5 Richest Igbo Men in Nigerian Banking
The Nigerian banking industry is one of the most dynamic and competitive sectors in the country, with numerous players vying for market share. However, the Igbo people of Nigeria who reside at the eastern part of the country have made significant strides in the banking sector, producing some of the country’s wealthiest individuals.
These individuals have risen to the top of the industry through their hard work, dedication, and innovative ideas. Let’s explore some of the richest Igbo men in Nigerian banking, their career trajectories, the banks they have worked for, and the key roles they have played in shaping the Nigerian financial landscape.
Tony Elumelu – UBA
Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu, a Nigerian billionaire businessman and philanthropist of Igbo descent is one of the wealthiest in the Nigerian banking industry. Elumelu came to limelight when he led a small group of investors to take over a small, floundering commercial bank in Lagos, Standard Trust Bank. He eventually turned the commercial bank into a profitable venture and later merged it with the United Bank of Africa (UBA) in 2005 after acquiring the bank.
He is the founder of Heirs Holdings, an investment firm that focuses on the development of Africa’s economy and also owns a combined stake of 10.5 billion shares or 25.9 per cent in the group which makes him the largest shareholder in the conglomerate.
Pascal Dozie – Diamond bank
Nigerian entrepreneur Pascal Gabriel Dozie, the founder of Diamond Bank, a commercial bank that was acquired by Access Bank in 2019 is one of the richest men in the eastern part of the country. Dozie initially founded the Africa Development Consulting Group (ADCG) whose primary job is to conduct marketing research/surveys for clients like Nestle and Pfizer.
Dozie was also a former Chairman of MTN Group and reportedly owns shares in the company. He is a recipient of the National Award of the Order of the Niger (OON), Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), and the Lifetime Achievement Winner. Dozie has also been featured in Forbes Africa Magazine.
Ebenezer Onyeagwu – Zenith bank
Ebenezer Onyeagwu is another wealthiest Nigerian banker from the Igbo descent. He was appointed as the Managing Director/CEO of Zenith bank in 2019 and is reportedly one of the highest CEOs in the country.
The experienced banker and financial expert having gathered over 27 years experience in the banking industry joined the bank 2002 as a Senior Manager, in the Internal Control and Audit Group and rose swiftly first, as Assistant General Manager, then Deputy General Manager, and eventually as General Manager of the bank between 2003 and 2005.
Herbert Wigwe – Access Bank
Herbert Wigwe is one of the richest and the most successful individuals in the Nigerian banking industry. Having started his career at the Coopers and Lybrand Associates before going to work at Guaranty Trust Bank, he jointly acquired Access Bank with his partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede in 2002.
Access Bank was transformed from being ranked 65 out of the 89 commercial banks in the country at the time to being among the top 5 financial institutions today after Wigwe assumed the position of Access bank General Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer in 2014. In October 2022, a Nigerian national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) was conferred on him by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Oliver Alawuba makes the list of one of the wealthiest individuals and currently holds the position of CEO, Group Managing Director & Director at United Bank for Africa Plc. Oliver was previously the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director at UBA Ghana Ltd and one of the successful CEOs in the country.
With over three decades in the banking industry experience, he became the Regional CEO, UBA Africa and then returned to run UBA’ East Bank. He is a member of Catholic Knights, Senior Member at The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Fellow at Nigerian Institute of Management and Member of Bank Directors Association of Nigeria.
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