head of EMEA Oil and Gas at Standard Bank Group.

During his time at the bank, he was instrumental in providing advice and deploying capital across the African continent in the oil/gas, power/infrastructure and the renewable energy sectors.

“Mr Brown brings to the CEO role, a deep knowledge of the company in his 6 years as the CFO and a member of the board. He has strong financial, commercial and M&A experience as well as proven people skills which will be an asset as the company embarks on the next phase of its growth plan,” the statement stated.

“While we thank Mr Avuru for a meritorious service, we welcome Mr Brown and wish him every success in his upcoming new role,” the company concluded.

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El-Rufai backs border closure, says ‘some countries closed their borders for centuries, decades’

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has backed Federal Government’s closure of land borders.

According to him, it is unfair for smaller countries to be sabotaging a big country like Nigeria.

El-Rufai who was a special guest at the graduation of Senior Course Three of the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja on Friday said the step taken was commendable.

He explained that Nigeria like any other country like to trade with other countries but added that there must be fairness.

The governor noted that closure of the borders should be sustained until there were established deals that covered every country.

“The partial closure of borders is highly commendable. Nigeria is the largest country in West Africa and the continent and it is clear that our neighbours are using our openness and brotherhood to trade, to exploit us.

“I fully support and subscribe to the closure of borders and we should sustain it for as long as possible.

“We need to do this for our country to have a fair deal and for our manufacturers to be protected.

“All those talking about free trade or preaching about it today closed their borders for centuries and decades ago.

“Nigeria must grow its own internal capacity, we will not do so if we allow our neighbours to use the porosity of our borders to sabotage our economy,’’ he explained.

El-Rufai, however, commended the physical development at the Customs Command College in Gwagwalada.

He lauded the effort of the current Customs boss for his reform agenda.

“I am impressed with what I have seen on ground in terms of physical development as well as the content”.

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