He worked as a taxi driver to help fund his university education. He graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Pace University, New York, with degrees in Business Administration. In 1990, he received a drilling license and in 1991, his Consolidated Oil struck oil in the shallow waters of Southwestern Ondo State, the first indigenous oil company to do so in commercial quantity.
His company Globacom is Nigeria's second-largest telecom operator, and has a presence in Ghana and Benin. He owns stakes in the Equitorial Trust Bank and the oil exploration firm Conoil (formerly Consolidated Oil Company).