Top 10 richest men in Nigeria 2020 and their source of income

10 min


Nigeria richest man Aliko Dangote

Nigeria, a country in Africa is home to many wealthy people both men and women. The green-white-green country is one of the largest and most populated countries in Africa. It boasts having business tycoons who are included not only in the list of richest men in Africa but also in the world.

There are other Nigerians that would rank among the richest in the world someday in the future but for this year 2020, we’ve discovered ten of them who have made it to the Forbes list of richest people in the world and have also been recognized by Wikipedia. Forbes runs the numbers to estimate the worth of several individuals and ranks them based on the value of shares they have quoted their companies on the stock exchange.

In this article, we’ve taken a look at the Forbes list and have combined the information from Wikipedia to come up with a more comprehensive list of top 10 richest men in Nigeria, who are billionaires and multi-millionaires. We have their net worth figures are in US dollars. Nigeria is truly blessed, the richest man in Nigeria also happens to be the richest in Africa. Same with the second richest African woman. Nigeria has more rich people than you might think, read on to find out the top ten (10) according to Forbes and Wikipedia.

Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote’s net worth is an estimated $7.9  billion. He is currently the richest man in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. He ranks 67th worldwide. The cement business mogul has investments in Nigeria as well as other African countries such as Benin, Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania, and Zambia. His business cuts across the sale of house building material to the sale of Spaghetti noodles and home essentials such as salt and sugar.

No doubt he was born into a wealthy family, but he didn’t build his business from his family’s riches. He started from a small trading company back in 1977 which was later established as Dangote Group. Dangote Group is a major competitor in the sugar, spaghetti, and cement business in Nigeria and Africa. He started taking over the Nigerian market gradually until he stretched his hands outside the borders of Nigeria, cutting across the Africa Continent.

Aliko Dangote subsequently owns crude oil refineries and manufacturing plants in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. He focuses interest in cutting down the cost which Nigeria incurs by going outside the country to process her crude oil. His manufacturing plant serves as an addendum to refineries to produce fertilizers, and petrochemical materials. The total cost of this investment is worth over $9 billion and it was completed in 2019.

Mike Adenuga

Mike Adenuga
Mike Adenuga

Mike Adenuga, owner of Globacom company was born on the 29th of April, 1953. He is the second richest Nigerian thanks to his investments in the IT industry, Globacom, and oil industry Conoil. Aside from MTN, Globacom is the second-largest telecom company in Nigeria. The green insignia company cuts outside the borders of Nigeria with offices in African countries like Ghana, CoteD’Ivoire, and Benin.

Mike Adenuga’s net worth is estimated at $5.9 billion according to Forbes and he is the third richest person in Africa. He noted that he inherited his business skills from his mother who was an entrepreneur. He had his primary and secondary education in Nigeria before he traveled to the United States for his university. He attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration, after which to obtain a Master’s degree at Pace University, New York.

His oil company which was then known as Consolidated Oil received a drilling license in 1990 and they began drilling oil in 1991. Consolidated Oil was the first Nigerian oil company to drill oil in commercial quantities. Mike, later on, established an Information Technology company, Globacom was issued a conditional GSM license in 1999. Globacom received the second license in 2003 being the first private-owned telecom company in Nigeria, recording much success than others.

Arthur Eze

Arthur Eze
Arthur Eze

Prince Arthur Eze is one of the wealthiest men in Nigeria. He is the founder and CEO of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, a well-known company with oil block assets in Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, and the Gambia. He founded the company in 1991. His net worth which has accumulated over the years is at $5.8 billion now in 2020. He once operated an airline company, Triax airlines in the year 1992 at Enugu, after the deregulation of airlines in Nigeria. Triax Airline owned three B727s until it was closed in 2000.

Prince Arthur Eze was born in Anambra State on the 27th of November 1948 to a royal family; hence why he is addressed as Prince Arthur Eze. He attended St. Augustine Secondary School in Nkwerre, Imo State in 1970 after which he proceeded to California State University where he studied chemical and mechanical engineering from 1974 to 1978.

Abdu Samad Rabiu

Abdu Samad Rabiu
Abdu Samad Rabiu

Abdul Samad Isyaku Rabiu CON is a Nigerian businessman born into the family of late father, Khalifa Isyaku Rabiu, who was one of Nigeria’s top business people in the 1970s and 1980s. He was born on 4 August 1960 in Kano. He attended the Capital University in Columbus, Ohio before returning to Nigeria to take care of his family’s business.

Abdusalam Rabiu is one of the richest men in Nigeria. His major investment is BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining, and real estate. His net worth is an estimated $3.3 billion according to Forbes.

He established the BUA Group in 1988 importing iron, steel, and chemicals. According to Forbes, in January 2020, he merged the Obu Cement company with Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria, which he acquired years ago. The merged firm, called BUA Cement Plc, trades on the Nigerian stock exchange and he owns 98.5% of it. The BUA Group has the second largest sugar refinery in Nigeria till date.

Abdul Samad Rabiu runs the BUA Foundation. The foundation sponsored the construction of the pediatric ward at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, in Kano State. The foundation also constructed the Centre for Islamic Studies at Bayero University, Kano State.

Femi Otedola

Femi Otedola
Femi Otedola

Femi Otedola’s net worth in 2020 according to Forbes is $1.8 billion. The business tycoon is the son of the former Lagos State Governor, Michael Otedola. Femi is the father of 4 daughters and a son. Two of his daughters are known in the entertainment industry, Florence Otedola popularly called DJ Cuppy, DJ and music producer and Elizabeth Temi, style blogger and designer. Tolani Otedola, his first daughter, is a singer, but there seems to be a rift between them.

He was the chairman of Forte Oil Plc now Adrova PLC, a major importer of crude oil in Nigeria until he sold his %75 shares. He is also the founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd. He focuses on his power generation company, Geregu Power Plc, one of Forte Oil’s subsidiaries. Femi’s businesses aren’t just limited to oil but they range across other areas such as shipping, real estate, and finance.

Femi Otedola is the third richest person in Nigeria. He has several sources of income such as Zenon Petroleum and Gas, Adrova PLC, CentreForce Ltd – finance, investments, and trading company. Otedola is also the owner of Swift Insurance, SeaForce Shipping Company Ltd,

His business started when he successfully ran the family’s printing business in the 1980s, that was enough encouragement that he would later venture into the oil and gas industry. Femi Otedola also has real estate properties in different parts of the world such as London, Dubai, and New York City.

Femi Otedola set up a scholarship scheme through his father’s university, Michael Otedola University, and has helped thousands of students since its inception.  Also, he contributed N300 million to the completion of the National Ecumenical Centre in Abuja.

Jim Ovia

Jim Ovia
Jim Ovia

Jim Ovia is the 9th richest man in Nigeria, his net worth according to Wikipedia is $980 million. He is the man behind the success of Zenith Bank.  Jim bagged a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the USA in 1977, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana, Monroe, Louisiana, the USA in 1979. He is also an Alumnus of Harvard Business School.

Jim was born on 4 November 1951 in Agbor, Delta State. He is the second son of Obi Olihe of Agbor-Obi, one of the most respected Chiefs in the Agbor Kingdom. He is well known to have introduced many innovations to the banking industries in Nigeria. He founded Zenith Bank in 1990 and has ever since led it to great heights. Zenith Bank is one of the largest and most profitable banks in the country.

Jim Ovia was also the founder of Visafone Communications Limited which was acquired by MTN in 2015. Jim Ovia is also a tech-entrepreneur, he is the chairman of the Nigerian Software Development Initiative (NSDI), Cyberspace Network Limited, and the National Information Technology Advisory Council (NITAC).  He is also a member of the Honorary International Investor Council and the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI).

Tony Elumelu

Tony Elumelu
Tony Elumelu

Tony Elumelu’s net worth is $900 million according to Wikipedia. He is one of the richest men in Nigeria and he is described as an economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He was born on 22 March 1963 and hails from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. He has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Ambrose Alli University and a master of science degree in the same course from the University of Lagos. Tony Elumelu is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School. He was known for the part he played in the acquisition of the then Standard Trust Bank and growing it to become one of the top banks in Nigeria.

In 2005, he was also involved in the purchase of the United Bank for Africa which he led to become a pan-African bank institution with a presence in 19 African countries.

Tony Elumelu serves as an advisor to the USAID’S Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He is also the Co-Chairman of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series, a Food Security Strategy Group, on Global Food Security. He is the chairman of the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centers across Nigeria. He is a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (Sustainable Energy for All). He also runs the Tony Elumelu Foundation which has empowered thousands of entrepreneurs across Africa. Tony Elumelu has investments in diverse sectors including the financial services, energy, real estate, hospitality, agri-business, and the healthcare sectors all through his investment company, Heir Holdings.

Theophilus Danjuma

Theophilus Danjuma
Theophilus Danjuma

Theophilus Danjuma is a former Nigeria defense minister, billionaire, and philanthropist. His net worth according to Forbes is $750 million. His business affair is primarily on oil as he is the chairman of South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO). He was born on 9 December 1938 and grew up in a family where his father, Kuru Danjuma was a peasant farmer and metal trader.

Danjuma schooled at the Nigerian College of Art, Science, and Technology, now Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria. He was studying History in ABU after which he dropped to enroll in the Nigerian Army in 1960. Danjuma rose from rank of a private to a second lieutenant rank and then General. He has been actively involved in the political affairs of Nigeria. He was part of the Nigerian coup which happened in July 1966. Towards the end of the civil war, he freed Jaja Wachuku from detention by the Biafran commander, Ojukwu. Theophilus Danjuma was the Chief of Staff when General Olusegun Obasanjo was the Head of State of Nigeria. Danjuma was active in the military to prevent the Dimka Coup in 1976.

After many services in the military, he retired from the army in 1979 when he was 38 and focused on his business.

Cosmas Maduka

Cosmas Maduka
Cosmas Maduka

Cosmas Maduka’s net worth is an estimated $500 million. He was born into a poor family of Mr. Peter and Mrs. Rose Maduka on 24th December 1958, in Jos, Plateau State.  At the age of four (4), he lost his dad and took to the street to sell Akara. He dropped out of primary school to concentrate on his hawking business to support his mother.

Currently, he owns Coscharis Group which has Coscharis motors under its hood. The name of the company, Coscharis motors, is a combination of his first name, Cosmos and his wife, Charity, whom he married in 1979, at the age of 21.

He was working under his uncle in an automobile shop but was discharged with N200 unjustly. He moved on to co-found a spare parts company known as CosDave with his friend named Dave which failed. Maduka didn’t relent, he went ahead to establish Coscharis Motor with the sum of three hundred Naira (N300) which was a huge sum then until Nigerian politicians crippled Nigeria’s economy, ruining the value of Naira. His automobile company focused on sales of automobile spare parts in 1977. In 2015, Coscharis Motors became the sole distributor of the BMW in Nigeria and the first company to build a Ford Ranger Assembly Plant in Nigeria. The company won the Auto Brand of the Year at the Marketing World Awards held in Ghana.

Coscharis Group is a conglomerate with several subsidiaries including Manufacturing, ICT, Petrochemical, Auto care, and Auto Components, Automobile Sales and Services, Agric and Agro-Allied business sectors. Coscharis Motors is a leading distributor of several brands of luxury cars in Nigeria including Range Rover, Ford, and Jaguar.

Orji Uzor Kalu

Orji Uzor Kalu
Orji Uzor Kalu

Orji Uzor is the CEO of SLOK Holding and the former governor of Abia State. His net worth according to Forbes is $330 million. He also has other business firms including the Daily Sun and the New Telegraph newspapers.

Orji Uzor Kalu was born on 21 April 1960 into the family of Mr. Johnson Uzor Nesiegbe Kalu and Mrs. Eunice Kalu from Igbere, Abia State. He attended Christ the King School in Aba and Government College Umuahia all in Abia State. After studying at Barewa College, Zaria, he enrolled in the University of Maiduguri where he read political science. He was a student activist during his time at the University of Maiduguri and was actively involved in the “Ali Must Go riots”. He was later suspended by the school authorities due to his participation in the riot, but he never returned to this school.

Orji Uzor started his first business with a loan from his mother. He sold palm oil which he bought from the South East, in Northern Nigeria. Following the success of his palm oil business, he scaled up to selling furniture on a large scale.

His SLOK Holding is a vast conglomerate which comprises of

  • Ojialex Furniture Company
  • SLOK Nigeria Limited
  • SLOK United Kingdom Limited
  • Adamawa Publishers Limited
  • SLOK Vegetable Oil,
  • SLOK Paper Factory, Aba
  • SLOK United States Incorporated
  • SLOK Ghana
  • SLOK Togo
  • SLOK Cotonou
  • SLOK Guinea
  • SLOK South Africa
  • SLOK Liberia
  • SLOK Botswana
  • SLOK Korea
  • Supreme Oil Limited
  • SLOK Airlines
  • Sun Publishing Limited
  • First International Bank Limited

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