A typical Nigerian achiever, who can easily be described as a perfect example of ‘a dream come true’ is Mr Kase Lawal, a business owner and employer in the United States.
Lawal started his sojourn in the United States of America some years back as an undergraduate, just like every other Nigerian foreign student, but today, he is a bundle of success, from whom many now tap from.
Perhaps he had a foreknowledge that he was destined to become great abroad, the reason as a young secondary school leaver, he was able to successfully convince his father to send him abroad for university education.
Now, Lawal heads a conglomerate of companies worth billions of dollars and was recently awarded six oil blocs in Kenya.
Born June 30, 1954, in Ibadan, Lawal obtained his Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Chemistry from Texas Southern University in 1976, and his MBA from Prairie View A&M University, Texas, in 1978.
He was also awarded an honorary doctorate in philosophy from Fort Valley State University.
Lawal today presides over many companies with special interest in energy and oil exploration. Presently, he is the chairman and chief executive officer of CAMAC International Corporation, the chairman and chief executive officer of CAMAC Energy Inc, and chairman of Allied Energy Corporation in Houston, Texas.
He is also the chairman and chief executive officer, CAMAC Holdings; vice chairman, Port of Houston Authority Commission. He serves as a member of the board of directors and is a significant shareholder in Unity National Bank, the only federally insured and licensed African-American-owned bank in Texas.
US President, Barrack Obama, appointed Lawal to a distinguished advisory panel on international trade policy, making him one of 30 appointees to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiation (ACTPN) announced by the White House.
He has guided his oil exploration, refining and trading company to international prominence. Lawal’s expertise in the field of international energy led to his appointments by the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations to the United States Trade Advisory Committee on Africa, where he was responsible for crafting African trade policy.
Regarding the seaport, Lawal was appointed by former Houston Mayor, Lee P. Brown, to serve as a port commissioner on the Port of Houston Authority Board, while in 2001, he became the commission’s first vice chairman.
He is the chair of the port’s Small Business Development Committee and a member of the board of directors for the Port of Houston Authority International Corporation, both programmes that he helped establish. The Port of Houston ranks very high in the United States of America and it is said to be the sixth largest port in the world.
A leading US magazine, Black Enterprise, voted Lawal’s business number one among black Americans, and again as the company of the year with revenue above $1.4billion in 2005.
Lawal, who attaches a strong attachment and value to family, is married to Eileen with four children, two boys and two girls, and is based in Houston. He and his wife are founding members of major charities in both Houston and Nigeria, among which is a UNICEF initiative that they co-manage to raise $300 million to fight HIV/AIDS.
His company, an oil exploration and energy development corporation, does business not only in Nigeria and the United States of America, but also in places like Venezuela.