•Barrister JIMOH IBRAHIM Reveals A Lot
•On City People TV Live Chat
Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, has come out to reveal why despite having travelled and lived abroad for years, he still considers himself to be a Village Boy. “I always tell people that I am a Village Boy and the whole idea of City Life does not sit well with me. That is why I like to do things my way. I don’t pretend about who I am. My best food remains my native food. I still prefer wearing Ankara to Suits even in corporate environment. See my hair as bushy and rough as it is. I am okay with it. All this idea of wasting time on growing your hair, washing it with Shampoo is not meant for me”.
Jimoh who has spent the last 6 years abroad acquiring various degrees from all the reputable universities in Europe & United States of America (USA) says he is in search of Knowledge. “Knowledge is key. Knowledge is Power. I left University of Ife about 30 years ago, what is the worth of the degree I got then. It must have become obsolete now. I need to update”.
“Things have changed, the whole world has changed”.
He is currently in Nigeria to collect raw data for his research programme on Why Mega Projects in Nigeria have failed and he has been talking to past heads of state like IBB, OBJ, Jonathan and even the current President, Muhammadu Buhari. All he wants to know is why mega projects fail in Nigeria. A good example is the Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill.
He said what had helped him to weather the storm of life is his faith in God and the rough life he experienced during his growing up years at Igbotako, a rustic town in Ondo State. His Grass To Grace story is inspiring. “I will wake up in the morning and go to the stream to fetch pails of water to fill up the drums in which my father stored water to do is bricklaying work. He is a bricklayer. Before I went to school, I would have fetched water, go on errands and when I close I would go and join my late mother, a trader and I would help her carry her fish and other things home. All of these toughened me. All of these made me a hard person. I know I am a tough person. Age and Time have mellowed me. Before now, I used to be aggressive and tough. Coming to Lagos made me tougher, because I became more aggressive and I would always challenge everybody I came across. When I came across you then, I would show aggressiveness because I believe you too are aggressive. It was only after I realise that you mean well that will make me to relax and become friendly”.
“Living in Igbotako prepared me. It toughened me and that made life easy for me in my later years because what people see as tough is easy for me. They know me in Cambridge University, I usually sleep on the floor when I read and read and I become tired I would just lie down on the rug and sleep, and when I wake up, I would continue reading. My needs in life are few”.
“Being a billionaire means nothing to me”.
What does Jimoh Ibrahim plan to do with his loads of degrees? “I am most likely going to end up teaching in Cambridge. I have been offered a place already. I have been getting letters of appointments to come and take up jobs all over the world in the UK, US, and Dubai. I have not made up my mind yet. I am not sure I can take up a permanent job. I can be a Consultant. My recent degrees have put me at an advantageous position. Most of my classmates at all my courses are drawn from all over the world. They are CEOs of top companies, decision makers in governments all over the world, entrepreneurs and top advisers to global leaders. So, I have acquired friends from Japan, China, Tokyo, UAC, Dubai, London, US, Canada, name it. The world is now my platform”.
He also revealed why he set up Fortune University at Igbotako, his own town. It is to make up-to-date knowledge available to young people”.
“We need to bring knowledge closer to the people”.
Jimoh Ibrahim is a renowned lawyer, politician, a businessman, an investor and philanthropist. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Fleet Group, a company with presence in Nigeria and UK.
Jimoh Ibrahim was born on the 24th of February 1967, to Alhaji Yakubu and Omofemiwa Jimoh. He is a native of Igbotako in Ondo State, Nigeria. His father was a bricklayer who married about 7 wives while his late mother was a fish seller.
Jimoh Ibrahim had his primary and secondary school education at the Saint John’s school, Igbotako, Ondo State. He studied law at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree. He went further to obtain a Masters in Public Administration (MPA), from the same institution. Afterwards, he attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, where he graduated with a combined Master of Laws (LLM) and Masters in International Taxation degree (MIT).
During Jimoh’s undergraduate days, he proposed to organise seminars on law for all local governments in Nigeria so they could learn to make their own laws. This move came after he discovered that only the federal and state governments had laws.
Sources have it that he made a lot of money from conducting the seminars across all local governments in Nigeria. He also went ahead to organise several workshops in his field for top government officials which earned him good money as well.
Jimoh Ibrahim, is a man with a knack for discovering business opportunities. He discovered the government was experiencing challenges recovering its withholding tax from multinational oil companies.
Armed with this information, he put forward a proposal on how he could help the government recover the billions owed in withholding tax by the multinational oil companies. His proposal was approved and he kept true to his promise of recovering the billions of naira owed while earning a fortune for himself.
Jimoh also worked with International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a Tax Consultant and was among the team from Harvard that championed the tax reforms in Bangladesh. Jimoh Ibrahim started small by executing small scale contracts using his father’s bricklaying material.
He is an astute investor who has investments in several industries; the oil and gas industry, hospitality industry, aviation industry, banking industry, real estate sector, insurance industry, publishing and media industry. Global Fleet Group is the umbrella company Jimoh uses for his investments.
The company first started out as Global Fleet Oil and Gas in August 2004 as a petroleum marketing company. Global Fleet Oil and Gas grew by buying out as many gas stations as possible and in just a year, they acquired 150 gas stations. Oil and gas sales boomed for Global Fleet and they were doing a minimum of $1m in sales in a day. This helped them complete their depot which improved the overall operation of the company. Currently, Global Fleet has grown into a fully diversified business conglomerate with presence both in Nigeria and abroad and is now known as Global Fleet Group.
The conglomerate has the following subsidiaries:
Jimoh Ibrahim is the Group Managing Director of NICON Insurance and also Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation; a subsidiary of NICON Insurance both located in Lagos, Nigeria.
NICON Luxury Hotel
The hotel was formerly known as Le Meridian Hotels until it was acquired by Jimoh Ibrahim in 2003. The hotel has been home to the members of the commonwealth business forum.
Energy Bank is located in Accra, Ghana. Jimoh Ibrahim founded Energy Commercial Bank in 2009 and the financial institution is an arm of Energy Group which is a subsidiary of Global Fleet Group.
Energy Bank Sao Tome & Principle
Energy Bank Sao Tome & Principle (STP) was formerly known as Oceanic Bank (STP). A 100% acquisition of the bank was done in June 2011 by Global fleet under the leadership of Jimoh Ibrahim.
He has moved the headquarters of his Group to Dubai where he owns properties. He is a big investor in Dubai.