The way of the gods would eternally remain mysterious. They hoist whom they want to hoist on the totem pole of affluence, power and authority; and they trip whom they disfavor even if he be a behemoth hewn from a rock and he would fall to pieces. The mother of all prayers must be: may your Chi, your personal god, always present you a mirthful visage otherwise, even all the gold in Arabia would not change one’s fortunes.
Consider the case of Messrs Jimoh Ibrahim. It is taken that this name rings a bell dear reader. Well, he’s the once swashbuckling business mogul of the President Olusegun Obasanjo era. He was sighted recently after a long hiatus. The photo caption describes him as the new honcho of Africa Infrastructure Corporation and that naturally triggered some neuro-signals.
The 51-year-old who at the height of his fame was a famed corporate raider may be back once again at his natural play ground – big businesses. He seemed to have shot out of the blue and invaded our national psyche at the turn of the millennia. After he contested and lost the guber ticket of Ondo state, he plunged headlong into business. And as if he had a money tree (plantation) he embarked upon a frenzied venture of building a conglomerate. And voila, in less than half a decade, he had coupled a superstructure rivaling some century-old family businesses. As Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Global Fleet Group, he had business interests in Banking, insurance, oil & gas, luxury hotels, airlines, transportation, newspapering, schools, name it. He was so voracious in acquiring waning businesses he was dubbed Mr. Turnaround Strategist or the Harvard-trained biz-whiz.
His empire stretched to Togo, Ghana and Sao – Tome. But like a comet, he seemed to have disappeared as fast as he appeared. In 2016, a Federal High Court in Lagos prompted by AMCON – the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, moved in on Ibrahim and his empire; including a freeze on all bank accounts. He is roiled by a N50 billion debt according to AMCON. Since then, it has been quiet on all Jimoh Ibrahim’s fronts until the recent sighting. Jimoh’s meteoric rise must have been case study in business schools then. So must be his crashing fall.
Consider the Jimoh chronology: mysterious money, opportunistic grab of quality government assets, vanity acquisitions of assortment of assets from diverse and disconnected sectors of economy; bank loans and more bank loans and huge government bailout fund. The most impulsive management style based on whims and infantile caprices of one man; hardly a light filters in if it’s not through the lenses of one man. Indeed, who can trail the mysterious of the gods?
…Posted By: Hardball