Top 20 Richest Men in Nigeria (2017, Forbes)


Nigeria is a country that is home to many wealthy individuals. Interestingly, the richest man in Africa is a Nigerian while the second richest African woman is also a Nigerian.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the 20 richest individuals in the country.

top 20 richest men in nigeria

#1 Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote is currently worth over $12.5 billion. He is the richest man in Nigeria and Africa. He is also the 67th richest person in the world.

Dangote has investments in Nigeria as well as countries like Benin, Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania and Zambia.

Although Dangote was born into a wealthy family, he hasn’t rested on his soars due to his family’s riches. His journey into becoming a billionaire began when he established a small trading firm in 1977. This firm would later metamorphose in to what is now known as the Dangote Group.

The Dangote Group is a major force in the sugar and cement market in Nigeria and Africa. Over the years, this businessman has mastered the art of producing these commodities locally.

Currently, Dangote owns refineries and manufacturing plants in Nigeria and several parts of Africa. He is also leading the way by a building a major refinery in the country that will eliminate the country’s dependence on oil importation.

The project commenced with the goal of building refineries for crude oil, fertilizers and petrochemical materials. This investment is said to be worth over $9 billion and it is expected to be completed by 2019.

#2 Mike Adenuga

Mike Adenuga is the second richest Nigerian thanks to his investments in the telecommunications giant Globacom and oil company, Conoil. He was born on the 29th of April, 1953

Globacom is the second largest telecoms operator. The company has extensions in Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire and Benin.

According to Forbes, Mike Adenuga is worth an estimated $5.8 billion and he is the third richest person in Africa.

Mike had his primary and secondary education in Nigeria before proceeding to the United States to study Business Administration.

In 1990, Con Oil 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.

#3 Arthur Eze

Arthur Eze is one of the wealthiest men in Africa. He is the founder and Chairman of Atlas Oranto Petroleum a reputable company with assets in Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea and the Gambia. The company was founded in 1991.

Arthur studied chemical and mechanical Engineering at the California State University. He is said to be worth over $5 billion.

#4 Cletus Ibeto

Cletus is the head of the Ibeto Group. The group is one of the largest conglomerates in Africa with interests in automobile parts, cement production, energy, petrochemical and the real estate industry.

The popular Ibeto Hotels is one of his business interests. His networth is $3.7 billion.

#5 Benedict Peters

Benedict Peters is the founder of Aiteo Group, a conglomerate with primary interest in energy. Benedict began his career with Ocean and Oil now known as Oando Plc before moving to MRS Oil Nigeria Plc to become the Group Executive Director.

Eventually, Benedict founded Aiteo Group which is currently reputed to own one of the largest petroleum tank farms in the country. He is reportedly worth $2.7 billion.

#6 Femi Otedola

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

His business interests include oil, shipping, real estate and finance. According to the Forbes, Femi Otedola has a net worth of $2.3 billion which makes him one of the few billionaires in the country.

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

#7 Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunso Alakija is currently worth $2.1 billion making her one of the richest African woman.

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

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Folorunso Alakija is also 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.

#8 Theophilus Danjuma

Theophilus Danjuma is a retired general, billionaire and philanthropist. 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 retired from the army in 1979 to focus on his business interests.

#9 Abdusalam Rabiu

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.

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.

#10 Tony Elumelu

Tony Elumelu is one of the richest men in Nigeria with an estimated worth of $1.4 billion.

His investments include Heir Holdings, the United Bank for Africa and 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. He is known in he banking industry 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. His investment company, Heir Holdings supervises these investments.

#11 Igho Sanomi

Born in Agbor, Delta State, Igho Sanomi is the father of Dickens Sanomi. It would be recalled that Dickens was the second National Vice President of Urhobo Progress Union. He was also a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) of the Nigerian Police Force.

Igho has been involved in telecommunications, shipping, aviation, engineering, construction and real estate investments.

Igho is the chairman of several companies and he is reportedly worth $1.3 billion. He is the Executive Director of Cosmos oil AG and the founder/chairman of Taleveras, an energy trading company.

#12 ABC Orjiako

Bryant Orjiako popularly known as ABC Orjiako had an interesting career path prior to becoming a billionaire. He trained as a surgeon but after a while, he left the healthcare sector to pursue his business interests.

Orjiako’s business interest is primarily in oil and gas. He is the co-founder and chairman of Seplat Petroleum. Prior to establishing Seplat, Orjiako founded and ran several companies in the upstream, downstream and service sector of the oil and gas industry. Orjiako is also a Harvard trained businessman and he’s reportedly worth an estimated $1.2 billion.

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#13 Bode Akindele

Bode Akindele is an octogenarian billionaire. He is the chairman of the Mondola Group. This group is one of the largest conglomerates in Nigeria with interests in Agriculture, Food processing, Maritime, Real Estate and the Transport industry. Bode Akindele is worth an estimated $1.2 billion.

#14 Emmanuel Ojei

Emmanuel Ojei is the chairman of Nuel Ojei Holding Limited. His business interests include construction, banking, importation, sales and service of motor vehicle and oil. He is worth $1.2 billion

#15 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. He is currently worth $1.1 billion.

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 to school. Instead, he went on to build several successful businesses.

He started his first business with 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.

#16 Jim Ovia

Jim Ovia is the man behind one of the most prestigious banks in the country, Zenith Bank. He has an estimated net worth of $1 billion.

He is an alumnus of the famous Harvard Business School. Ovia is known to have introduced many innovations to the banking industry and he was responsible for leading Zenith Bank to becoming one of the largest and most profitable banks in the country. He was also the founder of Visafone Communications Limited which has since been acquired by MTN.

#17 Mohammed Indimi

Mohammed Indimi is the founder of Oriental Energy, a company he founded in 1990. He is reportedly worth $670 million.

#18 Tunde Folawiyo

With an estimated worth of $650 million according to Forbes, Tunde Folawiyo is one of the richest men in the country.

He is the chairman of the Yinka Folawiyo Group, a large conglomerate with interest in energy, agriculture, shipping and real estate. He took over the company from his father, Wahab Folawiyo when he passed away in 2008.

Tunde is also the director of MTN Nigeria Ltd

#19 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.

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 business programmes in Switzerland and U.S.A, one of which was 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.

#20 Hakeem Belo-Osagie

Trained as a lawyer, Hakeem Belo-Osagie is also a graduate of the prestigious Harvard Business School. He has a net-worth of $600 million

Belo-Osagie has been involved in oil, finance and telecommunications industry. He was the chairman of the United Bank of Africa between 1998 and 2004. He was also involved with the Federal Government particularly in the Energy sector when he initially returned to the country.

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