Mohammed Indimi at 74: Philanthropic impact on grassroot development


History of Nigeria’s oil industry is incomplete without Dr. Mohammed Indimi who turned 74 years today.

Dr Muhammed Indimi stands out among Nigeria’s elites who have distinguished themselves through philanthropy, channelled towards the enhancement of grassroot development.

His humanitarian deeds have impacted communities in Northeast and Southsouth Nigeria through infrastructural development, scholarships and empowerment.

Indimi’s love for improving the lives of people in rural societies accentuates Robert Ingersoll’s position that we rise by lifting others.

Little wonder he has earned praise as the “fourth arm of government” in his home state Borno.

A look at Inidimi’s journey to the top have shown that his life is completely wooven into business. His dexterity, foresight in the oil and gas industry has made him the ‘Oracle of Oil’ in Nigeria.

With an estimated net worth of about $1 billion, Indimi is a philanthropist per excellent with visible impacts in wide-ranging areas like health, housing, social welfare and particularly, education. This was the reason he launched the Muhammadu Indimi Foundation (MIF), through which he executes his humanitarian projects.

According to him, “We established the Muhammed Indimi Foundation (MIF), with the sole aim of lifting thousands out of hunger, disease, illiteracy, and poverty in Northern Nigeria.”

The Borno-born businessman has also greatly empowered and supported people affected by the Boko Haram crisis in northeast of the Country.

His company has executed several CSR  projectdactivities in locations like Akwa Ibom State, among others. Oriental Energy launched a N700 million modern residential estate of 100 units in Enwang, headquarters of Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

His Foundation, MIF, has empowered people affected by the Boko Haram crisis in the North-East by building a 100-unit N600 million housing estate, providing food, clothing, schools and clinics for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno state.

Indimi has also donated a multi-million-dollar International Business Centre to Lynn University in the USA, which was named after him; and awarded over 470 scholarships to students in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, among others.

He  remains front, leading pool of private sector funded humanitarian interventions in the North-East. This has stimulated economic activities in the region.

Dr. Mohammed Indimi was born on the 12th of August, 1947 to the family of Alhaji Mamman Kurundu in Maiduguri (now the capital of Borno state). His father was a trader who sold hides and skins sourced from villages around Maiduguri.

He grew up with his parents in Maiduguri. He did not get formal education as a young boy but only attended Quranic school. He started joining his father in the trade of animal hides and skins from the age of 10.

It was, therefore, not surprising that Indimi was honoured alongside other prominent Nigerians by the University of Lagos(Unilag) during its last convocation ceremony with a doctorate.

At age 16 in 1963, Indimi had mastered the trade and was ready to start out on his own. He made a bicycle rental outfit which he ran briefly until he got a loan of 100 pounds to form his startup capital. With the advantage of youthful vigour and his father’s network which he had tapped into, the young Indimi soon earned a reputation for himself among other traders in the region.

He added the sale of clothes to his business in no time, and when the Civil war of 1967 affected the flow of clothes to Northern Nigeria, Indimi started crossing the borders to Cameroon and Chad to source ready-made clothes to sell.

Though he was still young, Indimi had developed his business acumen to spot opportunities. When there was a shortage of flour in Maiduguri in the early 1970s, he bought 50,000 bags of flour from the Chief Commercial Officer of the Ministry of Commerce for Sokoto state at a reduced price and resold in Maiduguri for huge profits.

In the late 70s again, when the South Chad Irrigation Project would have been delayed due to the lack of water issues, Indimi travelled to Florida in search of industrial water pumps and supplied the same to help the project get completed. He made even more profits from this venture and went ahead to monopolise the business when he built the first pump factory in Maiduguri. This, according to Indimi, marked the beginning of real profits for him.

In 1990, he established Oriental Energy Resources, an offshore oil exploration and production company and this was the beginning of his venture into the oil and gas industry. He got an oil prospecting license that year to acquire a minimum of up to 1000 km of seismic data and to drill at least three exploratory wells.

Oriental Energy started with a modest Block OPL224 offshore Nigeria, and has now expanded to include three assets under development offshore Nigeria, the Ebok Field (OML 67), Okwok Field (OML 67) and OML 115. The Ebok Field began production in Q2, 2011 while the Okwok Field began production in 2015.

Oriental Energy has also developed an offshore production hub centred on the established Ebok Terminal which is used for the storage and offloading of crude oil.

Mohammed Indimi is the Chairman of M & W Pump Nigeria Limited; a board member on Jaiz Bank, Arab Contractors, O.A.O Nigeria Limited and the International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan. He has also served on the board of other companies over the years.

As Dr Muhammed Indimi clocks another year. Today, Nigerian NewsDirect joins other teeming Nigerians to wish the genie of Industry Happy Birthday.