AP sacks MD, names Otedola CEO, to raise N35billion
From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja
ZENON Oil President, Mr. Femi Otedola was yesterday named the new chairman and chief executive of African Petroleum (AP) Plc.
He is taking over from Malam Zira Maigadi who was relieved of his position as the managing director.
Also, the firm announced that it had concluded arrangements to now venture into the capital market to raise N35 billion as approved at its yearly general meeting held last month.
Otedola officially took over as the chairman and chief executive of the company at a meeting of the board in Abuja.
Otedola acquired 12.5 per cent shares in AP while his firm, Zenon Oil bought over most of the 28 per cent shares held by the NNPC. He is also said to have formed a strategic alliance with Afribank International Plc for its 21 per cent shares making him a major shareholder in the company.
A member of the board of AP Rev. Layi Bolodeoku, who briefed journalists after its meeting in Abuja added that the change in the management of the company would definitely turn around its fortune. He said: "We have been witnessing changes upon changes. But what has just happened now is the ultimate consummation of the full take-over of the company by Otedola as the chairman and head of the company, an executive chairman of a kind, to put it that way, and the Managing Director (MD) of the company, Malam Zira Maigadi, has been relieved of his appointment because of these changes.
"With effect from today, he is no longer the MD. The core investors, Zenon or Femi Otedola, and of course, the Afribank Plc the third party which I represent. The core shareholders are Zenon or Femi Otedola and Afribank. So, the board is really being reconstituted now and we are having people joining us from the Zenon Group.
"And then, we have NNPC still retaining its slot as a member of the Board. We are going to the capital market soon to raise substantial sum of money and of course, increase on our working capital," he said.
Bolodeoku added: "We are optimistic that the new structure would propel forward with the policies of the board. We have the strong will to propel the company forward with the strong weight of NNPC and Afribank. We have over 150,000 shareholders throughout the country and they are quite expectant now. So, the phenomenal changes we are witnessing currently are bound to build the company to the prominent position. Of course, we are leading in the aviation sector, which has been due to AP's ability to supply aviation fuel.
"We expect that a number of our stations throughout the country will be well established, renovated and the distribution channels will be coordinated round the entire country. With this infusion of Zenon ability, and Afribank's financial ability and the good will of our shareholders, AP is standing in a most prominent position more than ever before, he added.
The AP chief stressed: "More than other times, this is the best time for AP. We are seeking a capitalisation of N35 billion. We are optimistic that we are going to raise this."
Insisting that there were no court cases standing against the company, he stressed that the company was at liberty to accelerate its expansion drive.
"We have a management consultancy with KPMG and we are hoping that in two to three weeks, they should have somebody in place. A committee is in place right now to take care of things until the new management come in under Otedola's strong leadership," he disclosed.
sourced from the The Nigerian Guardian Thursday, September 13, 2007