By Justice Komolafe
Aside being the founder and financier of the Oladiran Olusegun Adebutu (OOA) Foundation, a foundation which provides for orphans, vulnerable children, women and youth, a lot more could be said of Segun Adebutu’s affection for the less privileged.
His support for these vulnerable group of people varies from increased access to quality education, primary health care, nutrition, social welfare and economic strengthening through sustainable development activities. Though his foundation which was set up to meet the need of the socially, physically and economically disadvantaged group of people was founded just over one year ago, it has been able to do so much already by providing jobs for over 1,000 unemployed people, and has adopted over 400 vulnerable children, providing for their education, healthcare, clothing and feeding.
Given that he is not driven by any political ambition whatsoever, it is therefore understandable why most of these philanthropic deeds do not get the kind of mention and publicity they ought to have got if he was keen about politics. More so, I do not think such gestures by the generous billionaire is meant to be marketed to generate any kind of applause for a gesture he has willingly committed his life and resources to.
The touchiest of his big-hearted gestures was when he helped saved a little girl, Treasure Davies who was born with a hole in her heart. Adebutu quietly undertook the full responsibility for the heart operation here in Nigeria but invited specialists from the United States of America to perform the heart surgery. In fact, not for the mother of the little girl who made a public outcry about Adebutu’s intervention in her daughter’s case during a public event hosted by Adebutu’s foundation for over 300 children in January 2018, not a lot of people would have known of some of his most stirring humanitarian deeds, in which there are several. Rather, what is quick to get to the news is nothing but disheartening trivialities which only serve the taste buds of naysayers and rumour mongers. It is however important to state at this juncture that those who are after Adebutu should leave him alone and allow him concentrate on his many good deeds both in the humanitarian aspects, and the business facet.
His multi-million-dollar investment in the Nigerian oil and Gas sector, which has helped chart a new course in the country’s oil and gas sector is something that demands accolades. For instance, on July 10, 2018, an agreement which is currently on-going between him and Russia’s Energy ministry, for Russia to assist in the development of two oil fields in Nigeria reached advanced stage. This investment opportunity which he is still in Russia for is set to break new grounds in the annals of Nigerian oil and gas development.
Mind you, his company, Petrolex is currently building the second largest refinery in sub-Saharan Africa and currently owns the largest petroleum product depot in Nigeria- first of its kind in the energy division of the entire sub-Saharan Africa, with storage capacity of 600 million litres of petroleum products every month, transforming petroleum products storage and distribution in Nigeria by housing up to about 60 per cent of in-country needs.
Segun Adebutu has also invested in youth development a great deal, as he currently owns Baseline records, which has been responsible for the successes of some music artists in the country which has dominated the airwaves, not just in Nigeria, but in Africa, such as Skales, Saeon, as well as other up-coming artists.
For Segun Adebutu, there is still a plethora of contributions to be rendered to help break new grounds and broaden the frontiers of progress for the country. For someone described as a ‘man of many first’, due to the many pioneering activities in the Nigerian business environment, we certainly hope that his pioneering deal with the Energy ministry of Russia will open up new frontiers in the Nigerian energy industry, in such a way as to give the oil majors, a remarkable run for their money.
Justice Komolafe is a Lagos based Public Administration graduate