African billionaires without education
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Visionaries - May 25, 2022

African billionaires without Formal Education

While education is vital, it is just one component of a person’s overall success. This fact has been proven by African entrepreneurs that are renowned billionaires. They have consistently recorded commercial success without a formal education.

According to them, success is being disciplined and taking the right actions daily, whether convenient or not. 

This was how they gained the business mastery that they could not have learnt within the four walls of a school. Ironically, they hire the most educated people to run their businesses.

Alluding to this, Mohammed Indimi, founder of Oriental Energy Resources’ said, “Thank God today, as an unlettered person by western standards, I still manage individuals with masters and PhDs who work in my organisation.”

“If any of my staff wishes to approach me with a project proposal, a memo, or a presentation, they must be well-prepared and ensure that they did their homework correctly because they know I would point out any errors.” 

Here are some African billionaires without formal education.

Cosmos Maduka

African billionaires without education
Source: Information Guide Africa

Cosmos Maduka is the founder and CEO of the Coscharis Group. His father’s death at the tender age of four heralds the beginning of his business career.

At six years old, he was sent to Lagos for an apprenticeship in his uncle’s automobile shop. Despite his lack of formal education, he founded Coscharis in 1977, using the skills he learned during his training.

In a year, the company’s net worth grew from three hundred thousand Nigerian naira to a million naira.

In 1982, his company and nine other motor companies were awarded an import license by the Ministry of Trade. Since then, it has grown to become a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

Cletus Madubugwu Ibeto

African billionaires without education

Instead of channelling his rage at his father’s refusal to allow him to go to school, Cletus accepted the path with a determination to be successful. He is now the founder of the Ibeto Group, a multinational corporation worth billions of dollars.

After being denied the right to school, his father sent him to Onitsha to work as an apprentice.

Ibeto began his career as a spare parts importer after working as an apprentice.

He eventually pivoted to lead-acid automobile batteries and plastic motor components. The license opportunity he leveraged and the development of his factory in Nnewi made this feasible.

He created Ibeto Group in 1995, which grew to become one of the country’s major car spare parts manufacturers.

Apart from the automobile business, Cletus diversified his business into the petrochemical, real estate, cement, oil and gas, and hotel industries.

Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma

African billionaires without education
Source: Daily Post Nigeria

He founded the Innoson Group, which produces IVM motors and Innoson Plastics. His company serves as the country’s first indigenous automotive manufacturer.

Despite being denied the opportunity to pursue his passion for studying engineering, he never lost hope. Still on the path, he started by selling automobile spare parts.

With time, he invented the IVM motors, indirectly becoming a self-made engineer.


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Vincent Obianodo

Source: Amebo Online Newspaper

Vincent Obianodo is the founder of Young Shall Grow Motors. He started as a Vulcanizer in the Northern part of Nigeria.

He later left the job and began operating buses for some transportation firms. In 1972, he stopped and started his own transportation company. 

His business expanded to over forty in just seven years of operation from owing one minibus. With outstanding customer service, he drew a huge customer base to his transportation company.

In 1978, he decided to extend his operations by launching a new interstate route, running Lagos to Onitsha to Owerri. His business grew to over 150 luxury buses in six years.

Today, Young Shall Grow is one of Nigeria’s leading luxury bus businesses, with thousands of buses. 

The company also ply Western African countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Benin.

Apart from being in the transport industry, the YSG Group is also in different sectors such as hospitality, oil and gas, real estate, oil and gas, healthcare, information technology, dredging and quarrying, and tyre imports.

Razak Akanni Okoya

He is the owner and founder of the Eleganza group, which manufactures various home products and kitchenware. The company also serves the West African market.

The industrialist only has a primary education from Oke popo, Lagos’ famed Ansar-un-deen Primary School. He became a billionaire and the Aare of Lagos despite having just primary education.

Rasak began his entrepreneurial career working in his father’s tailoring shop. The years of expertise from the shop gave him the boldness to venture out on his own.

During this period, he was penny-wise. He put away every cent he earned till he had £20. With his father’s consent, he used the money and the £50 from his mother to import products from Japan.

His lack of formal education did not impede him from achieving success, as his name became a household name.


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