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.
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
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.
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.
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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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 the Executive Director of Cosmos oil AG and the founder/chairman of Taleveras, an energy trading company.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Mohammed Indimi
Mohammed Indimi is the founder of Oriental Energy, a company he founded in 1990. He is reportedly worth over $400 million.
19. Tunde Folawiyo
With an estimated worth of over $400 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
20. Hakeem Belo-Osagie
Trained as a lawyer, Hakeem Belo-Osagie is also a graduate of the prestigious Harvard Business School.
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.