December 2nd, 2017 – Billionaire Businessman Victor Gbolade Osibodu In Deep Financial Trouble
You hardly get to hear or even read about him. Whether that’s for a reason, is yet to be ascertained. But billionaire entrepreneur and one of Nigeria’s richest men, Victor Gbolade Osibodu, prefers being unobtrusive. For the owner of the multi-billion naira Vigeo Holdings, people hear about his super ex-banker wife, Funke, more than him. His wife is one-time Managing Director of Ecobank Plc and Union Bank Plc. She is currently the Managing Director of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC). But in recent time, the name of the business mogul has been on the lips of almost everyone pitifully.
Last year, Osibodu was reported to have lost billions of Naira due to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy to automatically adjust the mechanism of the exchange rate aimed at reducing the pressure on the Naira. At the time, there was even a spread around of malicious gossip that it would be a miracle for the Vigeo boss to recover quickly from that fiscal trouble. But sources closer to Osibodu dismissed those insinuations as arrant nonsense as they assured that he will bounce back on his feet and recover his loss in due time.
However, things seem to be taking so long to reset for the quiet moneybag. Thus, it didn’t shock many when last week, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos restrained the billionaire businessman and his holding company, Vigeo from dealing in whatever form, monies under their control in 17 commercial banks in Nigeria pending the determination of a claim of N8.7billion suit filed against him by Ecobank Plc.
The court also ordered the affected banks to freeze and not carry out any transaction on his accounts. According to court papers, Osibodu had begun to dispose off his shares in some blue chip companies having been made aware that the bank had disposed his shares, which were used as part of the security for the loan granted the Vigeo. Consequently, the business mogul and his agents were also restrained from dealing in or howsoever dissipating all his movable assets.
For over two decades, Osibodu has been playing big in the marketing, oil & gas, power, telecoms, banking and investments sectors. His multi billion business empire comprises Vigeo Oil & Gas, Vigeo Promotions & Marketing, Vigeo Capital, Citiserve Ltd, Citiserve Microfinance Bank Ltd. He is also a top corporate player who is on the board of SO&U Advertising, Phillips Consulting, UTC Nigeria, GT Bank Plc, Heritage Bank, Fate Foundation, to mention but few. But pundits have been wondering what could have gone wrong.
It even appears the hard time is already manifesting physically as a visit to Osibodu’s Vigeo Holdings’ headquarters in Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, would provoke queries. Sources told Spotlight that the sprawling edifice looks in need of urgent facelift. The property located at the edge of the high end Osborne Road in Ikoyi, Lagos was formerly the Japanese ambassador’s residence before it was bought by Vigeo.
It was learnt that when the Japanese ambassador was living in the property, the mansion was a spectacle in elegance. The design is classic, timeless, with a lot of character. The fountain was a joy to behold in its serenity for those approaching from Old Kingsway Road and held there in traffic. But as at the time of going to press, the building is in sorry state with the lawn overgrown with weeds.
The fountain has become a compost heap, playing host to fallen dried leaves, chipped tiles and tangled metal. The metal work on the fence is in dire need of a professional touch up.
But it appears Osibodu, a national honour holder of Member of the Federal Republic, MFR, is not really interested in taking care of any of his physical assets until he sorted out the piles of financial troubles facing his business empire.
[By The Spotlight]