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Insight & Analysis - April 4, 2022

5 Most Powerful Business Politicians in Nigeria

Nigeria boasts perhaps of the most powerful business politicians in the world. 

Aside from being the highest-paid public officials globally, many Nigerian politicians have businesses that generate millions of dollars in revenue.

Everyone knows that politics is the easiest way to amass wealth in Nigeria.

For example, Nigerian Senators earn the highest salaries worldwide – Nigerians have consistently criticised their official and unofficial wages.

This is why many find Nigerian politics lucrative.

It is safe to say that many of these powerful Nigerian business politicians are wealthier than well-known business moguls in the country.

However, some of them had built successful businesses before going into politics.

Here are some of the most powerful business politicians in Nigeria.

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Bola Tinubu – Net worth: $8.4 billion

Bola Tinubu, the governor of Lagos State from May 1999 to May 2007, is reportedly Nigeria’s richest politician. 

He’s the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress party. Over the years, he has orchestrated the installation of Governors, Presidents and Lawmakers, including his wife, Remi Tinubu.

Remi Tinubu is a senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District. 

Bola Tinubu’s son, Seyi Tinubu, is also a consultant to the Lagos state emergency financial consultant to all parastatals and local governments. 

He owns landed properties worth about N120 billion across Nigeria. This includes a home worth N5 billion on Bourdillon Drive in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Bola Tinubu’s fleet includes a N600 million Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, a Range Rover, a Lexus LX 550, and other high-end automobiles, not to mention his $60 million Bombardier Global Express XRS private jet.

With over $8 billion net worth in 2022, Bola Tinubu is currently regarded as one of Nigeria’s richest and most influential business politicians.

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (GCFR) – Net worth: $5 billion

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) is a Nigerian businessman and politician who served as the country’s military ruler from August 1985 until August 1993. 

He was born on August 17, 1941, in Niger State. The former politician is best known for the annulment of the general election on June 12, 1993, in which MKO Abiola was declared the winner.

During his time as a Major General, Ibrahim Babangida was accused of misappropriating a large sum of money, which he has openly denied. 

He also controls 65 percent of Fruitex International Limited, a London-based corporation and 24 percent of Globacom, Nigeria’s second-largest telecom company. 

Ibraham Babangida now has a net worth of over N1 trillion ($5 billion), making him Nigeria’s second richest politician.

The premium cars in his garage are a N35.2 million BMW 760L, a N33.7 million 2015 Mercedes-Benz S Class, and a N30.6 Toyota Land Cruiser. He also owns a N594.7 million Learjet 45 aircraft.

Ifeanyi Ubah – Net worth: $1.7 billion

On September 3, 1971, Ifeanyi Ubah was born in Lagos, Nigeria. His money didn’t come from politics. He was an astute businessman who had already amassed a fortune before going into politics.

He grew up in an Abuja suburb, where he had to drop out of school to become a trader as the first of seven children. At 19, fate smiled at him, and he made his first million.

In 2014, he ran for governor of his home state but lost. In 2019, he ran for a senatorial office and won. He represents the Anambra South Senatorial District.

Ifeanyi Ubah is the chairman of the board of a few famous Nigerian firms and owns a football club called Ifeanyi Ubah FC. 

He is one of the richest men in Nnewi and Nigeria, with a net worth of $1.7 billion.

Ifeanyi Ubah is a true automobile collector. He owns a Rolls-Royce, a Land Rover, a Cadillac Escalade, a Toyota Land Cruiser, and a Toyota Highlander among his many possessions. 

He also owns a $31 million Embraer Legacy 600 private jet.

Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR) – Net worth: $1.6 billion

Olusegun Obasanjo, also known as OBJ, was born on March 5, 1938. 

He had served as a military Head of State from 1976 to 1979 and then as a civilian president from 1999 to 2007.

Obasanjo married four times in his life. He initially married Esther Oluremi, then Lynda, who was killed by armed men.

Mojisola, his third wife, is also late. Stella Obasanjo, his renowned fourth wife, was Nigeria’s First Lady for a while before passing tragically in 2005. 

Mrs. Bola Obasanjo is his current wife. In total, Obasanjo fathered 20 children.

He reportedly owns one of West Africa’s largest poultry farms, Otta Farms. Obasanjo is also engaged in about 6.5 percent of Nigeria’s total significant oil production, marketing, and distribution.

He owns a Mercedes-Benz S63 Sedan, a Lexus 570, a Toyota Land Cruiser, and a Toyota Highlander 2017.

Obasanjo also owns a Bombardier Challenger 300 jet and a Helicopter, valued at around $42 million.

Rochas Okorocha – Net worth: $1.4 billion

Rochas Okorocha was the governor of Imo State in Nigeria’s south-east for two terms. 

He, like Ifeanyi Ubah, was a successful businessman before joining politics.

Okorocha is the creator of the Rocha Foundation, a non-profit organisation that helps less-privileged children attend college.

In June 2019, he and his family were accused of stealing important Imo state assets, including 67 government vehicles, which Okorocha described as “diversionary.”

With a net worth of $1.4 billion, Rochas Okorocha was named one of Nigeria’s wealthiest politicians in 2018. 

His garage’s premium automobiles are a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Mercedes-Benz S600, a Mercedes-Benz Klassen V220, a Mercedes-Benz AMG63, and a Lexus LX 570.

Although Okorocha claims he owns only two private jets, which, according to him, he bought before becoming a governor, one of his critics claims, he owns three aircraft, Learjet 45.

One of the private jets is valued at N700 million.

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