Richest businessmen in Nigeria and how they got their wealth - Startuppreneur

Richest businessmen in Nigeria and how they got their wealth

Before warlord will go to war there has to be something they will get either more power or even the spoil of war, like that businessmen also look before they leap, though they try to solve peoples problem, they do so mostly because of what will come out of it, for some businessmen it is freedom, riches, power or other things

This article is about richest businessmen in Nigeria


Though there intention maybe noble or not they are the one that push their respective company to great height, Nigeria booming economy is not as result of resource but businessmen who take the resource and make something out of it.

Out of these businessmen in Nigeria there are some that are noticeable through their soaring net worth. We at startuppreneur study them and list the richest businessmen in Nigeria and of course according to their net worth.

While this article try to cover all the major richest businessmen in Nigeria, we did not factor future occurrence into it, for instance Dangote net worth is currently a little above $13 billion, it won’t be surprise if it get to $15 to $20 billion in the coming year due to his recent business venture (oil refinery company)


Richest businessmen in Nigeria and how they get their wealth

Aliko Dangote

Who does not know Aliko Dangote? A household name in Nigeria, he is the richest businessman in Nigeria and not only that, he is also the richest businessmen in Africa, what a feat! And you know what he his till working which means he is not going down soon.

How he make his fortune in business

Dangote did not just wake up a day and become the richest in Africa, no! He works his butt off, he stated in one of his interview that he started selling at a young age; he would buy sweet from his neighborhood and sell it in school at a great price.

After completing his degree he did not launch out on his own instead he went under his grandfather called Dantata also a richest businessman of that time he learned the rudiment of trading from him and when he finished he borrow 500,000 naira from him and start importing goods like salt into Nigeria, in just 6 month he was able to return the borrowed money.

Yet he did not become billionaire like that until he step into production and leave trading, as soon as he take this step his business started growing and he launch into cement production which further boost is net worth.

To group his company into one he founded Dangote group and below are some of the company under it

  • Dangote cement
  • Dangote sugar refinery
  • Dangote salt refinery
  • Fertilizer Company
  • And recent oil refinery

Net worth

13.1 billon dollar

Mike Adenuga

Mike Adenuga is the second on our list of richest businessmen in Nigeria, like Dangote he is also a hardworking man, though born by a rich parent he did not let that deceive him, he want to have his own money and in his own way.

Mike Adenuga is a jovial person and often called John Bull by his associate, he is married to Titi Joyce and blessed with seven children.

How he made his wealth

To a surprise Mike Adenuga become a millionaire when he was just 26 years old, this shows that he has been grinding for a long time.

Most of his wealth comes from Con oil an oil company that have over six block of well in is portfolio and Globacome the second most use telecommunication company in Nigeria that boast of having more than 50 million subscribers

Con oil establishment was more of opportunity meets preparation; federal government release license for citizen to drill and produce oil, Mike Adenuga applied and voila he was given license.

Globacom was also a good timing; when Federal government was given telecommunication license to company it happen that Mike had some cash then so he quickly assemble a company and applied since then Globacom has spread to other African nation.

Net worth
Above 6.3 billion dollar

Abdul Samad Rabiu

Abdul Samad Rabiu is the third richest businessmen in Nigeria with a net worth of 5.5 billion dollar. Like Dangote he was also born in Kano state. He old degree in economics from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, USA and he is the current chairman of Nigeria bank of industry.

How he made his wealth

Rabiu launch into business world at 24 years old after completing his degree program but not willing he had to do after his father was detain by EFFC for an offence, he took over his fathers company and move it forward, he turned it into group called BUA group

BUA group engage in many business venture such has

  • Milling
  • Refinery
  • Cement production
  • Steal mining
  • Iron oil importation

BUA group is one of the big conglomerates in Nigeria and second largest producer of sugar in Africa. It is listed on Nigeria stock exchange with Rabiu owning more than 90%.

Femi Otedola

Femi Otedola is another richest businessman in Nigeria, he was born in 1964 to a rich family but it did not let that get into his brain as he strive to make his own mark in the world and he did it with a whooping net worth of 1.8 billon dollar.

How did he acquire his wealth?

Femi Otedola acquire his wealth from business and investing, his business endeavor was brought into lime light when started an oil company called Zenon petroleum and gas limited, an oil marketing company that have presence in many state of Nigeria.

Over the year he has diversify his income and become an investor, he recently invest in First bank of Nigeria owing a 7.5% stake and this make him the current largest shareholder of First bank in Nigeria.

Net worth
1.8 billion dollar

Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunsho Alakija is also popular, who does not know the richest woman in Africa. She was born in 1951 as Muslim but later converted to Christian when she married her husband ModuPe Alakija, the union is blessed with four children.

How she made her wealth

Folorunsho Alakija story is an inspirational one, she started has a worker earning peanut before moving to fashion designing and as luck would have it government release license to company that want to get into oil exploration in Nigeria

she took a bold step and take money from his fashion business and startup an oil production company called Famfa oil lmt. Over the years she has diversify into real estate and other industries.

Net worth
1 billon dollar

Uzoma Dozie

Uzoma Dozie is another richest businessman on our list, he was born in 1938 in Oweri state. He holds a degree in economics and has once work in Progress bank. He is married and blessed with five children

How he acquire his wealth

As stated above Uzoma Dozie started has a worker in banks and once work in Uganda. He started a bank called Diamond bank after leaving progress bank in 1991 it was this bank that brought him to lime light though the bank has merged with another bank.

Recently he founded a startup called sparkle a Neo bank for business and individual.

Jimoh Ibrahim

Jimoh Ibrahim is a grass to grace story. He was born in 1967 in Ondo state, unlike other above he was not born from a rich family he work his way to success.

How he acquire his wealth

Jimoh started as a lawyer, he obtained a law degree from Obafemi Awolowo university before going into business and he take the right launching into business as the company he founded brought him into limelight as one of the richest businessmen in Nigeria.

As he moved on in his business venture he put his company in to one umbrella and founded a group called Feet group; a group that have interest in following industries

  • Oil
  • Aviation
  • Banking
  • Real estate
  • Publishing
  • Media

Net worth
1 billion dollar

Orji uzo kalu

Many people believe you can’t participate in Politics and still do business, Orji Uzo Kalu prove this to be untrue as his a businessman and a prominent politician who has one time serve as the governor of Abia state.

He is also a lover of education; he holds degree, master degree and PhD form Abia state university and Harvard University.

How he acquire his wealth

Well, his wealth gathering his not like other because it comes from a government source; during military regime he was awarded contract to supplier the military with needed materials and this kick start his other business venture.

After this he use the proceed to venture into other business which later metamorphosis into conglomerate that deal with the following industries

  • Oil
  • Shipping
  • Manufacturing
  • Media

Net worth
2 billion dollar

Jim James ovia

Jim James ovia is another richest businessman in Nigeria. He was born in 1951 in Delta state to Olihe of Agbor Obih .

He obtained his degree from Southern University and the University of Louisiana, Monroe, USA.

How he acquire his wealth

Jim Ovia make his fortune from financial industry. He started a bank called zenith bank in 1990 and the bank has now become one the best in Nigeria, he own about 9% stake in the company.

After he founded Zenith he moved on to found Visafone a telecommunication company that has is focus in Nigeria after reaching 3 million subscriber it was acquire by MTN for undisclosed sum of money.

Net worth
980 billion dollar

Hajia Bola Shagaya

Bola Shagaya is another woman on our list of richest businessmen yes we deliberately listed those women even though they are not man they have proof to be best in what they do. Bola Shagaya was born in 1957 in kwara state, she is married to Alahji shagaya and blessed with six children.

How she acquire her wealth

Bola Shagaya acquire his wealth from business but before venturing into business she first work at CBN as an auditor this give her the knowledge needed to run a company and she set out to put it into use; she founded her first company called Bolmus International Nigeria Limited, a company that import photographic material.

She later went into oil business and founded Practoil Limited a company that distributes oil.

Net worth

950 million dollar

Tony Elumelu

If you are an entrepreneur I’m sure you would have heard the name of Tony Elumelu, he his famous for his for his foundation that give out $5000 each to more than 100 entrepreneur across Africa. He was born in 1963 and holds a degree from Harvard business school.

How he acquire his wealth

Tony Elumelu is not really a businessman; he is a corporate man who runs company. He once worked at UBA and push the bank to the top. One of his escapades in UBA bank was the acquisition of many bank in Nigeria which surge UBA bank as one of the best bank in Nigeria.

He is currently the chairman of Hairs holding a company that have investment in company like

  • UBA
  • Transcorp
  • Real estate
  • Energy
  • Agribusiness
  • Financial service
  • Hospitality


Above is the richest businessmen in Nigeria, do not only read and pass take a lesson from them, 40 years from now most of them will be gone it will remain people like you, that’s if you do it right now.

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