Who is Gabriel Ogbechie? Biography, Wikipedia
Gabriel Ogbechie is a Nigerian businessman and founder of Rainoil, one of the country’s largest indigenous oil and gas companies.
He started Rainoil with N300,000 in 1997 when he was just 30 years old.
Ogbechie was born on May 28, 1966. He is currently 56 years old and will be 57 years old by May 28, 2023.
Gabriel Ogbechie was born at Idumuje Ugboko in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta state.
He is the fifth of six children in his family.
Wife and Children
He got married at age 27 to Godrey Ogbechie, and both have three children. His wife used to be a banker.
Gabriel Ogbechie started his primary school education around 1972. But he ended up attending five different primary schools within five years in three different states because of the constant transfer of his father, a Nigeria Police officer.
He finished his primary school in 1977 at Queen of the Niger Primary School, Onitsha, and went to St. Patrick’s College, Asaba, till 1982.
Ogbechie then proceeded to the University of Benin (Nigeria), where he obtained a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Production Engineering.
After his tertiary education, Ogbechie was posted to Cross Rivers State for his mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program.
Speaking in an interview with ThisDay, he said; “But I wanted to go to the North out of curiosity because I had never been there,” he said. Thus he requested to be redeployed to Kano, “which surprised the officials as every other person was trying to change their posting to Lagos.”
Serving in Kano, according to Ogbechie, turned out to be a very interesting experience. “I got my first job in the State as a factory engineer, in a company called Sharada Edible Oils Ltd. I went on to live in Lagos when Price Waterhouse Coopers offered me a job and later joined Ascon oil, where I worked for five years before I left in 1997 to start Rainoil,” he said.
How he started Rainoil
In 1994, my wife and I went to see my lawyer and his wife to deliberate on incorporating a company. We thought of several names including Gaboil, but my lawyer, who is also a Pastor, opted for the name ‘Rain’ which he said stands for blessings.
“I felt he was right, so we merged Rain and Oil together and came up with Rainoil, but then I had to look for the magical N300,000 to start the business. Finally in 1996, we supplied our first diesel to a company in Ikeja where we thought we could make N30,000 but we made N45,000 which was exciting and we did the second and third and step by step we are where we are today.”
Ogbechie worked for Ascon Oil between 1993 and 1995 on a salary of N30,000 a month.
“I had a long reflection and came to the conclusion that if I make a margin of N1 per litre on 30,000 litres of diesel, I would have made N30,000 which was my salary. In other words, if I sold just one truck of diesel a month and go home to sleep for 30 days, I would have earned my Ascon’s monthly salary of N30,000.
“I set out to raise money for just one truck, which was N300,000 but it took me two years to raise that money. I put proposals together, approached everyone I thought could help, but all I heard were stories. Fortunately, I had the habit of buying shares with as low as N1,000. So when I realised I couldn’t raise the money, I brought out my capital market file and started itemising all the stocks one after the other, I surprised myself because it went into two pages, with a market value N478,000. I took them to my stockbroker, who verified them, sold the ones he could and I had my N300,000.”
Today, Rainoil owns about 40 petrol stations across the country, two tank farms in Oghara, Delta state, and Calabar, Cross River state. A fleet of about 80 tank trucks to distribute petroleum products across the country and six ships with which it imports products into the country.
In 2021, Gabriel Ogbenachie’s Rainoil completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Eterna Plc, a lubricant and chemical manufacturer and marketer in Nigeria. The deal was reported to be worth $26.1 million.
n December 2020, Ogbechie was accused in a public statement released by his fellow kinsman and Billionaire Ned Nwoko of plotting against him. Ogbechie has since denied the allegations.
On November 30, 2022, the Nigerian Police Force, following its investigations submitted to the Federal High Court in Abuja a report clearing Ogbechie of complicity in the alleged assassination plot. Ogbechie has filed a one billion naira suit against Ned Nwoko for defamation of character.