7 Richest Entrepreneurs in Nigeria
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Business - April 19, 2023

7 Richest Entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Entrepreneurship has been an important driver of economic growth and development globally especially in developing countries like Nigeria. Nigerian entrepreneurs have built successful businesses across a wide range of sectors.

These entrepreneurs have not only created wealth for themselves but have also contributed to the country’s economic growth and provided employment opportunities for millions of Nigerians.

This article will provide an overview of the Nigerian economy and its entrepreneurial landscape, and highlight the top 10 richest entrepreneurs in Nigeria according to Forbes in 2021, including their estimated net worths, industries, and key achievements.

Aliko Dangote 

Aliko Dangote is the richest entrepreneur in Nigeria, as well as the richest entrepreneur in Africa. He made his fortune through his conglomerate, the Dangote Group, the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa which is involved in industries such as cement, sugar, flour, amongst others.

Dangote’s wealthy background did not stop him from building his business from scratch through buying and selling food items before he ventured into manufacturing.

Dangote’s success as an entrepreneur has been attributed to his ability to identify opportunities in Nigeria’s growing economy and his focus on building a strong, diversified business empire. His net worth is estimated to be $13.5 billion dollars.

Mike Adenuga

Mike Adenuga, the founder and chairman of Globacom, Nigeria’s second-largest telecom operator, is one of the richest entrepreneurs in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $6.12 billion. The sixth richest man in Africa also has interests in the oil and gas sector through his company, Conoil. 

Adenuga began his entrepreneurial pursuit from the distribution of coca-cola and sales of textile materials, including lace as well some deals at a sawmill that belonged to his mother. He further moved into the business of oil exploration which was made easy through his friend, the then military president, Ibrahim Babangida.

Abdul Samad Rabiu

Abdul Samad Rabiu is one of the richest entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist is the founder and chairman of BUA Group, a conglomerate with interests in cement, sugar, flour, and real estate. 

Rabiu started his company in 1988 and has since become one of Nigeria’s wealthiest and most successful entrepreneurs. 

According to Forbes, his net worth is estimated to be $8.3 billion, making him the fourth richest person in Africa

Folorunso Alakija

Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian businesswoman and also one of the richest entrepreneurs  in the country known for her success in the oil and fashion industries. She is the vice-chairman of Famfa oil, a company which has a stake in Agbami oilfield.

Alakija started out with her fashion label company which had several prominent customers including the wife of former Nigerian president, Ibrahim Babangida. She later founded the oil exploration company, Famfa oil. She currently has a networth of $1 billion according to Forbes in 2020.

Tony Elumelu

Tony Elumelu is another richest entrepreneur in the country. The Nigerian economist is the founder of Heirs Holdings, a family-owned investment company. He is also the owner of United Bank of Africa, UBA and the second largest shareholder of the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, Transcorp.

He made his fortune through investments in the financial services sector and his net worth is estimated to be $700 million.

Jim Ovia

Jim Ovia, the founder of Zenith Bank Plc, one of the most profitable financial institutions in Nigeria, founded in 1990 is one of the richest entrepreneurs in the country. 

He started his career as a clerk at Union Bank of Nigeria before going on to establish Zenith Bank. The financial institution which under his leadership is one of the largest and most successful banks in Nigeria ranks as the 6th biggest bank in Africa.

Ovia is also the founder of Visafone telecommunications which has long since been acquired by MTN. 

Austin Avuru 

Austin Avuru also made the list of the richest entrepreneurs in the country. Having made his fortune through the oil and gas sector, he co-founded Seplat Petroleum Development Company, one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in Nigeria. 

He is also the Founder and Executive Chairman of AA Holdings, a proprietary investment company whose core mandate is to enhance the financial and philanthropic interests of his family.

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