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20 Nigerian Billionaires + Richest People in Nigeria

What is the secret to the success of the top 20+ richest people in Nigeria? Who are the Nigerian billionaires in 2023 and how did they amass their wealth? What are the business success secrets of the successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria? What does it take to become a billionaire in Nigeria? If the answer to any of these questions interests you, then please read on.

Recently, i compiled a list of the world’s richest billionaire school drop outs and today, I will be compiling a list of Nigerian billionaires and top richest people in Nigeria but please this list will be restricted to entrepreneurs only. Politicians and individuals whose source of wealth cannot be traced are excluded from this list. Most people have asked why so few Nigerians made the Forbes list of richest people in the world.

Well the answer to that question is this: Forbes estimates the wealth of individuals and rank them based on the value of shares they have in quoted companies (companies listed on the stock exchange) and most of the richest people in Nigeria prefer to run their businesses privately. That’s why they don’t make the Forbes list of richest people in the world.

Update: We want to state categorically that this list has nothing to do with the Forbes list. We are not affiliated with Forbes and did not source this content from Forbes. We did our own research before coming up with this list. Secondly, our list is strictly focused on entrepreneurs / business owners whose businesses can be ascertained; not politicians. Thank you.

The criteria for coming up with this list

Most of you may be wondering the criteria or benchmark on which I compiled this list of richest people in Nigeria. Well, I compiled this list based on the following criteria:

  • By the value of their shares held in quoted companies.
  • The size and market share of their companies
  • The number of companies they own and its assumed value
  • The market value of their company’s brand
  • The impact of their companies on the Nigerian economy

I compiled this list of richest people in Nigeria and highlighted the secret to their success because I believe we can learn a lot from them. Nigeria as a country has been branded all sort of names and a lot has been said about Nigeria; both positive and negative but I am proud that some individuals stood tall to tell the world that we have got potentials.

Despite the harsh terrain and business challenges involved with starting a business in Nigeria; the successful entrepreneurs listed below held their ground and fought their way to the top. In a country with a population of over 150 million inhabitants and millions of businesses; these 20 entrepreneurs diligently carved their names in the sands of time by taking advantage of the fastest growing business opportunities in Nigeria.

So instead of boring you with their success stories; I would rather extract the vital lessons learned from the life of these billionaires. If you are ready to learn, then below is a list of the Nigerian Billionaires (entrepreneurs) and top richest people in Nigeria.

Nigerian Billionaires and Top 20+ Richest People (Entrepreneurs) in Nigeria for 2019

1. Alhaji Aliko DangoteDangote Group, (Manufacturing, oil & gas,)

2. Mike AdenugaConoil, Globacom (Oil & gas, Banking, Telecom)

3. Femi OtedolaForte Oil and Gas, Geregu Power Plant (Oil & gas, Energy)

4. Orji Uzor KaluSlok Group (Aviation, Shipping, publishing, manufacturing)

5. Cosmos MadukaCoscharis Group (Automobile, manufacturing)

6. Jimoh IbrahimNicon Insurance, Global Fleet (Insurance, transportation, oil & gas)

7. Jim OviaZenith Bank, Visafone (Banking, Telecom)

8. Pascal DozieMTN Nigeria, Diamond Bank (Banking, Telecom)

9. Oba OtudekoHoneywell Group Nigeria, Pivotal Engineering, Airtel (Manufacturing, oil & gas, telecom)

10. Alhaji Sayyu DantataMRS Group (Oil & gas, construction)

11. Umaru Abdul Mutallab – former Chairman First Bank Plc, Mutallab Group

12. Prince Samuel AdedoyinDoyin Group (manufacturing, pharmaceuticals)

13. Dele FajemirokunChaiman Aiico Insurance, Xerox Nigeria, Chicken Republic, Kings Guards (Insurance, Security, Technology, Food retailing)

14. Chief Cletus IbetoIbeto Group (Trading, manufacturing, oil & gas)

15. Raymond DokpesiDaar Communication, AIT, (Entertainment)

16. Tony EzennaOrange Group (Pharmaceutical, oil & gas)

17. Chief Molade Okoya ThomasChairman CFAO Nig and other six french companies (Automobiles)

18. Ifeanyi UbahCapital oil and gas (Oil & gas)

19. Leo Stan EkehZinox (Computer, technology)

20. Fola AdeolaGTBank (Banking)

21. Chief Ade OjoElizade Motors Nig LTD, Distributor of Toyota cars (Auto retailing)

22. Abdulsamad RabiuBua Group (Oil & gas, manufacturing)

23. Folorunsho AlakijaFamfa Oil (Oil & gas)

24. High Chief O.B. Lulu BriggsMoni Pulo (Oil & gas)

25. Hakeem Bello OsagieEtisalat Nigeria (Telecom)

26.  Sani BelloAmni Petroleum (Oil & gas)

27.  Mohammed IndimiOriental Petroleum (Oil & gas)

28. Sir Emeka Offor – Chrome Group (Oil & gas, marine)

29.  Chief Arthur EzeAtlas Oranto Petroleum (Oil & gas)

30. Vincent Amaechi ObianodoYoung Shall Grow Motors, RockView Hotels (Transportation, hotels)

31. Tony Elumelu – Heirs Holding (Finance)

Now having gone through the list of richest (entrepreneurs) people In Nigeria, I believe it’s time I share with you the secret to their success. I am not sharing these secrets with you to fill up space or excite you. Rather, I am sharing the secrets of Nigerian billionaire entrepreneurs so you can pick up one or two lessons and replicate their success strategy. After all, success can be replicated.

The Richest People in Nigeria, the Secret to their Success and How They Made their Money

Have you ever wondered how Aliko Dangote emerged the richest black man in the world? Have you ever wondered how the richest people in Nigeria became rich? Have you ever tried to find out the exact success secret of Nigeria’s billionaire entrepreneurs? Well, this article is going to put all your answers to rest.

In this article, I am going to spill the untold success secrets of the richest people in Nigeria and how they became billionaires. If you are prepared to replicate these success secrets, then below are the untold success secrets of the richest people in Nigeria.

1. They are Strong Willed

The richest people in Nigeria are strong willed in spirit. They are dogged and persistent. To these set of individuals, success is not an option; it’s a must. These successful Nigerian entrepreneurs refuse to be held down by their circumstance; instead, they reached out for their inner strength and went for success. Above all, these entrepreneurs don’t take no for an answer; they simply refuse to give up and that was why they succeed.

When Raymond Dokpesi was on the verge of losing A.I.T; he refused to give up.

Mike Adenuga had his telecom license revoked twice and lost over 20million dollars but he refused to give up.

Orji Uzor Kalu had his oil bloc license and his aviation license revoked; his airline business was grounded and the business accounts of his publishing firm (The Sun) was frozen, yet he refused to give up.

Chief Cletus Ibeto’s cement company was shut down by the government but he persisted and refused to give up.

So if you are ever going to have your name listed as one of the richest people in Nigeria; then you must be prepared to stick it through to the end. You must never give up.

2. They thoroughly understand their line of business

Take a close look at the Nigerian billionaires listed above and you will see the names of entrepreneurs that thoroughly understand their line of business like the palm of their hands. They know the in-depth intricacies of the various businesses they are involved in.

Cosmos Maduka, the billionaire founder of Coscharis group even liken himself to a first class degree holder from the University of Automobile Spare Parts. Look ate what Chukwuma Innocent is doing with his automobile manufacturing plant (Innoson Vehicles). This goes a long way to prove to you that knowing your line of business is essential to success not only in business but life in general.

3. They are focused

The richest people in Nigeria are focused; they chose a specific business of their strength and stuck to it. If you are ever going to make it in Nigeria, then you must obey the first law of business success of Andrew Carnegie; the steel mogul.

“And here is the prime condition of success, the great secret. Concentrate your energy, thoughts and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged in. Having begun in one line, resolve to fight it out on that line; to lead in it. Adopt every improvement, have the best machinery and know the most about it.” – Andrew Carnegie

If you think this statement is a mere fad, then think again because it’s the truth in its entirety. Aliko Dangote focused on commodities and basic needs while Femi Otedola concentrated on oil and gas.

Jim Ovia focused on banking. Cosmos Maduka and Ade Ojo focused on automobiles; Fola Adeola focused on banking, Leo Stan Ekeh concentrated on computers and Raymond Dokpesi focused on broadcasting and entertainment. This should tell you that concentration is a key factor to succeeding in business.

4. They have a strong business mission and vision

The Nigerian billionaires have a strong business mission and vision; and these two factors propel them to greatness. Take away their business mission and they are no more; this is because their entrepreneurial spirit is in the mission of their businesses. Take for instance:

Aliko Dangote, he is on a mission to provide the basic needs of over 150 million Nigerians; Femi Otedola is out to provide Oil and gas at a uniform price with faster delivery.

Fola Adeola is on a mission to provide innovative banking services to Nigerians; Leo Stan Ekeh wants to put a computer in every home and Raymond Dokpesi is out to give Nigerians uncompromised news and information on happenings. A strong business mission and vision is the reason these men emerged successful.

5. They are excellent networkers

The richest people in Nigeria became rich because they are good networkers. They network among themselves and even patronize each other’s services; and when a big deal is on board, they pool their resources together, form a consortium, execute the deal and split the profits. This is why they emerged the richest people in Nigeria.

6.They are Competitive

The Nigerians billionaires listed above are very good at networking with each other; yet, they still compete against each other when the need arises. You can see an example of this when Aliko Dangote used MRS Group to compete against Femi Otedola for the shares of Chevron Nigeria.

The richest people in Nigeria know that nothing comes easy and life is not fair; so they fight with all they’ve got to stay in business. Competitiveness and the ability to stay afloat are essential to survival in business.

7. They think big

One attribute I love about Nigerian billionaire entrepreneurs is that they are big thinkers. They think big and love to do big things. Despite the fact that they started small; they dreamed big.

Aliko Dangote is the largest cement manufacturer in Africa and also wants to build the biggest refinery in West Africa, Femi Otedola is the largest diesel importer in Nigeria; Ifeanyi Uba’s Capital Oil and Gas is the largest importer and distributor of Kerosene.

Jimoh Ibrahim runs Nicon (the biggest insurance company in Nigeria), and Raymond Dokpesi owns the first indigenous cable network television in Nigeria. So if you are going to leave a legacy in life, then you must think big and act big.

8. They are flexible

Flexibility is one of the strengths of the richest people in Nigeria. They understand the terrain very well; they know that the government is the most inconsistent body so far, so they prepare themselves forehand. They keep an eye on the ever changing pattern of the government and swiftly adjust their businesses to align with such change. They are also quick to adapt to current situation and trend while their competitors are still grappling with the reality on ground.

9. They are opportunist

The richest people in Nigeria are opportunists; they know how to take advantage of situations. Where others see problems, these set of individuals see opportunities and start a business around such opportunity. While other Nigerians shy away from adversity; these men embrace adversity because they know that behind every adversity is opportunity.

“Behind every adversity is an opportunity. If you lament over the adversity, you will miss the opportunity.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

They know that wealth lies in their ability to convert problems into opportunities and value; just like the ancient alchemists that tried to turn lead into gold.

“A good businessman must have nose for business the same way a journalist has nose for news. Once your eyes, ears, nose, heart and brain are trained on business, you sniff business opportunities everywhere. In places where people see a lot of obstacles, I see a lot of opportunities. At times, there is something instinctive in me that tell me a business opportunity exist even at a place where others see nothing.

That is what makes me different, maybe unique. A good businessman sees where others don’t see. What I see, you may not see. You cannot see because that is the secret of the business… the entire world is a big market waiting for anybody who knows the rules of the game.” – Orji Uzor Kalu

10. They have a strong business management team

It is often said that behind every successful man is a woman. In this case, I will say that behind every successful entrepreneur is a strong business management team.

The presence of a business team is the reason why Nigerian billionaire entrepreneurs and richest people can swiftly take advantage of opportunities; raise capital and run multiple businesses while minding their family affairs. A business team is vital in your transition from a small business to a big business.

11. They love Nigeria

Above all the success secrets of the richest people in Nigeria, this is the greatest. Love for Nigeria made the Nigerian billionaire entrepreneurs invest heavily in the country. They have all it takes to move their investment elsewhere but they chose to invest in Nigeria because they believe in Nigeria.

This factor is so prevalent that even Aliko Dangote advocated the need for entrepreneurs to firmly believe in Nigeria; instead of going abroad in search of greener pasture. This is to say that if you must strike it rich in your country; then you must believe in your country.

As a final note, these are the eleven secrets that are responsible for the success of the richest people in Nigeria. If you want to join this list of Nigerian billionaires; if you want to imprint your name on the sands of time, then replicate these strategies and I will see you at the top.