How This Former Youth Corps Member Made Over 70 Million Naira And Went On To Build A Business Empire
The triumph of a man or woman lies in his or her ability to take advantage of the situations they find themselves in, for their own good. They turn obstacles into helpers, problems into opportunities, and people into organizations. They know opportunities are priceless and put in the work to ensure they’re always on the winning side, on time, every time.
This is the success story of Jimoh Ibrahim, a Nigerian business magnate who made is first 70 million Naira (about $300,000) when he was just a youth corps member—a year after he graduated from the University-—and eventually went on to build a business empire worth over $100 million Dollars.
Here’s how he did it:
The Early Life And Education Of Jimoh Ibrahim
Jimoh Ibrahim was born on the 24th of February, 1967 to Alhaji Yakubu and Omofemiwa Jimoh in Okitipupa, Ondo State. His father who was a bricklayer, was polygamous, and had about 7 wives and 40 children. While his mother sold fish.
Jimoh Ibrahim had his school education at the Saint John’s school, Igbotako, after which he went on to study law at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. He obtained a Bachelor of Law degree (LLB) here, and further went on to obtain a Master of Public Administration (MPA) also from the Obafemi Awolowo University.
Success As A Youth Corps Member
Before Jimoh Ibrahim was done with his university education, he had first forayed into entrepreneurship by handling petite building construction contracts, which he executed with his father’s building materials.
Upon graduation from the University to commence the compulsory one-year youth corps service program in Nigeria, Jimoh Ibrahim noticed that local governments didn’t have their own laws, but only the states and the federal government had. This observation propelled him to organize a seminar for all the local governments in Nigeria. The seminar was successful and went on to fetch him about N3.6 million Naira (a lot of money at the time).
This success was a wake-up call for Jimoh Ibrahim, which then motivated him to organize several like conferences. Part of them was organizing about 14 different workshops for all the tiers of government in Nigeria, and by the time his compulsory one-year youth service was done, Jimoh Ibrahim had made about N70 million Naira from his business.
His service year’s success was so resounding that at the time, he built about 6 houses (4 in Lagos) during the compulsory one year—one of which was a four-stories tall building in Ikotun-Egbe—with proceeds from the income he had generated.
His Next Success And The Start Of The Global Fleet Group
While organizing seminars, Jimoh Ibrahim discovered how large oil companies were withholding massive amounts of taxes from the federal government, causing the country to lose a lot of potential revenue. He gathered his findings and submitted a proposal to the federal government detailing his report and showing how he could help them recover a large part of the funds with a commission earned on every recovery.
Upon approval of his proposal, Jimoh Ibrahim helped the federal government to recover billions of Naira (millions of dollars), making him far wealthier in the process.
With the commissions paid to him by the federal government for work done, Jimoh Ibrahim went on to purchase a swampy area of land at the Victoria Garden City (VGC) gate—a highbrow area in Lagos for the super rich—and built a state-of-the-art petrol station and two banking halls in it.
He also set up another petrol station at the Illupeju area of Lagos at the time, and invested a very large part of the funds into real estate.
His Business Today
Today, Jimoh Ibrahim’s businesses through the Global Fleet Group span through oil & gas, hospitality, real estate, banking & finance, insurance, publishing, and several other industries.
Some of the subsidiaries the Global Fleet Group has that are spread across several countries include:
- Air Nigeria – Lagos, Nigeria – Formerly Virgin Nigeria
- NICON Insurance – Lagos, Nigeria
- Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation – Lagos, Nigeria
- NICON Luxury Hotel – Abuja, Nigeria – Formerly Le’ Meridien Hotel
- Global Fleet Oil & Gas – A chain of gasoline stations (estimated at about 200 in 2011), across Nigeria
- The NICON Group – Lagos, Nigeria – Holdings include investment companies, schools, real estate holdings, transport companies and others
- Global Fleet Building – Lagos, Nigeria – Formerly Allied Bank Building
- Meidan Hotel – Lagos, Nigeria
- Global Fleet Industries – Lagos, Nigeria – Formerly HFP Industries Limited
- Energy Bank – Accra, Ghana – A new commercial bank in Ghana, started operations in February 2011
- Oceanic Bank São Tomé – São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe – Commercial bank purchased from Oceanic Bank in May 2011.
- Newswatch Magazine – Lagos, Nigeria
Asides getting a Bachelor of Law degree and a Master of Public Administration (MPA), Jimoh Ibrahim has a combined Masters of Law (LLM) and a Master in International Taxation from the prestigious Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusets, USA.
Jimoh Ibrahim was also a gubernatorial aspirant in Ondo state, both in the year 2003 under the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) and in the year 2016 under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
To Sum It Up
Jimoh Ibrahim is an example of an exceptional entrepreneur who doesn’t just identify opportunities, but also creates them for himself. He takes the bold step to bring his dreams to fruition, and in the process, ensures that he persists until he succeeds.
What are your thoughts on this success story of Jimoh Ibrahim? Let me know by leaving a comment below.