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Maryam Babangida, not the source of my oil bloc, Alakija fumes at synics

Folorunsho Alakija, the vice-chairman of Famfa Oil, says it is very painful when people attribute her acquisition of an oil block to Maryam Babangida

Folorunsho Alakija, the vice-chairman of Famfa Oil, says it is very painful when people attribute her acquisition of an oil block to Maryam Babangida, wife of former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida.

Before her journey into the oil sector, Alakija, who is now regarded as one of Africa’s richest women, made “blouses” for the wife of the ex-military leader.

In May 1993, Alakija’s Famfa Oil Limited applied and was granted an allocation for oil prospecting licence (OPL) and the license to explore for oil on a 617,000-acre block—now referred to as OPL 216.

Forbes had dropped Alakija off the 2021 world billionaires list released in April because her fortune dropped below $1 billion due to lower oil prices.

Speaking on Thursday during an interview on Arise TV, the businesswoman said the former first lady helped her facilitate meetings with the petroleum minister at the time, but she (Alakija) had to put in all the work needed to secure the licence.

Recounting her experience, Alakija said a London friend wanted her to help with speaking to Babangida over an oil deal while on a trip to Lagos.

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