About Jimoh Ibrahim & More on CAC Clash


JIMOH IBRAHIM & CAC COLLIDES:

When Chief (Dr.) Jimoh Ibrahim was inaugurated as the Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission on Tuesday, 28th April 2009, little did the staff and management of the corporation knows that one day they would be on collision course with him. Today, the managerial acumen and entrepreneurial expertise of Jimoh is leaving sour taste in the throats of those in Corporate (CAC), who are calling for his head.

The entire workforce of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) down tools to protest against the leadership style of this successful business mogul, whose investment runs into billions of naira, who they are accusing of high handedness, insensitivity to the plight of workers and even the management staff and backdoor employment of some staff who did not follow the due process of recruitment into public employment and he now place premium on them. One of the issues he is facing is the creation of disparity in the wages of workers. The workforce

Sources claimed that the staff of CAC is scared that if given room to continue, Jimoh would kill the corporation just like every other moribund business he claims to own. So, they want him out because of his stance to introducing and enforcing some rules and tactics he employs in his private operations into CAC, which members of the public corporation deem obnoxious and unproductive.

Jimoh Ibrahim is not a new name in Nigeria but his nature of operation and source of wealth puts him on top of list of Nigerian millionaires with doubtful and incredible source of wealth.


JIMOH IBRAHIM: WHAT MANNER OF MAN

CHIEF (DR) JIMOH IBRAHIM


Chief (Dr. ) Jimoh Ibrahim was born Jimoh Ibrahim February 24, 1967 by Alhaji Yakubu and Omofemiwa Jimoh in Igbotako in Okitipupa, Ondo State, into a family of seven wives and 40 children, his father, a bricklayer and his mother a local fish seller.

He had his early education at Community Grammar School, Igbotako and moved to Federal School of Arts and Science, Ondo. He proceeded to study Law at Lagos State University and later changed to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in Osun State, for a degree in International Law and Masters in Public Administration.

He also obtained a Masters degree in Economic and International Tax at Harvard University. He worked as a Consultant to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on tax reforms in Croatia and Estonia. He was also part of the Harvard team that went to Bangladesh to build the tax reforms.

With seven lawyers in his Law and Justice Chambers, he practiced Law for six years, appearing in various courts from the magistrate to the Supreme Court. He authored Indigenous Governance in Nigeria and published two volumes on Mohammed Bello.

He was a Special Adviser to the first Military Administrator of Bayelsa State, a member of the exclusive Federation Account Allocation Committee and was Chairman of FAAC News, the first monthly magazine that published the activities of that Committee. He was Executive Secretary, African Center for Policy Studies; consultant to various bodies and multilateral institutions; Chairman Global Fleet Companies and Group Managing Director, NICON Group.
While growing up, Jimoh claimed he got petty contracts and used some of his father’s bricklaying materials to execute them. He started making his millions in his mid 20s.

He discovered that the Local Governments did not have a law of their own, but the state and the federal government had. So he packaged a local government seminar on law for all the local governments in the country and that fetched him N3.6 million. That same year, he organized about 14 workshops for top public functionaries at all tiers of government and by the time he was finishing youth service, he had about N70 million in his account.

It was through one of those seminars that he learnt about the huge amount of revenue Nigeria lost to withholding tax by big oil companies. His further research made him submit his findings in form of a proposal that he could recover the funds as a consultant to the federal government but with a specific percentage as his commission. His submission was approved and within a short period of time he was remitting billions of Naira to the account of the federal government.

He acquired with the money he made from seminars a swampy land at the Victoria Garden City (VGC) gate, which he later transformed into an ultra-modern filling station with two expensive banking halls.

Jimoh brought the concept of bringing in banking halls into oil marketing. Though, the initial budget for the outfit was N21 million, two banks paid a rent of over N40 million which was too much to build the Station. The surplus was invested in real estate. After the VGC outlet, he opened another station at Ilupeju bypass.

In year 2003, Jimoh contested for the governorship of Ondo State under the platform of ANPP and lost to Chief Agagu. Global Fleet Oil and Gas came as a result of his political experience. When he was contesting in the gubernatorial elections, setting up Ondo Oil was an item on his manifesto, so when he didn’t win, he decided to go ahead with the idea. The only difference was change of name.

When it was finished, three banks wanted it at the same time. In less than a month the VGC and Ilupeju Stations built the Shomolu Station and a bank paid the rent on it. Within a few years, he was able to acquire hundreds of filling station and has vowed never to stop until he gets to one thousand. He currently imports petroleum and has a big storage depot in Apapa.

Apart from being the Chaiman, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Jimoh’s is involved in the hospitality industry, telecommunication, banking, real estate, block making, carpentry, industrial dry cleaning, roofing tiles, insurance etc. He is the Group Managing Director of Global Fleet group and has 70 per cent (N46 billion) equity stake in NICON, a group which now has eleven subsidiaries: Nicon Properties; Nicon Energy; Nicon Academy; Nicon Trustee; Nicon Insurance; Nicon Investment; Nicon PFA; Nicon Hotels; Nicon Saotome; Nicon Airways and Nicon United Kingdom. Jimoh also staked a claim in the purchase and control of Executive Airlines Services (EAS), an airline operator which was changed to NICON Airways and he has also acquired Virgin Nigeria; Le Meridien Hotel which he also changed to NICON Luxury:

JIMOH IN POLITICS:

In politics, Jimoh is as controversial as in business. He recently pitch tent with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to boost the dispirited followers of the party, though he refused to declare his political ambition. The Ondo State wing of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been bedeviled with series of crises since the Labour Party defeated, leaving PDP with depleted membership fold, as its members defecting to Labour Party.

He was the gubernatorial candidate of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the 2003 General Election. Reasons behind his defection to PDP were justified because he had benefitted immensely from the PDP government, both at the Federal and State level.

At State level he bought the State owned Owena Motels and at Federal appointed the Chairman of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and also acquires several other companies through the influence of PDP.

RUMOUR: He is said to be keen on having another go at the governorship post of the state while another has it that he is interested in going to the Senate. The latter being more reasonable because the zoning formular would not favour him.

JIMOH IBRAHIM and Virgin Nigeria:

Jimoh claimed in his quest to expand the Aviation arm of his conglomerate acquired the beleaguered Virgin Nigeria – Nigeria’s official carrier, using the Nicon group.

Though, a move most players and stakeholders considered audacious, was shrouded with controversies as the details of the takeover remain undisclosed.

According to multi-billionaire Ibrahim, plans are under way to merge the acquired Virgin Nigeria with Nicon Airways. Nicon Airways was rebranded after the acquisition of EAS by Jimoh years back. Ibrahim said that the acquisition would provide another opportunity for Nicon Airways to come alive through a merger with virgin.

IMPLICATIONS: Since the takeover both Nicon Airways (EAS) and Virgin Nigeria are still in state of comatose.

On takeover, the Executive Director, Finance, was the first casualty of Jimoh management.

In the course of working on Jimoh, a true friend and beneficiary of Jimoh’s largesse wrote and publish this:

BILLIONAIRE JIMOH IBRAHIM @40: A CLOSE ENCOUNTER

Leadership February 25, 2007

In life one comes across different kinds of people: some grow and rise in fame, others dwindle in fortunes and name. Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, known widely as the Billionaire from the moon but who the section of the media calls the Mystery Investor, belongs to the former category. He is an enigma that even some old friends and family members cannot cease wondering about his rocket speed and astronomical increase in wealth.

Having been close to him as a friend for more than a decade, I am extremely reluctant to disclose my association with him which is borne out of the fact that many would think I am in his class of opulence, ignoring the fact that I am a public worker and still proud to  mind my business in the service. Like my boss uses to say every person has a destiny in life, one should strive on personal gift from God to excel instead of depending heavily on others for prosperity. He may be funny, not a fool, but smart to know what is going on around him.

As people debate on his sources of wealth, some of the facts I would give here may interest many on Jimoh Ibrahim who just clocks 40 years old on February 24, 2007. I didn’t intend to drop name, but the fact may not be clear in chronicling his past as a friend. As he is proud to be born into a family of a bricklayer father and a fish-selling mother, he started making millions in his mid 20s. How indeed could this have been possible?

I was introduced to Jimoh by former Finance Minister of State, Alhaji Abu Gidado, the man known in the ministry as incorruptible and highly principled (upto date) whom I had served as Personal Assistant.  Jimoh was like an adopted child to Alhaji Gidado’s uncle, the former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Bello.

When people talk about Jimoh Ibrahim as a whiz kid out of the blues, I wonder if it is not the same person who was the Chief Launcher at my book launch ten years ago. Precisely on October 10, 1997 at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, he came to the venue in a convoy of Jeeps (four runners) which was not in vogue then and signed a blank cheque asking me to fill in any amount not exceeding six digits. Alhaji Gidado rejected the idea, insisting that the donation should be clearly written by him and also should not be outrageously higher than that of the Hon. Minister of Finance, Chief Anthony Ani who was the Chairman of the occasion. But for Alh Gidado, I could have scribbled down N999, 999! The ceremony had in attendance top functionaries including the present Principal Private Secretary to the President, Mr. Stephen Orosanye, a humble personality who was also supportive of my recent book last year.

Before then Jimoh Ibrahim was in the habit of inviting us to some of his training workshops for top public functionaries at all tiers of government. It was through one of those seminars that I suspected he learnt about the huge amount of revenue Nigeria lost to withholding tax by big oil companies. His further research made him to submit his findings in form of a proposal that he could recover the funds as a consultant to the federal government but with a specific percentage as his commission. After diligent consideration by the ministry and approval of his submission, within a short period of time he was remitting billions of Naira to the account of the federal government. If Nuhu Ribadu of EFCC were a consultant and legitimacy entitled to some commission from the billions he recovers from fraudsters he could have become richer too. That is one of the major differences between working as public officers who earn salary and private consultants who receive commissions.

On close examination, Jimoh Ibrahim is an aggressive businessman who pursues his desires passionately, no matter what it takes. Every time one sits with him, ideas on how to make real money come to mind in torrents. To him business is business and leisure is leisure. He doesn’t mix the two. I was with him on several occasions, when he pays and receives receipt for fuel from his filling stations, even sometimes as little as N200. On another occasion, we were at the bar of one of his hotels in Lagos, where the then MD Trade Bank, Mr. Tunji Adeniyi and others came on a mission for Jimoh to salvage the bank from liquidation through investment. After the business discussion that reached far into middle of the night, everybody paid a bill on consumption from the bar, except me because I couldn’t pretend to be a businessman.

One thing I learnt from his business acumen, is how one uses money to make more money through financial instruments. I had cause to accompany him to a very powerful and respected woman banker in her modest and simply furnished office. The bank which is one of the major financiers of his companies has full confidence in the young businessman because he always meets the stringent financial requirements and deadlines. Obviously, that is the reason he hardly spends his wealth on frivolities or invests in business that would not yield returns, though he has special endowments like a foundation that provides scholarship for thousand of indigent students annually.

He is open to take to genuine and critical advice even if it is against his position. I once advised against buying a telecommunication company which price I believed was incredibly high after he had signed the agreement. I also advised him against suing a media house that published a libelous material against his company (NICON) after he had contacted his lawyers. My reason was that nobody, no matter how powerful or rich, can fight the media and win easily in a law court in Nigeria. Though we do sometimes disagree, a true friend, I believe, is the person that states the obvious boldly through constructive criticism, with a clear conscience.

Ibrahim may be prudent in managing resources, but when it comes to competition, he could be daring to a fault. In his desire to ameliorate the suffering of his people, he contested for the governorship of Ondo State under the platform of ANPP in 2003. Apart from having invested in the local communities and donating to worthy causes in all the local government councils, he bought dozens of brand new luxury cars (Bora) and buses which he shared out for his campaign. Yet he lost to Chief Agagu of the PDP. He always laughs over the experience afterwards. But the fortune lost in that expedition was enormous.

I think what scares him stiff is death. An incident happened when he was Special Adviser to the first Military Administrator of Bayelsa State. He was about to take a flight to Lagos one evening from the Port-Harcourt International Airport when he aborted the trip after a call from his boss that there was a message he had to take along. As he returned to the airport the following morning, he learnt that the plane he had bought its ticket a night before had crashed into a lagoon. The tremor from that experience forced him to stop flying local airlines for several years and rather travelled around the country in his jeeps.

Many people may not know that he was a member of the exclusive Federation Account Allocation Committee and was Chairman of FAAC News, the first monthly magazine that published the activities of that Committee. He was Special Adviser to the First Military Administrator of Bayelsa State; Principal Partner of Law and Justice Chambers; Executive Secretary, African Center for Policy Studies; Consultant to various bodies and multilateral institutions and Chairman Global Fleet Companies before his foray into acquisitions of privatized companies that makes his name stand out lately as a maverick entrepreneur. Some of the companies he acquired or invested heavily on cut across those in the public and private sectors of the economy. They are mostly in the insurance, hospitality industry, airline, real estates, oil sectors, banking, etc.

An author and publisher, he attended public schools up to the University of Ife, before he attended Harvard University where he came out as a distinguished graduate and expert in international tax law. A Nigerian by all standards, his parents are devout Muslims while he and his wife are Christians. For his three children, they have a free choice. That is the Jimoh Ibrahim I know.

MYTHS ABOUT JIMOH:

  • Born to poor parents in a family of how many siblings? Considering the political socio economic environment of Nigeria and Igbotako in the 60s, could it be said that his father was poor then? As the man owns was recorded to be one of the most successful in his community then.
  • Is Jimoh Ibrahim is today the most inspiring businessman in Nigeria and possibly in the world as he used to claim in his interviews and discussions? Considering the rumour that he is wont to shortchanging his staff, paying them below what he puts on paper. A reliable source claimed ‘My friends who work for him are living in abject poverty.
    He does not pay well and the funny thing is that he deducts 50 thousand every month from their salary for cars but he never gives them. Some have worked for 3 to 4 years and they have overpaid the 1 million naira to be deducted for two years. He pays 60 thousand naira monthly and it is paid like ten days after the month has ended. Instead he finds a way to sack them  and then announce to the world that he has employed 500 ghost staffs’.
  • The veracity of his story is that he made his first millions while studying law at O.A.U when he ran seminars for all local governments on taxation. If he was that rich then, how come he was unsung. Why would a young boy with over Seventy million in his account then (even now) descend to work as a Personal Assistant to someone who has never smelt that kind of money in his entire career?
  • Gist from the grapevine has it that some years back,  Jimoh Ibrahim duped the former Military Administrator of Bayelsa State, Navy Captain Olubolade, who he served in the capacity of Personal Assistant in one of the Niger Delta States. That it was after that, he absconded to the US. It was there he did the Harvard Executive Education programme and returned a superstar. The ex MILAD had a stroke and was bedridden. This allegation hasn’t been denied.
  • Another has it that he was a very close friend to Mohammed Abacha, son of the former Head of State, who died in the plan crash long time ago. That all the money the guy made from Abacha was kept in his custody. After Mohammed’s death he just use the money to travel out and went to Harvard to study where he graduated as the best student from where World Bank picked him as a Consultant on some projects. Jimoh had stated during a seminar session in Lagos that he used to teach Abacha’s son book at Law School then based on this they became very intimate friend, but Jimoh has not said anything about the other side of the relationship.
  • It was also rumoured that after losing out in 2003 Goevrnorship election in Ondo State, he was so broke and was planning to seek refuge abroad, only for the intervention of Mrs Ibru the then MD Oceanic Bank who volunteered to buy into his Oil business proposal

Comments

  1. Going by what i heard between him and CAC, its no big deal. What the people there are fighting for are just selfish reasons. They accuse him of retaining Youth Corpers… are they not Nigerians? What do they want the Youth corpers to do… start stealing or join kidnappers? Jimoh just ride on… don’t make them to force you sack those poor boys and girls

  2. Ajao jacob(server) says:

    I belief n respect mr. J.i. God bless u n God bless Nigeria.

  3. Okosun Pius Osemen says:

    Jimoh Ibrahim is a true entrepreneur worthy of emulation especially by young university student like me,am proud of him

  4. All you these touts and hangers on. Are you still proud of him? This guy is simply a corporate criminal and a fraudster. He would be in jail by now if he carried on business like this abroad. Or people would have sued his ass dry.

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