Top 10 Richest Men In Nigeria (2017 Forbes)


Everyone desires to be rich but the truth is only a few folks ever become truly rich. It takes a combination of factors to hit the goldmine of wealth and just a small percentage of the human population seems to get this right.

In this post, we will be looking at the 10 richest men in the country. Although, many of these individuals seem to have some things in their favour, there’s one thing they all have in common which is hard work.

Top 10 richest men in Nigeria 2017

top 10 richest men in Nigeria

#1 Aliko Dangote

As of February 2017, Aliko Dangote was said to be worth $12.5 billion which makes him the richest man in Nigeria and Africa. He is also the 67th richest person in the world.

With investments in Nigeria and African countries like Benin, Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania and Zambia, Dangote’s influence is spread across the African continent.

Although Dangote was born into wealth, he has certainly worked hard to get to where he is today. He began his sojourn into business when he established a small trading firm in 1977. This firm will later metamorphose in to what we call the Dangote Group.

The Dangote Group dominates the sugar and cement market in Nigeria. Over the years, he has been able to master the production of these commodities and he currently owns refineries and manufacturing plants in Nigeria and several parts of Africa.

Currently, Dangote is leading the charge to building a major refinery in the country. He commenced the building of this refinery for crude oil, fertilizers and petrochemical materials a few years ago. And this investment is worth over $9 billion and it is expected to be completed by 2019.

#2 Mike Adenuga

Born on the 29th of April, 1953, Mike Adenuga is the second richest Nigeria thanks to his investments in the telecommunications giant Globacom and Conoil.

Globacom is the second largest telecoms operator and the company has offices in African countries like Ghana, CoteD’Ivoire and Benin.

According to the recently released Forbes list in 2017, Mike Adenuga’s net worth is estimated at $5.8 billion and he is the third richest person in Africa.

Mike Adenuga had his primary and secondary education in Nigeria before proceeding to the United States to study Business Administration. He received his Bachelor’s degree at the Northwestern Oklahoma State University after which he went on to obtain a Master’s degree at the Pace University in New York.

In 1990, his company which was then known as Consolidated Oil received a drilling licence and in 1991 they struck oil. Consolidated Oil was the first indigenous company to strike oil in commercial quantities.

Beyond Con Oil, Mike Adenuga further proved his mettle as an astute businessman when his company, Globacom was issued a conditional GSM licence in 1999. He received the second licence in 2003 and ever since then his telecoms company which is fully indigenous has grown rapidly.

Mike Adenuga claims he got his business acumen from his mother who was also a successful businesswoman.

#3 Femi Otedola

Femi Otedola is the son of the former Lagos State Governor, Michael Otedola. He is the chairman of Forte Oil Plc, a major importer of fuel products. He is also the founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd.

His investment isn’t just limited to oil but range across other sectors such as shipping, real estate and finance. According to the latest release by Forbes, Femi Otedola has net worth of $2.3 billion which puts him at the third position in terms of wealth in Nigeria.

His sojourn in business started when he successful ran the family’s printing business in the 1980s. He would later venture in to the oil and gas industry.

Otedola has 3 daughters, two of which are well known in the entertainment circles. One of them, Florence Otedola popularly called DJ Cuppy is a DJ and music producer. Another one, Elizabeth Temi is a style blogger and an aspiring designer.

Femi Otedola has real estate properties in different parts of the world. These include London, Dubai and New York City.

He is also known for his philanthropic contributions. Through his father’s university, Michael Otedola University, he set up a scholarship scheme which has helped over 1000 students since its inception. Also, he was known to contribute N300 million to the completion of the National Ecumenical Centre, Nigeria’s primary place of Christian worship in Abuja.

#4 Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunso Alakija made headlines a few years ago when she unseated Oprah Winfrey to become the richest black woman in the world.

From a fashion designer to oil tycoon, Folorunso Alakija is currently worth $2.1 billion making her the richest African woman. Her business interests are in fashion, oil and printing.

Her oil company, Famfa Oil Limited was founded in 1993 is said to generate Folorunso Alakija at least $10 million daily in profit. She also has investments in real estate which is said to be worth over $100 million

Her son recently got married in a ceremony that was reportedly lavish.  The event took place in England and it was estimated to have cost N2 billion.

Apart from her wealth, Folorunso Alakija is known for her philanthropic activities. Her brainchild in philanthropy is the Rose of Sharon foundation which is a non governmental organization that helps widows and orphans by empowering them through scholarship and business grants.

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Her love for students has seen her sponsor many Nigerian students through the Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarship Scheme and the Folorunso Alakija Scholarship Scheme.

#5 Theophilus Danjuma

Theophilus Danjuma is a retired general, billionaire and philanthropist. His business interest is primarily in oil and he is the chairman of South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO).

Danjuma had a very humble beginning. His father, Kuru Danjuma was a peasant farmer and metal trader.

Danjuma studied at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria which was then known as the Nigerian College of Art, Science and Technology.

He studied History at the university after which he left to enrol in the Nigerian Army in 1960. Danjuma rose through the ranks from his rookie position as a second lieutenant to become a General.

He has been involved in many political activities in the course of Nigeria’s history. He was involved in the Nigerian coup in July 1966. He also freed Jaja Wachuku from detention by the Ojukwu government towards the end of the civil war. Also, he was the Chief of Staff to the General Olusegun Obasanjo when he was the Head of State. Danjuma was also able to prevent the Dimka Coup in 1976. He retired from the army in 1979 after which he focused on his business interests.

#6 Abdusalam Rabiu

Born in Kano in 1960, Abdusalam Rabiu is one of the richest men in the country thanks to his investment in the BUA Group. He is said to have an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion according to Forbes.

His father, Khalifah Isyaku Rabiu was a prominent industrialist in the 70s and 80s.

Abdusalam attended the Capital University in Columbus, Ohio in the 80s before returning to the country to oversee the family business.

He established the BUA Group in 1988. The company has grown over the years to become a conglomerate worth over $2.5 billion with interests in manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture.

Abdusalam’s company acquired the Nigerian Oil Mills Limited and also acquired a controlling stake in the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria some years ago. The BUA Group has the second largest sugar refinery in the country

Abdusalam Rabiu is also the chairman of the Nigerian Bank of Industry. Apart from his immense wealth, Abdul Samad Rabiu has been giving back to the society through the BUA Foundation. The foundation sponsored the construction of the paediatric ward at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. Abdusalam through the BUA foundation was also involved in the construction of the Centre for Islamic Studies at the Bayero University, Kano.

#7 Tony Elumelu

With an estimated worth of $1.4 billion, Tony Elumelu is one of the richest men in Nigeria. He is an economist, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

His investments include Heir Holdings, the United Bank for Africa and the Transcorp. He is also the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation which has empowered thousands of entrepreneurs across Africa.

Tony Elumelu is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School. In the banking industry, he was known for his role in the acquisition of Standard Trust Bank and catapulting them to become one of the top banks in the country.

In 2005, he was also involved in the acquisition of the United Bank for Africa. He transformed the bank from a Nigerian bank to a pan-African institution with presence in 19 African countries.

Tony Elumelu has investments in financial services, energy, real estate, hospitality, agribusiness and the healthcare sectors through his investment company, Heir Holdings.

Tony Elumelu serves as an advisor to the USAID’S Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He also serves a Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. Additionally, he is the chairman of the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria. He also serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL)

#8 Orji Uzor Kalu

Orji Uzor is the chairman of SLOK Holding and the former governor of Abia State. His other investments include the Daily Sun and the New Telegraph newspapers.

According to Forbes, he is worth $1.1 billion. Orji Uzor Kalu was a student activist during his time at the University of Maiduguri and was involved in the Ali Must Go riots. As a result of his participation, he was suspended by the school authorities but he never returned as he went on to building several successful businesses.

He started with only $35 which he had received as a loan from his mother. At that time he traded palm oil which he bought from the South East and sold to the market in the North.

Following the success of his palm oil business, Orji Uzor Kalu moved to another line of business which was selling furniture on a large scale. Eventually, he established the SLOK Holding which is conglomerate comprising Ojialex Furniture Company, SLOK Nigeria Limited, SLOK United Kingdom Limited, Adamawa Publishers Limited, SLOK Vegetable Oil, Aba, SLOK Paper Factory, Aba, SLOK United States Incorporated, SLOK Ghana, Togo, Cotonou, Guinea, South Africa, Liberia, Botswana, SLOK Korea, Supreme Oil Limited, SLOK Airlines, Sun Publishing Limited, and First International Bank Limited.

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#9 Jim Ovia

Jim Ovia is the man behind the success story of one of Nigeria’s top banks, Zenith Bank. He has an estimated net worth of $1 billion.

He is alumnus of Harvard Business School and is well known to have introduced many innovations to the banking industry. He was responsible for leading Zenith Bank to become one of the largest and most profitable banks in the country. He’s currently the chairman of the bank.

He was also the founder of Visafone Communications Limited which has since been acquired by MTN.

Jim Ovia is also the chairman of the Nigerian Software Development Initiative (NSDI), Cyberspace Network Limited and the National Information Technology Advisory Council (NITAC). Additionally, he is a member of the Honorary International Investor Council as well as the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI).

#10 Oba Otudeko

Oba Otudeko has an estimated worth of $650 million. He is the founder of the Honeywell Group. He is also the chairman of FBN Holding Plc.

He was born Ayoola Otudeko and he trained as an accountant at the Leeds College of Commerce in the United Kingdom which is now the Leeds Beckett University.

Oba Otudeko worked as banker for over 2 decades rising to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Cooperative Bank in Ibadan. Over the years, he has attended executive management programmes in Switzerland and U.S.A, one of which is at the Harvard Business School.

Oba Otudeko has investments spread across different sectors which include oil and gas, trading, financial services, real estate and marine transportation.

Richest Men in Nigeria: OLD RANKING (2015/2016)

Nigeria presently has the most richest individuals in Africa as revealed by Forbes and with South Africa coming in second. Aliko Dangote still leads in Africa as the richest man. However this article would concentrate only on the top richest men in Nigeria.

Find List of the richest men in Nigeria below.

Top 10 Richest Men in Nigeria

1. Aliko Dangote. Net Worth: $21.6 Billion

Named as Forbes African Person Of The Year Alhaji Aliko Dangote tops the list of richest men in Nigeria and Africa. He owns the Dangote Group and built his fortune around cement, sugar and flour. He has also added oil, rice and ferilizer to his chains of businesses.
He made his first fortune more than three decades ago when he started trading commodities with a loan from his powerful uncle.

2. Mike Adenuga. Net Worth: $4.6Billion

Mike Adenuga popularly called “The Bull” is Nigerias second richest man with investments in the telecom (globacom) and oil sector(conoil). The Nigerian Business Tycoon’s Globacom is Nigeria’s second-largest telecom operator

3. Theophilus Danjuma. Net Worth: $1.1 Billion

The former defense minister Theophilus Danjuma is the founder and owner of South Atlantic Petroleum. He is also into fetilizer and shipping industry with a stake in NALComet, one of Nigeria’s largest shipping companies.

4. Tony Elumelu. Net Worth: $1 Billion

With a huge stake in Transcorp, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and an extensive portfolio of real estate across Nigeria, Tony Elumelu is Nigeria’s 4th richest Man.
In 1997, he led a small group of investors to acquire Standard Trust Bank, a struggling commercial bank in Lagos, and restored the bank to profitability within a few years.
In 2005, he merged the bank with the United Bank for Africa and transformed it from a single-country commercial bank into a financial services institution with operations in several African countries. He served as CEO until 2010.

5. Orji Uzor Kalu. Net Worth: $ 1 Billion

Born in April 21, 1960 Orji Uzor Kalu, a former Abia state governor. Founder of Slok Holding, a West African conglomerate with interests in shipping, banking, oil trading, manufacturing and the media.
He hit the big time in the early 80s when the Nigerian military government awarded him lucrative contracts to import and supply arms and ammunition to Nigeria’s military and defense forces.

6. Femi Otedola. Net Worth: $900 Million

The CEO of Forte Oil Plc, Femi Otedola is the Nigerian President and Chief Executive Officer of Zenon Petroleum and Gas limited.

7. Jim Ovia. Net Worth: $850 Million

The founder of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia is Nigerias 7th richest man. His other assets include real estate across Nigeria, and Visafone, a mobile telecom outfit. He is also involved in $1.5 billion petrochemical complex construction.

8. Abdulsalam Rabiu. Net Worth: $700 Million

Abdulsamad Rabiu, the chairman/ CEO of BUA Group, a conglomerate active in flour milling, pasta manufacturing, ports and terminals management and sugar refining.

9. Mohammed Indimi. Net Worth: $670 Million

Mohammed Indimi founded Oriental Energy Resources, a privately held Nigerian oil exploration and production company. He remains chairman. Oriental currently has three projects offshore of Nigeria.

10. Tunde Folawiyo. Net Worth: $650 Million

Tunde Folawiyo, the managing director of Yinka Folawiyo Group with interests in energy, agriculture, shipping, real estate and engineering. The Folawiyo Group is a conglomerate founded by his father

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