Mai Deribe: Things You Never Knew About Him

Alhaji Ahmed Mai Deribe was a citizen of Borno state. He was born into the Mai Deribe family and his father was a long-distance trader in colonial Borno. He was an astute businessman and one of the richest in Nigeria.


He had interest in the oil and gas sector of Nigeria and was also involved in a number of other businesses.  He was the one that established the Dalram Soft Drinks Factory, which was the very first of its kind in the northeastern part of Nigeria.

The factory was commissioned in 1982 by former President Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari. The company was able to produce up to 1 million bottles per day.

Aside the above, he also had interest in the hospitality industry. He built the only five-star hotel in the whole of the northeastern part of Nigeria. Name of the hotel is Deribe Hotel.

He equally had interest in Preussag Drilling Company in which he was a shareholder. A host of underground water basins and aquifers are being accessed by the governments of Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Yobe, Adamawa and Borno through this drilling company today.

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When he was alive, Ahmed Mai Deribe was a charitable person and his charitable activities are still being revered by the people of Borno state till today.

He invested heavily into various activities, including the construction of the Deribe Central Mosque in Old Maiduguri, Jere Local Government, Borno. The said mosque was commissioned by the then military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.

Ahmed Mai Deribe travelled overseas and returned early 1980s with ultramodern equipments and gadgets he bought for NTA Maiduguri.  The staff members could not master the gadgets until after practicing with it for 2 good years due to its advanced state.

Ahmed Mai Deribe gave a sum of N5 million to the Maiduguri central mosque on the 1st of January, 1987 on behalf of his brother and family members. Name of his brother was late Alhaji Kuli Deribe.

The people of Old Maiduguri and Fezzan were his neighbors.  These neighbors equally benefited a lot from the largesse provided by Ahmed Mai Deribe.  He would send foods and money across to them on many occasions.  He would send 1 bag of millet to each family each month of Ramadan, which is the Muslim’s holy month of fasting.

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Ahmed Mai Deribe was equally involved in the construction of Bulumkutu Central Mosque, Borno. He was also responsible for constructing the Aminu Deribe Mosque as well as Doggom Maslanchi located in the Fezzan ward of Maiduguri.

He was the one that constructed the Deribe Hotel Mosque and the School Mosque.  Other projects completed by Ahmed Mai Deribe are airport mosque, Fillin Polo Mosque and Maiduguri Mosque.

He also built up to 27 other smaller mosques all over the country.  He actually erected up to 78 mosques when he was alive.

He was involved in sponsoring people to the hajj for 44 good years. He sometimes used his private jet, a gulfstream to ferry the pilgrims to Mecca. He also built Deribe Hospital located along Bulumkutu Road.

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