Thursday, 6 June 2019


Dr. Folayele Charles Akinrolabu
An erstwhile Executive Director of Great Nigeria Insurance Plc, Otunba Dr. Folayele Charles Akinrolabu celebrated his 61st birthday in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. While he was there, he spoke with newsmen about his career and achievements at 61. He also spoke on how he met the Chairman of Energy Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim. Sit back and enjoy it.

Sir, congratulations on the 61st anniversary of your birth
Thank you very much.

Could you please tell us about yourself, career and accomplishments?
I am Otunba Dr. Folayele Akinrolabu, the Lijoka of Oke Otunba, Ondo Kingdom. I graduated from Delhi University, New-Delhi India, from where I bagged Bachelor of Arts (B.A) Degree in Insurance in 1984. I am a Fellow of the National Institute Of Marketing Of Nigeria, Nigeria Institute of Management, Institute of Directors Nigeria and a Member of the chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria.

I also hold a Diploma Certificate in Marketing and Advanced Management Program of Lagos Business School, Pan African University. I have got Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration (Honoris Causa) of the Evangel Christian University America at Monroe.

I started my Professional Insurance Career at Oriental General Insurance Corporation, a subsidiary of General Insurance Corporation of India, in 1982. On my return to Nigeria in 1984, I had a stint at Piccadilly Insurance Company as an Assistant Manager (Technical)

I later moved to Great Nigeria Insurance Company in 1987 as the pioneer Resident Inspector of Ondo branch office. Owing to my dedication to my work, I was promoted to the grade of Area Manager in 1991, Marketing Manager in 1994. Following my trend, I headed the Branch’s Operations and ultimately I became the Assistant General Manager of Marketing.

My work has taken me all over the world except Canada. One of my adopted son has been inviting me for a while but due to my busy schedule, I have been not had time to visit Canada, but very soon, I will there. In all my accomplishments, I will dedicate everything to God and hard work pays.

How do you meet the Chairman of Energy Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim?
I met Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim by accident. I had heard about him because we are both from Ondo State, but I had never met him. But I knew how close he was to President Mohammadu Buhari then when he contested Ondo State Governor in 2003. I met him in the year 2005 when we were planning to list Great Nigeria insurance on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Before stock exchange could approve your initial public offer to be sold in the market, you must have sold one quarter of the offer.

They were on the verge of closing the offer and we were yet to get buyer to buy the one quarter. So, somebody introduced me to him and I asked him to buy share in Great Nigeria Insurance. He studied our proposal as a lawyer and agreed to buy the share. That was how he acquired the largest share in great Nigeria insurance and took over the management. After that, he acquired large shares in NICON Insurance to be in control of the management as well.

With your experience as a management expert and having related with Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim that has massive investment, how do you think he raised money to start his business?
From my experience while working with Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim for a while, one thing I know is that he raises capital through debt that is bank loan. When he acquires a company, he will evaluate the company and block all the loopholes in that organization. No matter how people cry and shout, he will make sure he does the right thing and bring the company into life again. He will then use company to raise money from commercial banks.

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