Alhaji Sayyu Dantata
Sayyu Dantata studied Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration in the United States, having attended Morris Brown College, Atlanta Georgia.
He started his career as the chief executive of Dangote Transport, the logistics division of the Dangote Group.
He realised the potential for diesel marketing when he found it difficult to procure fuel for the company’s huge fleet. The Nigerian government was the sole importer of diesel and there were chronic shortages of the product. Sayyu studied the complex allocation process and launched M.R.S Oil in 1993 with about 5 million Naira start up capital.
He started buying diesel from African Petroleum, Unipetrol and the Kaduna Refinery, but it took some time for the company to get a foothold in the market. At the initial stage, M.R.S even had to buy diesel from foreign firms who received allocations even though they had no offices in the country.
The company got its big break when it was hired by the NNPC in 1998 to evacuate Low Residue Stock, a by-product of the refining process. This was followed by a major order from Wale Tinubu, who gave him a big contract to supply diesel.
M.R.S has an annual turnover of N10 billion and ships about 50,000 tonnes of diesel a month. The company recently stunned the industry when it acquired Chevron Texaco’s downstream assets for 1 billion dollars (it was bidding against Femi Otedola’s Zennon Oil). The M.R.S group employs about 800 people.