The news of the African diplomat’s death was broken on Twitter last night by Ovation magazine publisher, Chief Dele Momodu.
Momodu said of the late Fernandez: “Nigeria, and indeed Africa, has just lost one of its greatest sons. Ambassador Chief Antonio Dehinde Fernandez is gone!”
The Nigerian business magnate, diplomat and Permanent Representative of Central African Republic to the United Nations, is regarded as one of Africa’s richest men.
He was born in Lagos in 1936 into the Fernandez family that originated from Brazil and the first European migrant to Lagos State, he has been in diplomacy since 1996. In 1982, he served as advisor to the Angolan Government on economic matters.
He held this position for two years until his appointment as Deputy Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations in 1984.
He runs an oil company called Petro Inett which obtained a 50% share with South African-based Energy Africa Limited in a deal with the state oil company for exploration rights in a 4,700 km2 area of Angola’s coast in 1996.
In 1992, he was appointed as Special Adviser to the President of Mozambique on International Economic Matters, a position he held for three years.