In this post, we take a look at the top 10 richest governors in Nigeria. This list is based on the wealth these governors accumulated while serving in other positions prior to becoming governors.
Some of these governors were successful businessmen before venturing into politics while others were born into influential and wealthy families.
Top 10 Richest Governors in Nigeria
1. Rochas Okorocha
Rochas Okorocha is arguably the richest governor in the country. Okorocha was a well-known philanthropist prior to his sojourn in government.
He became governor of Imo state in 2011 and in 2015; he contested with President Buhari for the APC Presidential ticket in 2015. It was after his failed attempt at the presidency that he decided to vie for the Imo gubernatorial position.
Okorocha was born Rochas Anayo Okorocha on the 22nd of September 1962. He is the founder of the Rochas Foundation, a charity comprising a number of special schools that are spread all over Nigeria providing scholarships to the less privileged children in the Nigerian society.
2. Abubakar Sani Bello
Sani Bello is the current governor of Niger state. The governor was born into a rich family and his family is said to be one of the richest in Northern Nigeria.
He was born on the 17th of December, 1967. He is the eldest child of the former military Governor of old Kano state Col Sani Bello (RTD).
Sani Bello attended St. Loius Primary school, Kano from 1974 to 1979 and later went to Nigerian Military School from 1980 – 1985 then was given admission into University of Maiduguri 1986 – 1991 where He obtained a B.Sc in Economics. Abubakar has worked in several parts of the country. Also, prior to becoming governor, he was involved in various businesses.
3. Kashim Shettima
Kashim Shettima is the governor of Borno state and he is one of the richest governors in the country.
Shettima was born on the 2nd of September, 1966 in Maiduguri, Borno state. He started his career as a lecturer in Agricultural Economics at the University of Maiduguri before leaving academics to banking.
Shettima worked with the Commercial Bank of Africa as an Agricultural Economist at its Ikeja Office, Lagos State (1993-1997). He moved rapidly through the ranks as he became a deputy manager, then manager, at the African International Bank Limited, Kaduna Branch (1997–2001). He was later appointed Deputy Manager/Branch Head of the Zenith Bank’s Maiduguri Office in 2001 and he became the General Manager five years later.
In 2007, Shettima was appointed Commissioner of the Borno State Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Later he became Commissioner in the Ministries of Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Education, Agriculture and later Health under his predecessor as Borno Governor Ali Modu Sheriff.
4. Nyesom Wike
Nyesom Wike is the governor of the oil-rich Rivers state. He succeeded Rotimi Amaechi as the governor of the state.
Wike is also one of the governors on our rich list. He began his career in government in 2011 when he was appointed Minister of State for Education on 14 July 2011. He was later appointed the Acting Minister of Education after Mrs. Riqqayatu was sacked. Wike would later resign in order to campaign for Governor of Rivers State.
In 2014, he won the Rivers State People’s Democratic Party primary. He defeated Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the gubernatorial elections to emerge as governor.
5. Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai
Nasir El-Rufai is the fifth governor on our list. He is the governor of Kaduna State.
He was the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory. El-Rufai was also the former Director General of The Bureau of Public Enterprises, the head privatization agency in Nigeria.
The governor studied Quantity Surveying at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, graduating with a First Class Honors degree. He also attended post-graduate programs at Harvard Business School and Georgetown University.
El-Rufai is also an LL.B graduate from the University of London, graduating in August 2008 with Second Class Honors, Upper Division, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in June 2009.
6. Abdulfatai Ahmed
Abdulfatai Ahmed is the incumbent Governor of Kwara State and he is also one of the richest governors in the country.
He started his career as a lecturer in Organic Chemistry and later Acting Head of Department at Federal College of Arts and Science, Sokoto, in Sokoto State (1986–1990). He later obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 1992. It was during this period he became an Assistant Manager at District Savings and Loans, Lagos (1991–1993). In 1993, he started work with Guaranty Trust Bank in the Credit and Marketing Unit.
In 1998, he moved to Societe Generale Bank Nigeria as a Senior Manager/Group Head, Consumer Banking. Later, he became Public Sector Group for the North West region.
His political career took off when he was appointed Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development at the start of Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s Kwara
7. Akinwunmi Ambode
Ambode is the current Governor of Lagos state. He is one of the richest governors in the South West. He worked as a civil servant for 27 years prior to becoming governor.
After his tenure in the civil service, Ambode voluntarily retired in August 2012. He founded Brandsmiths Consulting Limited to provide Public Finance and Management Consulting services to government at all levels.
Ambode ran for the office of the Governor of Lagos State in April 2015 as a member of the All Progressives Congress.
8. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura
Umaru Tanko Al-Makura is also one of the richest Governors in the country. Al-Makura was a businessman before venturing into politics. After graduating from the university in 1978, he formed Al-Makura Nigeria Limited which was involved in importing and servicing agricultural and industrial machinery. He would later venture into real estate and property development as owner and chairman of Ta’al Nigeria Limited, with properties in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Washington DC, United States. He owns the Ta’al Lake Resort, Abuja and the Ta’al Conference Hotel, Lafia.
9. Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari
He is the Governor of Zamfara state and he makes our list as the 9th richest Governor in Nigeria.
Yari began his political career in 1999 when he served as the Secretary of the then All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) between 1999 and 2003. He was elected Chairman of ANPP Zamfara State in 2003 and later became the ANPP National Financial Secretary, a position he occupied until 2007. Between 2007 and 2011, as serve as the executive member representing Anka/Talata Mafara Federal Constituency.
He was elected Governor of Zamfara State on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2011.
10. Rauf Aregbesola
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is the final governor on our list and he is currently the governor of Osun State.
Prior to becoming governor, he was the Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure. He ran for election in April 2007 on the Action Congress platform and he was defeated by Olagunsoye Oyinlola. However, Aregbesola appealed the decision and on 26 November 2010, he was declared the winner by Justices of the Federal Appeal Court. This led to his swearing in on the 27th of November, 2010.
He sought re-election for a second term and he won again.
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