When about two years ago Zahra Buhari, the pretty daughter of the President was to marry Muhammadu Indimi’s son, Ahmed, not a few watchers in the social setting could decipher the coup that Billionaire Indimi had pulled off.
True, he had always, through the effort of his wife made sure that his children were married to people who would always leverage on the wealth of the family. But this was the biggest one. Getting married to Buhari’s daughter while he is President is something like having a State wedding and also re-energising a business that was believed to be suffering. Forget about the photo shopped picture of Ahmed showing a bank account balance which he got from the Internet, Indimis were rich but they badly needed the leverage.
But then, they also have loud-mouthed kids who act like spoiled brats on the social media creating an empire that never existed.
It was therefore not unexpected when stories flew that after they were denied access to some of the events relating to Ahmed’s wedding to Zahra Buhari, the Indimi girls labelled the Nigerian First lady a hold digger. The wedding came and went.
Fast forward to Nigeria today, tenders for oil fields will soon be on. And the Indimis believe they are strategically placed to get a big chunk, after all, their father in-law calls the shots and he’s the Petroleum Minister.
Muhammadu Indimi, head of Nigerian concern Oriental Energy Resources (OER), is determined to expand his already sizeable portfolio with the acquisition of new assets during the next marginal fields tender. The sale should take place after the presidential election in February 2019 for which current President Muhammadu Buhari will seek a second term. Buhari coincidently has a strong family connection to the Indimi family.
The deposits up for grabs
OER is one of the most profitable oil & gas firms in Nigeria, thanks to its Ebok and Okwok fields located on OML 67. While Ebok produces 26,000 bpd, Okwok (50 million barrels) is not yet in production. According to our sources, Indimi stands in good stead with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to pick up additional marginal fields located in OML 67 that should all be included in the future tender package. The latest list doing the rounds within the DPR refers to five deposits on this concession: Amaniba (15.4 million barrels), Ede (49.6), Ekpat (32.7), Idiok (2.3) and Ndibe (1.2).
These deposits represent a combined 101 million recoverable barrels. Given the Nigerian junior’s good relations with the block operator, ExxonMobil, and the smooth running of its operations on Ebok, OER feels it is in pole position to land the jackpot. A position strengthened by the fact that the company already has facilities on site at Ebok that would help it easily develop these five other deposits.
Who can Indimi count on?
Indimi is not one to let the future decide for itself. As well as holding a tight ship, the Nigerian businessman who hails from the northern Borno region, has forged an extensive network of influence, mainly through family marriages. As we revealed in December 2016 the President Buhari’s daughter Zahra Buhari married Ahmed Indimi, son of the OER boss . Indimi, son, oversees crude oil sales for his father’s firm. His sister, Rahma Indimi, was married to Muhammed Babangida, the son of former Nigerian president Ibrahim Babangida, who was in power between 1985 and 1993 though still has considerable clout in the country.
OER’s senior executive vice president is the widow of the late son, who died in a motorcycle accident, of Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, minister of energy under Sani Abacha and now chairman of New Nigeria Development Co (an investment conglomerate owned by the 19 Northern States of Nigeria). Indimi reportedly prompted the departure of several senior company executives who disagreed with her management and could also find herself on the chopping board. Muhammadu Indimi has hopes in Buhari’s re-election in February next year to win favours from the head of state and pocket the deposits he has been eyeing up.
So who then is prospecting for gold in his in-law’s backyard? Like in many cases, the Indimi girls, who once called Aisha BUHARI a gold digger may soon eat their words when the whole family go begging.
We shall keep you posted.