10 Richest Ex-Governors in Nigeria

It is not a secret that politicians are the wealthiest people in Nigeria. The annual salary of governors in Nigeria is about 12 million, which is quite low compared to the lifestyles they live. Before holding the position of governor, many of these governors have already made a lot of money from politics or other business ventures.

In Nigerian history, many governors have ruled the 35 States of Nigeria. Since we are under democratic rule, no governor can remain in power forever. A Governor will have to step down if he/she has ruled for up to 8 years or loses the state elections to another candidate.

richest ex-governors in nigeria

Richest Ex-governors in Nigeria in 2024

Whether still in position or not, governors are still considered influential and are wealthy in their own right. I have made a list of the 10 richest ex-governors in Nigeria, so keep reading if you’re interested.

1. Orji Uzo Kalu

Estimated net worth: $2.8 billion

Born on April 21, 1960, Orji Uzor Kalu is a politician and businessman who currently serves as the senator for the Abia North Senatorial District. Before his election, on May 29, 1999, he held the position of governor of Abia State. Kalu is the chairman of Nigeria’s Daily Sun and New Telegraph newspapers, as well as SLOK Holding.

He was chairman of the Cooperative and Commerce Bank Limited and the Borno Water Board before he was elected. In addition, Kalu was the chairman of the PPA Board of Trustees and a member of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In the general election held in April 2007, he ran for the party’s presidency. Following his formal resignation as PPA BOT chair, he is now a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

Under the All Progressives Congress banner, Orji Uzor Kalu ran in the 2019 Nigerian general election to represent the people of Abia North in the Senate. With more than 10,000 votes, he defeated Mao Ohuabunwa, the sitting senator.

2. Owelle Rochas Okorocha

Estimated net worth: $1.4 billion

Born on September 22, 1962, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha is an Igbo politician from Imo State. He is a senator in the 9th Nigerian Senate, representing the Imo West senatorial district. He was the governor of Imo State from 2011 to 2019.

Rochas Okorocha currently serves as the senator for the West District of Imo State. Among his professional roles are Pro-Chancellor of the African Business School, President of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, President/Founder of Rochas Foundation Inc., President of the Rochas Group of Companies Limited, and Former Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency.

3. Abubakar Sani Bello

Estimated net worth: $1 billion

Abubakar Sani Bello is currently the Senator for Niger North. He was also the governor of Niger State from 2015 to 2023.

Abubakar Sani Bello was born on 17 December 1967 as the son of Col. Sani Bello, the former military Governor of old Kano state. He attained a bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Maiduguri.

4. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike

Estimated net worth: $550 million

The former governor of Rivers State Ezenwo Nyesom Wike is one of the wealthiest politicians in Nigeria, with an estimated net worth of $550 million. He was the governor of Rivers State from 2015 to 2023. He is currently the minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

He was appointed Minister of Education during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government. He is one of the main players in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and has been a member for a considerable amount of time. He showed interest in running for the presidency in the 2023 presidential elections but was defeated by Atiku in the Primaries.

5. Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai

Estimated net worth: $400 million

Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai was the governor of Kaduna State from 2015 to 2023. He was also the minister of the Federal Capital Territory from 2003 to 2007, as well as the director of the Bureau of Public Enterprises. He was one of the founders of APC in 2013.

El-Rufai is a wealthy man, and his wealth doesn’t come from only politics. He founded a quantity surveying consulting firm called El-Rufai and Partners in 1982, which he managed till 1998.

6. Willie Obiano

Estimated net worth: $300 million

Willie Obiano is the former governor of Anambra and was in office from 2014 to 2022.

Willie Obiano was a banker before turning to politics full-time. He started his career in 1981 when he worked for the First Bank of Nigeria. He left the First Bank of Nigeria and secured employment with Chevron Oil Nigeria as an accountant and climbed the ladder to the position of Chief Internal Auditor. He joined Fidelity Bank in 1991 as Deputy and head of Audit and rose to the rank of executive director.

In 2013, he left the banking sector to contest the Anambra State Gubernatorial election under the political party of All Progressive Grand Alliance.

7. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

Estimated net worth: $77 million

Born on December 10, 1966, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal served as Sokoto State’s governor, from 2015 to 2023. Before taking office as governor of Sokoto State in 2015, Tambuwal, a PDP member, was speaker of the Federal House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015.

8. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

Estimated net worth: $45 million

Born on December 25, 1949, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is a politician who held the position of governor of Kano State from 2015 to 2023. He had previously held the position of deputy governor under Rabiu Kwankwaso twice, from 2011 to 2015 and from 1999 to 2003. He belongs to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party and serves as its national chairman.

10. Ben Ayade

Estimated net worth: $10 million

Ben Ayade served as the governor of Cross River State from 2015 to 2023.

Ayade served as vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology during his tenure in the Senate. In addition, he served on several other committees, including those on education, drugs/narcotics/crime, and petroleum downstream.

In the April 2015 elections in Cross River State, Ayade emerged victorious in the gubernatorial poll once more, this time on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Ayade was reelected as the governor of Cross River State after running again in the 2019 gubernatorial elections as a representative of the People Democratic Party (PDP).


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