What does it mean to be rich? It means possessing material wealth. Rich people are in a class or group having possessions and wealth, abundant money, and supply of material goods. This topic is welcomed any day by both the rich and those who are not so rich. Everyone earning a living hopes to make a fortune one day and is eager to learn about those that have made it and how they made their money. Being among richest people in Nigeria is a big plus.
Thanks to Forbes and other websites that publish updates about these eminent people, we have enough information about the top richest people Nigeria and what they do. Without wasting time, here are their names and their profile and what you must do to join them.
Top richest people Nigeria
Here are the richest people in Nigeria:
1. Aliko Dangote
- Net worth: $12.1 billion
According to the Forbes list of Africa’s Billionaires, Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Africa with a net worth of $10.1B, and that means he is also the richest man in Nigeria. He has a real-time net worth of $7.7B as of April 4, 2020. By early 2023, he has a net worth of $12 billion.
If you are wondering who Dangote is, here is his profile for your consumption. He was born 62 years ago and graduated from Al-Azhar University in Egypt with a Bachelor of Arts and Science. His primary source of wealth is the Cement and sugar.
He started a business to produce the food you eat and to make a significant building material. His company’s products include Dangote Pasta, Sugar, Flour, Salt, and Cement. All these companies trade publicly on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and his stakes in them are huge.
His holding company has a stake of shares worth 85 % of Dangote cement, which is a public liability company. This company operates in ten African countries and produces 45.6 million metric tons of Cement yearly.
To solve Nigeria’s constant fuel crisis, three years ago, he started the construction of the Dangote Refinery. When completed, it will be the largest oil refinery in the world. That is the man Dangote for you.
Read more: How Aliko Dangote made his money
2. Abdulsamad Rabiu
- Net worth: $6.5 billion
Abdulsamad Rabiu is 59 years of age and owns the BUA Group, whose primary business includes the production of Cement, real estate, and the making of sugar.
His profile among the Billionaires list by Forbes shows he is worth $6.5B as of early 2023
His father was a prosperous businessperson, who willed enormous Land to Rabiu. Rabui attended Capital University, Ohio, in the USA and started his own business in 1988 by importing iron, steel, and chemicals.
Abdulsamad Rabui bought the Nigeria Oil Mills and is the main shareholder of BUA PLC, a publicly-traded company. After a merger of the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria and his private company called Obu, he now has 98.5% shares in the BUA PLC.
2. Mike Adenuga
- Net worth: $5.8 billion
The next person on this list of the top richest people Nigeria is Mike Adenuga. According to Forbes, his net worth in the register of Africa’s billionaires is $5.8 billion as of early 2023.
Mike Adenuga was born 66 years ago, and he holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Pace University in the United States of America.
While schooling in the USA, he drove taxi cabs to pay his school fees and, at 26 years of age, established a business that distributes soft drinks and sells Lace material and made his first million.
His primary source of wealth is oil production and telecom business. If you do not know this, his company owns Globacom, the third-largest GSM network with a subscriber base that is up to 43 million.
Read more: How Mike Adenuga made his money
4. Femi Otedola
- Net worth: $1.8 billion
Femi Otedola is the next billionaire we will examine in this list of the top richest people Nigeria and what they do. Forbes 2020 list does not have his name, but their 2016 report posted his net worth at $1.8B as of 3/1/2016. Then he was 57 years of age and was reported to spend one hour in the gym daily trying to keep fit.
He made his money through petrol stations and power generation business. According to the Forbes report, he is the major shareholder in Forte Oil, a publicly quoted oil marketing and power generation company.
Forte oil business includes petrol filling stations throughout Nigeria, making of engine oil, oil storage depots, and a power plant fired by gas in Kogi state.
Read more: How Femi Otedola made his money
5. Tony Elumelu
- Net worth: $1.4 billion
Tony Eleumelu is the next entrepreneur that we are bringing to you. Born in 1963, He is a banker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist known for the Tony Eleumelu Foundation that gives out $5,000 seed money to young startup companies in Africa yearly.
He trained as an economist from the then Bendel State University Ekpoma and is also an Alumnus of the Harvard Business School.
He started his banking career from the now-defunct Allstates Trust Bank owned by Ebitimi Banigo and rose through the ranks to the top. He later led a group to acquire the then Standard Trust Bank and merged it with UBA in 2005.
He transformed UBA and opened branches in 19 African countries. His Heirs holding has investments in UBA, Transcorp, real estate, energy, agribusiness, financial service, and hospitality.
6. Jimoh Ibrahim
- Net worth: $1.1 billion
Jimoh Ibrahim is next in this list of top richest people Nigeria and what they do. Jimoh Ibrahim is estimated to have a net worth of $1.1B. He was born 53 years ago and trained as a lawyer and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. He also holds a Master’s in Law and International Taxation from Harvard in the USA.
He started business early but gained prominence when he organized seminars for all Local Governments in Nigeria, and workshops for Federal ministries. He proposed to collect the withholding tax from Foreign multinational oil companies for the federal government of Nigeria and succeeded. He made several millions of naira from these deals.
In 2004, he ventured into the oil business and floated Global fleet oil and gas as the holding company. Global Fleet acquired over 150 filling stations and built its oil depot.
His companies include Nicon Insurance and Reinsurance, Nicon Luxury Hotels, Air Nigeria, and Energy bank in Accra Ghana.
He holds 100% of the Sao Tome and Principe Energy Bank stocks and owns Global Media Mirror publisher of National Mirror, which has 51% controlling shares of Newswatch Magazine.
Jimoh Ibrahim is yet to realize his political ambition to be Governor of his home state Ondo, where he contested twice and failed.
7. Folorunsho Alakija
- Net worth: $1 billion
Folorunsho Alakija is the richest woman in Nigeria. She in the Forbes 2020 Africa’s Billionaires report with a net worth of $1B. She is the richest woman in Nigeria.
She is number twenty in the African continent. Her wealth proves the famous adage that what a man can do; a woman can do it even better. She is 69 years of age, and the source of her wealth is oil.
Famfa Oil, where she is the vice-chairperson, is an oil exploration company with a stake in an inexhaustible offshore oil block called Agbami Oilfield.
Formerly, she owned a fashion label that designed garments for high profile customers like the wife of the erstwhile president Ibrahim B. Babangida.
In 1993, the Federal Government of Nigeria awarded Famfa Oil an oil prospecting license and later upgraded it to an oil mining lease. Chevron and Petrobras are the company’s associates.
Since 2008, the Oil field has been producing and could continue to produce throughout 2024.
Read more: How Folorunsho Alakija made her money
8. Jim Ovia
- Net worth: $1 billion
Jim Ovia is the next billionaire in this catalog of the top richest people Nigeria and what they do. Jim is the founder of Zenith Bank PLC and its chairperson and has the most substantial individual stake in the stocks of the bank.
He is said to have a net worth of about $1B and an Alumni of the Harvard Business School. Jim was born at Agbor in Delta state in 1951 and worked in Union bank as a clerk before he traveled to the USA for further studies.
He has his first degree in Business Administration from Southern University of Louisiana Baton Rouge. Jim followed this up with a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana, Monroe Louisiana, USA.
Upon his return home, he started his bank in May 1990, and Zenith bank began operating in July 1990. Apart from banking, Jim is also technically savvy and chairperson of Cyberspace Network Limited and The Nigeria Software Development Initiative (NSDI).
He owned Visafone Communications Limited, which was operating with CDMA technology, providing fixed wireless lines for users until MTN acquired the company.
Jim is a Philanthropist, and the Jim Ovia Foundation offers scholarships to needy qualified Nigerian students. The program, which started in 2008, awards N150,000 renewable scholarship per student throughout their schooling period. To learn more, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Orji Uzor Kalu
- Net worth: $1 billion
Orji Uzor Kalu, the next mega-rich Nigerian we are profiling, was the ex-governor of Abia state. His projected net worth is $1.0B and was born in 1960. He schooled at the University of Maiduguri and was a student activist, and after a protest at the University, he was suspended and did not finish school.
He then took a loan of $35 from his mother and invested it in palm oil. He bought the palm oil from the east and sold it in the North. He later started selling wholesale Furniture and used a holding company called SLOK.
SLOK invested in Newspaper publishing and owned the Daily Sun and New Telegraph. SLOK has grown into a multinational company operating in other countries like the USA, UK, Korea, South Africa, and more.
SLOK line of business includes a Paper factory, Oil, Banking, and production of Vegetable Oil and Airline.
10. Fifi Ekanem Ejindu
- Net worth: $850 million
Here is another amazing woman and numbered among the top richest people in Nigeria. She is a talented business person and has a net worth of $850 million.
Fifi is 57 years of age and the great-granddaughter of King James Ekpo Bassey of Cobham Town Calabar. She studied Architecture from the Prat Institute in the United States.
Fifi established her business called Starcrest Group of Companies and transacts business in the Oil and Gas sector, Building Construction, and real estate.
What you must do to join the rich
All the rich people you see on this list started small except for a few that had wealthy parents. What built their businesses is ambition, vision, and decision to be the best in their specific fields.
You, too, can do it. Follow the suggestions below.
- Decide to do all it takes legally to be rich (be obsessed with the idea)
- Do a feasibility study to find a gap in a thriving business sector or service and choose to fill it by solving the problem uniquely.
- Write a business plan
- Get a loan from family or friends or get a grant from a foundation like the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
- If they all refuse to give you a loan, start where you are with what you have
- Employ a lawyer to incorporate your business as a Limited liability company.
- Hire staff and open your business
- Build a system to automate the business processes.
- Be consistent (do not jump from one business to another) to give the company enough time to grow,
- Continue to serve your customers excellently to retain and gain more clients.
- Have enough capital, cut waste, and manage your cash flow properly to run the business profitably
- Refine your marketing plan and business methods always.
If your business serves an increasing need in the community, and you refuse to quit and maintain your enthusiasm, you will soon join the ultra-rich circle.
In this article, we brought you the top richest people in Nigeria and what they do. You have the profile of the rich, their age, and the type of business they do, and we showed you how you could join the group of the rich.
We hope their achievements inspire you to start a business and join these illustrious sons and daughters of our great country. It is your turn to assume your rightful place of those whom we shall celebrate tomorrow, act right away.
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