Their journey at Riverlake
Bello Tukur — Managing director
Lagos — Joined Riverlake in 2015
I grew up in a shipping household as my family was always involved in the shipping business in Nigeria. I knew sooner or later I would end up working in the industry. But my journey took a different path to arrive where I am today.
After graduation from university in 2004, I started my career in gas processing but later found myself in the commercial side of the business, that was where my interest in shipping began, but soon realized that I needed to gain more knowledge of the industry inorder to achieve my career goals.
I first heard about Riverlake Shipping in 2009, at the time I was working for another ship broker based in London as well as studying for the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) qualification. The name Riverlake kept coming up whenever I spoke to some of the Nigerian clients while marketing the services of my company. I got curious and started to find out more about the company, what impressed me the most was the projects Riverlake was involved in Africa, when other companies saw it as a challenging environment to do business.
As the west Africa shipping business began to grow especially in Nigeria, Riverlake understood very quickly that having an office close to the customers brings geographical benefits, as well as providing training to the clients. In 2011, I returned to Nigeria to work in the family business at the time the company was diversifying the agency business into shipping, and I was made responsible for commercial management of company’s fleet based on my shipbroking background. One of the first things I did was to contact Riverlake as they had an office in Nigeria to fix my ships as they were active in the west Africa region. This is where my relationship with Riverlake started, and I haven’t looked back ever since. In 2015 when Riverlake came calling the decision was very easy, as I already had a relationship with the company and the management, and under my leadership of the Nigeria office, we have concluded deals in tankers, dry cargo and sale and purchase.
Riverlake provided me with the opportunity to grow my business by providing all the support and tools required to succeed. Riverlake understands Africa.