5 Richest Emirs in Nigeria (2024)

As the Oba is in the West and the Obi is in the East, so is the Emir in the North. Emir is the title given to traditional rulers in the North who preside over their subjects as King.

With the advent of democratic rule, traditional rulers no longer hold the authority they once did, but they are still respected and revered by their subjects. Although they hold no constitutional role, they still hold great influence over their communities and are sponsored by the government.

richest emirs in nigeria

Richest Emirs in Nigeria

Nigeria currently has 548 emirates and chiefdoms in the North. This is a surprisingly large number and each of these rulers has a community they preside over. While not all of them are billionaires, there are still many of them that have accumulated great wealth. In this article, I will outline the 5 richest Emirs in Nigeria and their net worth.

1. Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar

Estimated net worth: $100 million

The 20th Sultan of Sokoto is Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar who was enthroned on November 2, 2006. He is regarded as the spiritual head of Nigeria’s Muslim community as the Sultan of Sokoto.

As the chief of the Qadiri branch of Sufism and the Maliki school of Islam, Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio (1754–1817), established the throne which General Abdulkar now holds. Abubakar took the throne on November 2, 2006, when his brother Muhammadu Maccido died on ADC Airlines Flight 53.

He holds the most powerful Muslim post in Nigeria as the head of the Qadiriyya Sufi order. He is senior to the Emir of Kano, who is in charge of the Tijaniyya Sufi order, which is the most populous. In addition, he serves as president-general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and as the leader of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (the Society for the Support of Islam, or JNI).

On August 24, 1956, Sa’adu Abubakar was born in Sokoto. He is the youngest child of Sir Siddiq Abubakar III, the 17th Sultan and long-term ruler of the Sultanate.

Sa’adu Abubakar attended Zaria’s Barewa College before enrolling in the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 18th Regular Course in 1975. 1977 saw Abubakar commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the prestigious Armored Corps. In the late 1980s, he oversaw an Armored Corps presidential security squad that protected General Ibrahim Babangida, the military dictator at the time.

As a member of the Organization of African Unity, Abubakar also oversaw a battalion of African soldiers in Chad in the early 1980s. In the mid-1990s, he served as the military liaison officer for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In 1993, he was appointed the Commanding Officer of the 241 Recce Battalion in Kaduna. He served as the commanding commander of the 231 Tank Battalion (ECOMOG Operations) in Sierra Leone from 1999 to 2000 and as the ECOWAS military liaison officer from 1995 to 1999. He was accredited for Iraq, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia while serving as Pakistan’s defence attaché from 2003 to 2006. He retired as a brigadier general in 2006.

2. Aminu Ado Bayero

Estimated net worth: $20 million

Aminu Ado Bayero is the fifteenth Fulani Emir of Kano, descended from the Fulani Sullubawa clan. On March 9, 2020, he took the throne when Governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje removed his nephew Muhammad Sanusi II. He also serves as the University of Calabar’s chancellor.

On February 10, 1961, Aminu Ado Bayero was born as the second-eldest son of Ado Bayero. From 1963 until 2014, Ado Bayero, served as Kano’s emir, becoming the longest-serving emir in the city’s history. Among his siblings are Nasiru Ado Bayero, the Emir of Bichi, and his older brother Sanusi Ado Bayero. Muhammadu Sanusi II, his father’s grandnephew, took over as Emir of Kano in 2014 and remained in that position until the Kano State government deposed him in 2020.

Aminu learned the Qur’an, monotheism, Islamic law, and the customs of the Prophet Muhammad throughout his early Islamic education at home.

He continued to Government College, Birnin Kudu, after attending Kofar Kudu Primary School. Following his time at Flying College in Oakland, California, he attended Bayero University Kano to study mass communication. He completed his one-year National Youth Service Corps assignment in Makurdi’s Nigeria Television Authority.

Before becoming a flight engineer, Bayero was employed by Kabo Air as a public relations officer.

His father, Ado Bayero, named him Dan Majen Kano and district head of Dala in 1990. In October of the same year, he was elevated to Dan Buram Kano. He was elevated to Sarkin Dawakin Tsakar Gida Kano in 2000 after being promoted to Turakin Kano in 1992.

In addition, he presided over the durbar committee of the Kano emirate. He moved from Dala to Kano Municipal in 2014 after being elevated to Wamban Kano by the then-emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II. He replaced Galadiman Kano, Alhaji Tijani Hashim, as the district chief. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the governor of Kano State, named him emir of Bichi in 2019.

President Muhammadu Buhari bestowed upon him the national honour of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) in October 2022.

3. Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha

Estimated net worth: $5 million

Born on February 13, 1944, Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha assumed the title of Lamido of Adamawa, the traditional ruler of Adamawa State, Nigeria, on March 18, 2010.

Barkindo was born in Yola as the oldest son of Lamido Aliyu Musdafa. He first attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he graduated with a diploma in law in 1969, after attending Barewa College in Zaria. Afterwards, he studied at St. Clements University in the Turks & Caicos Islands (2000–2002) and North London Polytechnic (1973–1975).

He was employed by the National Freight Company, Nigerian Port Authority, and Nigeria Customs Service. He entered the Gongola State public service and rose to the position of Commissioner for Works, then Animal Health. Barkindo served as chairman of Stirling Civil Engineering Nigeria Limited from 1991 to 2003, a director of the National Engineering and Technical Company from 1991 to 1993, and the chairman of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria from 2003 to 2005.

4. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli

Estimated net worth: $4 million

Born on June 8, 1966, Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli CFR is a Nigerian lawyer, financier, and diplomat. He is now the 19th Fulani Emir of Zazzau, a Nigerian traditional state with its capital in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

He was formerly the Nigerian ambassador to Thailand and had concurrent accreditation to Myanmar. After his grandfather, Emir Alu Dan Sidi was overthrown in 1920, he was the first member of the Mallawa royal family to ascend to the throne in a hundred years.

Ahmed was born in Kwarbai Zaria, Kaduna State, as Nuhu Bamalli (former Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs) first son. He graduated from Ahmadu Bello University with a law degree (LLB) in 1989 and a master’s degree in international politics and diplomacy in 2002.

1998 saw him graduate from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology with a postgraduate certificate in management. In 2009, he participated in a conflict resolution fellowship at the University of York, and in 2015, he earned a certificate in organizational leadership from the University of Oxford. He also finished Harvard Business School’s General Management Program (GMP) in 2011.

Before taking a position as chief of human resources at Mtel, the mobile division of the former Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, Bamalli was employed by the Metropolitan Management Agency. In addition, he had positions in banking and as the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited’s executive director and, subsequently, acting managing director.

In 2015, he served as a permanent commissioner for the Independent Electoral Commission of Kaduna State. Before being named the new emir of Zazzau, Bamalli was known as Magajin Garin Zazzau and was accredited as Nigeria’s ambassador to both Myanmar and Thailand.

On October 7, 2020, Nasir el-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, named him the new Emir of Zazzau. President Muhammadu Buhari bestowed upon him the national title of Commander Of The Order Of The Federal Republic (CFR) in October 2022.

5. Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa

Estimated net worth: $2 million

Katsina’s Emir, Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, was born on January 9, 1952. He is the chancellor of the University of Ilorin and the previous chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University. He is a Fulani from the Sullubawa clan. After his father Muhammadu Kabir Usman, he is the fourth member of the Sullubawa dynasty and the 50th emir of Katsina in terms of chronology.

The Adamawa Emirate, which was established in 1809 by the scholar and spiritual guide Modibbo Adama, celebrated its 200th anniversary in April 2009. Barkindo served as the organizing committee’s deputy chairman. After ruling for 57 years, Barkindo’s father Aliyu Mustafa passed away on March 13, 2010, at the age of 88.

Barkindo was prepared for the throne by Aliyu Mustafa, who named him Chiroma Adamawa in 1980 and included him in the emirate council in 1987. After evaluating six candidates—two from each of the emirate’s three governing families, Yelwa, Sanda, and Toungo—the kingmakers of the emirate suggested Barkindo be appointed as the 12th Lamido of Adamawa, five days after his father’s death. Every one of the eleven kingmakers voted for Lamido.

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