Grand 70th Birth­day Party for Caver­ton Chair­man, Aderemi Makan­juola


When a man is de­scribed as an un­ob­tru­sive bil­lion­aire, it is a no-brainer that he does big things qui­etly and makes bold moves with­out mak­ing a song and a dance of it. That is the way of Chief Remi Makanu­jola. Be­com­ing a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man how­ever, is not mere lip ser­vice. It re­quires con­sis­tent ef­forts and fo­cus to grow from just be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur with in­ter­est in a par­tic­u­lar busi­ness to be­com­ing a re­spected and renowned em­pire builder. In­deed, Nige­ria is re­plete with a su­per­fluity of dog­matic busi­ness­men like Makan­juola; those bend­ing his­tory, rewrit­ing ex­is­ten­tial nar­ra­tives, crack­ing glass ceil­ings and break­ing bar­ri­ers while lead­ing oth­ers by the hand and tak­ing the road less travelled to the Promised Land.

How­ever, it is hard to re­main anony­mous when you are sit­ting on a for­tune in the range of mil­lions of dol­lars. If your lifestyle does not be­tray you, your loy­al­ists would, even when gagged, in a mo­ment of self-adu­la­tion. This ex­plains per­haps why fam­ily and friends are more than ready to cel­e­brate, Chief Aderemi Makan­juola, the chair­man of Caver­ton Group at 70. A nat­u­rally self-ef­fac­ing gen­tle­man who would rather his work speaks for him in­stead of the bil­lions he has, he is how­ever car­ry­ing him­self with a lot of ac­cus­tomed dig­nity in the bil­lion­aires and pri­vate jet own­ers’ club.

That is why men are talk­ing about him ex­cit­edly while women drool ex­citably and ges­tic­u­late an­i­mat­edly while de­scrib­ing him. That’s the mag­i­cal ef­fect Remi has on peo­ple these days.

The patently self-ef­fac­ing busi­ness­man will clock 70 in a few days and there is so much joy in and around his home and workplace. Though not one to throw gaudy par­ties, Chief Makan­juola is be­ing pre­vailed upon to shed his con­ser­va­tive toga for once, and let his hairs down as he used to in his younger days and cel­e­brate with­out in­hi­bi­tions.

The emis­saries are hard at work. And feel­ers reach­ing us in­di­cate that he is soft­en­ing his hith­erto hard stance. Of course, he won’t turn 70 twice, rea­son his as­so­ci­ates and rel­a­tives, mem­bers of staff and kids are con­jur­ing dif­fer­ent in­ge­nious ideas to cel­e­brate a man that is per­pet­u­ally at peace with him­self and hu­man­ity.

Charm­ing and charis­matic, Chief Makan­juola has so much to be thank­ful for; a good health, a great fam­ily-cum-suc­cess­ful kids (one of who is Niyi, the brain be­hind Vi­sion­scape com­pany in charge of clean­ing La­gos) and thriv­ing en­ter­prises in­clud­ing Caver­ton He­li­copters, estab­lished in Septem­ber 2002 as a char­ter, shut­tle and main­te­nance com­pany.

Caver­ton was ini­tially set up to bridge the gap in the on­shore he­li­copter ser­vice sec­tor; it has made strides into the off­shore sup­port (oil and gas) in­dus­try by pro­vid­ing lo­gis­tics sup­port to the ma­jor play­ers. Caver­ton He­li­copter op­er­ates out of a 10,000 square me­tre flight fa­cil­ity at the Mur­tala Mo­hammed In­ter­na­tional Air­port in La­gos. The com­pany also owns and op­er­ates out of sev­eral pur­pose­built fa­cil­i­ties in Vic­to­ria Is­land (The Ozumba Heli­port), Port Har­court (NAF Base), Warri and Cameroon.

On the other hand, the Caver­ton Group, set up to ren­der lo­gis­tics and en­vi­ron­ment sup­port ser­vices to the Nige­rian Oil and Gas pro­duc­ers, and sup­port en­ergy op­er­a­tions along the West African shelf, has po­si­tioned it­self as one of the lead­ing in­dige­nous oil­field ser­vices com­pa­nies in Nige­ria. Fol­low­ing the pas­sage of the Nige­rian gov­ern­ment’s ‘Lo­cal Con­tent Pol­icy,’ which is aimed at sub­stan­tially in­creas­ing in­dige­nous par­tic­i­pa­tion in the lo­cal and gas in­dus­try, the com­pany is now very well po­si­tioned to lever­age the op­por­tu­ni­ties this rep­re­sents.

Thus, if it would take a river of choice co­gnacs, cham­pagnes and ciders to show his ap­pre­ci­a­tion for an en­vi­able ex­is­tence as his, money would never be the prob­lem. He crossed that Ru­bi­con decades ago. Ed­u­cated at the Uni­ver­si­ties of Le­ices­ter for his un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree, and Manch­ester, for his mas­ter’s, Chief Makan­juola started as a banker be­fore coming into real wealth as a busi­ness­man.


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