The petroleum industry is one of the largest industries in Nigeria since it was discovered in 1956 in Bayelsa, the South-South part of the country. The South-South region of Nigeria, with its vast oil reserves, has been instrumental in shaping the country’s economy and producing a number of billionaire oil magnates.
Through their investments and businesses in the oil and gas sector, they have contributed significantly to Nigeria’s wealth and development. From exploration and production to marketing and distribution, these billionaires have played a pivotal role in harnessing Nigeria’s oil resources and leveraging them for success.
In this article, we will explore the lives and achievements of some notable billionaire Nigerian oil magnates from the South-South region, showcasing their entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen, and contributions to the nation’s oil industry.
Ambrose Bryant Chukwuemeka Orjiako embarked on a remarkable career in the oil and gas sector, after completing his medical training, where he has accumulated a wealth of experience spanning more than 25 years. Popularly known as ABC Orjiakor, he has successfully founded and overseen the operations of numerous enterprises within Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, encompassing the upstream, downstream, and service sectors.
Through his companies, Shebah Exploration and Production Company and Platform Petroleum Limited, ABC Orjiakor played a pivotal role in establishing SEPLAT Energy PLC, an esteemed oil and gas exploration and production company that specifically concentrates on the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. This venture not only made a significant positive impact on the Nigerian economy by generating employment opportunities but also contributed to Orjiakor’s personal wealth, solidifying his position as one of the wealthiest individuals within the oil sector.
In addition to his professional pursuits, Dr. Orjiakor is deeply committed to philanthropy and has established his own foundation dedicated to making a positive impact in various communities.
Benedict Peters is the founder and CEO of Aiteo Group, (Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited), one of Nigeria’s largest leading indigenous oil producing firms. Aiteo Group has interests in oil exploration and production, petroleum refining, and oil and gas trading. Peters’ success in the oil industry has made him one of the wealthiest individuals in Nigeria.
Benedict began his career at Ocean and Oil, now known as Oando Plc, before joining MRS Oil Nigeria Plc. In 2008, he founded the Aiteo Group, a renowned company in the industry. The Aiteo Group owns one of the largest petroleum tank farms in the country.
He is the founder of Aiteo Group, (Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited) one of Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil producing firms.
Igho Sanomi, one of Africa’s youngest billionaires, achieved great success before the age of 40 by building a billion-dollar company. He focused on the oil trading business and capitalized on opportunities in fuel import and export contracts. Rather than simply bidding on these contracts and reselling them to foreign companies, Sanomi founded a group of entrepreneurs and offered them joint ventures to maximize their profits.
With the help of a friend at Masefield, a Swiss trading company, he fulfilled the contracts and earned substantial commissions and valuable knowledge. Igho Sanomi declined a job offer from Masefield and founded his own company, Sarian Oil, which later became Taleveras Group. Taleveras became a preferred fuel oil supplier to major U.S. refiners and signed a contract with Morgan Stanley for Nigeria’s crude oil supply.
Sanomi’s firm won oil blocks in bidding competitions and benefitted from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s crude oil swap program. By 2008, Taleveras was generating annual revenues of $2 billion, solidifying Sanomi’s status as one of Africa’s youngest billionaires.
Nigerian billionaire and co-founder of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole has made notable contributions to the oil and gas industry. Tonye Cole, along with his business partners Tope Shonubi and Ade Odunsi, established Sahara Group in 1996. Over the years, Sahara Group has grown to become one of Africa’s leading integrated energy solution providers.
The company operates across various sectors, including upstream, midstream, downstream, and power. Today, Sahara Group stands as one of the largest and most prominent energy companies in Africa, offering comprehensive solutions throughout the energy value chain.
Tonye Cole founded Sahara Group in 1996 along with his business partners – Tope Shonubi and Ade Odunsi. The company is now one of Africa’s largest integrated energy solution providers and operates businesses in the upstream, midstream, downstream and power sectors.
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