The Many Troubles of Oando boss Wale Tinubu
Sometimes, to get to the top may be easy, but to stay up there may not be palatable. Here in Nigeria and some other African countries, those who find themselves at the top either by accident or by their dint of hard work usually find it very difficult to hold on firmly to their positions while some do. Wale Tinubu is one man whose rise was sudden in the sight of Nigerians due to his sharing same name with Nigeria’s top politician, Bola Tinubu. Some attribute his (Wale’s) success to the former Lagos State governor while those who are close to him say he achieved his success all alone.
The controversial businessman is not new to controversy; in fact his second name is controversy. Many people have talked about how he became a conduit pipe for his brother and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu. Whenever someone in Lagos begins to wonder where their 4th Mainland Bridge went, or what was the fate of the pipe-borne water project, or even where the schools and hospitals had vanished to, there is a silence that contains it all. The largest landlord in Lagos has done as he has pleased, and the rest of the state just has to deal with it. For instance: Number 4, Oyinkan Abayomi (formerly QueensDrive), Ikoyi, a 5-bedroom detached house on one acre of land which was originally the Lagos State governor’s guest house since 1979, now belongs to Tinubu. The certificate of occupancy of the property valued at N450 million was signed and released to him by Fashola in 2007 shortly after he assumed office.
Tinubu’s residence at 26 Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi was initially falsely presented as Oando Plc Guest House. Later, he purportedly bought it from Oando, and used public funds to rebuild and renovate it. The Lagos State Government bought the property and paid an undisclosed sum to him and thereafter gave the property back to him under the bogus Pension Bill he signed into law shortly before he left office in 2007. The property is worth over N600 million.
His name was a recurring decimal during the fuel subsidy scandal that rocked the country 12 years ago. Oando was alleged to be coloured with talks of bribery and underhand engagements in its conducts.
He nearly ran into trouble water at the beginning of this administration when he tweeted his picture with the wife of the no-nonsense president Buhari Aisha inside a chopper during the wedding of Adams Oshiomole in Edo State.
Presently, he’s in deep trouble as the industry watchers are not happy with the staggering loss of over N189 billion recorded by Oando right under the leadership of Wale Tinubu. The loss which was announced weeks back has raised speculations about Tinubu’s capacity to steer the ship of the oil corporation to prosperous heights especially in this period that oil prices are having a free fall.
Since the disclosure of the monumental loss, rather than do the needful, Tinubu is said to have appeared on national television trying to explain the reasons for the loss. But the subtle image laundering aimed at currying the favour of his company’s shareholders and other stakeholders has, however, generated virulent criticisms across the nation’s oil and financial sectors.
Pundits are of the opinion that the Oando boss should have simply towed the honourable path by tendering his resignation letter instead of doing unnecessary image laundering to offer frantic explanation of the company’s loss while seeking the public’s indulgence for his apparent incompetence at his job.
“The fact that the bulk of the lost money was attributed to administrative expenses is enough reason for him to go. It’s shameful and insensitive of the Oando boss to hold tenaciously to his position while junketing across the globe on private jet and as a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s entourage while he bungles his brief as Oando boss,” one of the company’s shareholders said.
Another financial analyst disclosed that Tinubu before now used to doctor the financial results of the Oando to look robust in the eyes of the public but now the shareholders are more at alert to detect any fraudulent results so it is very difficult for him to cook it well to suit himself.