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.