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Gabriel Ogbechie: How Nigerian Billionaire Oil Tycoon Started Rainoil With N.3m 25 Years Ago



Gabriel Ogbechie

The success story of Rainoil  Limited, a prominent player in the Nigerian oil industry, operating under the leadership of Group Managing Director Gabriel Ogbechie, started some 25 years ago when Ogbechie, in his 30s then founded the energy company in 1997.

As an indigenous integrated downstream oil and gas company with operations spanning across the downstream value chain, Rainoil Limited with an entrepreneur behind its wheel has become one of the big player in the downstream sector.

Its operations includes logistics and shipping of petroleum product storage, haulage, distribution, retail sales and bulk storage with its primary products being petrol, diesel, kerosene and liquified petroleum gas.

Over the past 25 years, the award-winning Rainoil has increased its asset base to include three ultra-modern petroleum product storage depots in the Delta, Cross River and Lagos states, and an 8,000-metric-tonne liquified petroleum gas storage facility in Lagos State.


It operates through more than 100 retail outlets across Nigeria and manages a fleet of over 140 petroleum product tank trucks for delivering products to its network of stations and customers countrywide.

In 2021, Rainoil under Ogbechie’s leadership completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Eterna Plc, a lubricant and chemical manufacturer and marketer in Africa’s largest economy.

According to information in Billionaires.Africa, Rainoil made the acquisition in a cross deal worth N10.73 billion ($26.1 million) through Preline Limited, an investment vehicle owned by the Nigerian downstream oil and gas company.

The purchase of a total of 794,969,774 ordinary shares, or a 60.98-percent stake in Eterna, by the energy group at a price of N13.5 ($0.0329) per share, was negotiated in a cross deal by Cordros Securities Limited, which acted as the buyer for the Ogbechie-led group.

Ogbechie said the acquisition aligns with the group’s targeted expansion strategy across the oil and gas value chain, as its investment in Eterna will position the group for sustainable growth and superior value creation for all stakeholders.


“It also underlines our commitment to Nigeria at this critical evolution point of the energy sector. We also expect that this will reinvigorate the fortunes of Eterna Plc and optimize the company for improved performance,” he said.

Few weeks ago the oil firm marked its 25 years in the downstream sector with its Group Managing Director, Mr Gabriel Ogbechie, giving a chronologically details of how he started the company with N300,000 when he was 30 years old and recorded growth in the investment in the last 25 years.

Addressing a gathering of business experts, industry leaders and captains of industries during the silver jubilee of the petroleum firm in Lagos, Ogbechie noted that there is no shortcut to success.


He said he started with truck business, which was a joint venture, before getting a leased station at Igbedu Ijesha in Ogun State. 

“We built our first depot at Oghara (Delta State) and the second in Calabar (Cross River). Today we are the only downstream company that has three depots in the country,” he said, adding that the firm now employs over 2,000 staff.” 

The Group Executive Director, Rainoil, Mrs Godrey Ogbechie, spoke on the outlook of the firm, saying, “Certainly, the next 25 years promise new opportunities for us here at Rainoil Group as a whole – and we are optimistic. That is why we have organised this service to celebrate our past wins, as well as to till the ground for fresh growth.”


The company said it made donations to two schools in Lagos and three in Delta State.

Pastor of Daystar Church, Bolutife Oluyomi, speaking at the occasion, said people should strive for commitment.

“No matter how much we justify our excuses, they’re still just that – excuses. Therefore, we must endeavour to give our best no matter what to ensure that no stone is left unturned in achieving our organisational goals,” he said.

Advertisement reports that, contrary to insinuation in some quarters that it has no business based before now, the integrated downstream oil and gas group had grew exponentially way back before recent interest by investors.

Rainoil Limited was incorporated in November 1994 and commenced business as a petroleum products marketing company in May 1997.

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