Introducing Nigeria’s most reclusive Billionaire,Oluwo Antonio Deinde Fernandez.
When it comes to the most impressive and exuberant display of the splendour of wealth, Fernandez dusts them all -by miles. The name ‘Fernandez’ is Portuguese in origin and shows that he is of the popular Fernandez family of Lagos. Historical accounts show that the Fernandezes were originally descendants of freed slaves from Brazil, where Portuguese is the official language. Some of the first modern-styled buildings in Lagos were built by the Fernandezes, and these buildings are known for their spectacular Brazilian architecture. Portuguese navigators were also the first European explorers to reach Lagos State. Actually, they gave the state the name ‘Lagos.
For Ovation magazine to feature a man in 40 pages says a lot about his prestigious standing. Very secretive (not in a bad way or let me say he guards his privacy jealously) and aloof (he very rarely comes to Nigeria where he is from), this is one rich man in a class and mansion of his own -with no rivals but maybe a few big cats.His wealth has dazed and fazed many, and left even many more speechless. ANTONIO DEINDE FERNANDEZ. Okay, enough of that. Let’s get some bits on him:
Even though he is Nigerian, he was appointed the Permanent Representative of Central African Republic (CAR) at the United Nations in 1997 (ain’t that classy?, but with the current turmoil in CAR, with former President Francois Bozize fleeing the nation, things are hazy). -Fernandez is said to have interests in the CAR’s oil industry (at a time, he was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic). That does not include his bauxite (for aluminum) exports, gold mines (in Angola) and diamonds pits. He owns Petro Inett, an oil company. Petro Inett is just one of them. He also has shares in View, Sandcat Petroleum, Sanantonio, Goldfields, Voguehope, Grantdalem Inuola, Sandcat Goldfields (cat, cat, now I understand those two cats…lol), Woods and Petro Inett Equatorial Guinea.
-Before then, he had served as the Special Adviser to the President of Mozambique on International Economic Matters and from 1992-1995, he was the Ambassador-at-Large for the Republic of Togo and Angola.
-He was also once the Consul for Benin Republic (then Republic of Dahomey) (1966), made the Economic Advisor to the Angolan Government in 1982 (just for perspective, only Nigeria produces more oil than Angola in Africa, shey you gerrit?). To be specific, he was a long-time adviser to President José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola (he’s been ruling since 1975).
In 1984, he was the Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations. At a point, he was a Deputy Minister of Finance in Swaziland.
-He has houses in Kano, built a tower for himself in Lagos (where he was born in 1936), New York (where he is said to stay almost permanently), Scotland, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom. But that’s not all, he has accounts in the Cayman Islands, France, Switzerland (I love that country joor), Ireland, Hong Kong, Scotland and the United States. Don’t ask me of Nigeria.Also as 6 private jets.
He surrounds himself with the finest, classiest and the most exquisite things that money can buy. Do you know of any other moneybag who travels around in a convoy of pink Rolls Royces? Baba ni Deinde! (or wetin you think? Na my own opinion be this o, talk ya own!) And yes, if you have the misfortune (lol!) of entering a restaurant before him, you will have to vacate -unless maybe you are Bill Gates. His Excellency is said not to dine where there are commoners.
In a divorce case with one of his former wives, it was revealed that he splashed 200,000 British Pounds on his seven-storey townhouse to buy 1,000 books of gold leaf to ‘toosh’ up the already ‘tooshed’ cornices and balustrades. This man is just too much! 200,000 Pounds = N51 million naira. Not much, abi? It was also revealed by his former wife that in one of his houses in France, the wine collection (used in the wedding celebrations of their two daughters) alone is worth about $1 million (calm down, it’s just N160 million). Atimes, I cannot but just wonder about how the world is so so skewed in terms of wealth distribution. Some have more than they can ever spend or use, while some just manage to exist. Something somewhere is definitely wrong with humans, the so-called higher animals. Even animals do not have such wealth disparity. Well, it’s just a thought.
-A high chief of the Ogboni Confraternity, he is highly revered in his Yorubaland and his family motto is: Aguntan meji kii mumi ninu koto kan na (see images for the insignia). Okay, what that simply means is that two rams cannot drink from the same container. Or some people will say, there cannot be two captains on a ship. Well, that’s correct, there is no other Antonio Deinde Fernandez (the Big Masquerade). Today, he is married to a beauty from Kano State. Her name? Haleema, and has a daughter, Mahreyah. She is said to be of the Alhaji Muhammadu Maude (also known as Maude Tobacco) family of Kano. Alhaji Maude was the Presidential Liaison Officer for Kano State during the Shehu Shagari presidency. A wealthy businessman, he made attempts to become governor of Kano State in the 1980s but lost even though his campaign was one of the most colourful and was associated with the use of yan banga,local thugs.More to come.
Now you can see that dangote and the rest are learning.