Arthur Eze
Home African CEOs Interviews Visionaries How Arthur Eze Built $6bn Petroleum Empire
Visionaries - May 20, 2022

How Arthur Eze Built $6bn Petroleum Empire

Arthur Eze is a Nigerian billionaire, businessman, oil magnate, politician, and philanthropist. With his wit, he created an international energy firm called Atlas Oranto Petroleum, one of Nigeria’s largest privately-held exploration and production enterprises.

The business mogul hails from a royal family in Anambra, Nigeria’s easternmost state. However, he had his formative years in Imo state.

After his secondary education, he attended California State University, Long Beach, from 1974 to 1978. There, he graduated with a degree in chemical and mechanical engineering.

His $6 billion petroleum empire – Atlas Oranto Petroleum

Arthur Eze’s petroleum empire comprises Atlas Petroleum International Limited and Oranto Petroleum International Limited.

In 1991, Arthur Eze founded Atlas Petroleum International, then Oranto Petroleum in 1993.

Currently, the corporation holds 22 oil and gas licenses in 12 African countries, such as Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and Liberia, and many Atlas Oranto-operated blocks are among its holdings. 

Making the company one of Africa’s largest oil exploration block owners.

The companies have regional offices and representatives in key investment areas across West Africa, with its technical base in Lagos and headquarters in Abuja.

The corporation chose Abuja as its headquarters because of its strategic position in relation to African policymakers.

The Eze family owns the firm’s equity, and all of the stockholders are actively involved in the company’s operations.

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Eze’s venture into the airline space

After the privatisation of airlines in Nigeria, Arthur Eze founded Triax Airlines in 1992.

Enugu Airport served as the airline’s home base. The airline operated three B727s until it ceased operations in 2000.

Arthur Eze as a politician

Arthur Eze contributes generously to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Though he consistently supports the PDP, he occasionally backs other political parties if he believes in the candidate. 

He is a political authority in his state and high-ranking politicians refer to him as ‘the godfather’.

To some, ‘godfatherism’ in Anambra State began in 2005 when Arthur financed Senator Joy Emordi after Emmanuel Anosike’s election was annulled. 

Also, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) was founded in his living room.

Arthur Eze Philanthropic Activities

In 2013, Eze donated $12 million to St. Stephen’s Anglican Deanery and Youth Development Centre in Otuoke, Bayelsa State.

The billionaire has made a series of cash donations to elementary schools in South Sudan and villages to meet the humanitarian needs of victims of Boko Haram insurgencies in Nigeria.

On his own, Arthur built a medical research section for Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

For his notable works, Arthur Eze has received national and international awards and recognition.

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