Jimoh Ibrahim is a lawyer, politician, businessman, and philanthropist in Nigeria. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of Global Fleet Group, a diversified conglomerate based in Nigeria, with business interests and subsidiaries in neighboring West African countries.
Ibrahim traces his origins to Ondo State, in southwestern Nigeria. He studied law at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB).
Subsequently, he obtained the degree of Master of Public Administration (MPA), also from Obafemi Awolowo University. Later, he attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, graduating with a combined Master of Laws (LLM) and Masters In International Taxation degree.
His investments include the following sectors, among others: oil & gas distribution, hotels, resorts, airlines, banking, real estate, insurance, publishing and investment.
Jimoh Ibrahim’s Journey As A Versatile Entrepreneur
Jimoh was in fact born on February 24, 1967 to Alhaji Yakubu and Omofemiwa Jimoh of Igbotako in Okitipupa, Ondo State. His father was a poor polygamous bricklayer who had 7 wives and 40 children, while Jimoh’s mother was a fish monger.
Life for the little Jimoh was a continuous struggle. He was alleged to have done household chores and scraped food off a common plate with his siblings and they all slept on a common mat in their humble abode. Jimoh Ibrahim attended St. John’s School, Igbotako and Community Grammar School, Igbotako from where he later proceeded to the Federal School of Arts and Science, Ondo. He studied law at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, where he obtained his Bachelors of Laws (LLB) degree. He later studied further and obtained the degree of Master of Public Administration (MPA), also from his alma mater Obafemi Awolowo University.
Much later in the future, Jimoh traveled to the United States of America where he attended Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) and Masters In International Taxation degree. Jimoh Ibrahim emerged the Best Student (International Law) at the LL.B Final class in the year 1991. He was the Best Student at Masters degree level, after his master’s program on Analysis & Decision Making, Advanced Public Administration, Local Government Administration & Management, Ethics & Accountability in Administration, Best Masters Project Dissertation, Management of Intergovernmental relations and Urban & Rural Development Administration. He was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar as Barrister And Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He further obtained a Master’s degree in Economics and International Tax from Harvard University.
When he was only a youth, Jimoh got minor building contracts and used some of his father’s bricklaying materials to execute them. Jimoh Ibrahim ventured early into business, being that he came from a humble background. Story has it that he made his first millions as a youth corps member after graduating from Obafemi Awolowo University where he organizes seminars and training sections for people. He realized that most Local Governments in Nigeria did not have their own laws, but the states and the federal government had. He thought it wise to arrange for a local government seminar on law for all the local governments in Nigeria, and that fetched him N3.6 million.
In the same vein, he organized about 14 workshops for top public functionaries at all tiers of government. At the conclusion of his youth service, Jimoh Ibrahim had about N70 million to his credit. From the proceeds, he erected a house his village and four other houses in Lagos, including a four-storey building in Ikotun-Egbe. At the conclusion of his youth service, Jimoh Ibrahim already had six houses. In the cause of doing one of the above mentioned seminars, Jimoh Ibrahim learnt about the huge amount of revenue Nigeria looses annually to withholding of tax by big oil companies.
He reached out to the federal government, and submitted a report of his findings in form of a proposal, indicating that he could help the federal government to recover the funds as a consultant to the federal government, on the condition that he be given certain percentage as commission. His proposal was approved and within a very short time, he remitted money amounting to billions of Naira to the federal account. With the money he made from his commission, Jimoh acquired a swampy area at the Victoria Garden City (VGC) gate, and later transformed same into an ultra-modern filling station with two expensive banking halls. He further invested the surplus in real estate.
Apart from his outlet at Victoria Garden City, Jimoh opened another station at Ilupeju Bypass. Jimoh Ibrahim later became very successful and now has investments that span through oil and gas, hospitality, hotels and resorts, airlines, real estate, banking, insurance, newspaper publishing and numerous other investments. Jimoh Ibrahim’s Global Fleet Group has the following subsidiaries: Air Nigeria, formerly known as Virgin Nigeria; NICON Insurance, a reputable insurance company in Nigeria; Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation; NICON Luxury Hotel – Abuja, Nigeria, previously known as Le’ Meridien Hotel; Global Fleet Oil & Gas – A chain of gasoline filling stations which numbers about 200 as at the year 2011, all over Nigeria; The NICON Group a holding company which interests includes investment companies, real estate, schools, transportation etc; Global Fleet Building, very popular in Lagos, Nigeria and formerly called Allied Bank Building; Meidan Hotel located in Lagos, Nigeria; Global Fleet Industries was formerly known as HFP Industries Limited; Energy Bank Accra, Ghana. This is new commercial bank in Ghana which began operations in February of the year 2011; Oceanic Bank São Tomé, São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe. This is a Commercial bank purchased from Oceanic Bank in May 2011 and transformed into a first generation bank; Newswatch Magazine, a very popular magazine in Nigeria; National Mirrow Magazine, a national daily magazine that is very popular in Nigeria. In the year 2003, Jimoh Ibrahim indicated interest in politics.
He then set-off bid to become the governor of Ondo State, on the platform of All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), but later did not succeed. In August 2016, Jimoh Ibrahim, the Nigerian Billionaire businessman, and the founder of National Mirror Newspaper the nomination form to contest for the November 2016 governorship election in Ondo state from Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s led People Democratic Party (PDP).
At the occasion where he picked the form, Jimoh Ibrahim stated that when elected the governor of Ondo State, he will pay workers in the state their salaries within his first 100 days in office. In his remarks, the Billionaire further said: “I will restructure the state in the area of capacity building, good innovation and by putting the right thing in the right place at the right time. I will pay the workers within the first day of my 100 days in office. Non-payment of salaries by state government is the failure of innovation of states by governors. It is when you are innovative that you will be able to pay salaries. Those (governors) who are owing are not efficient. I’m not owing any of my workers”.
Jimoh Ibrahim is an author of three books. He is married to Mrs Modupe Jimoh Ibrahim and they have four children.
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