Nigeria is reputed to have the highest number of billionaires in Africa. When the names of billionaires are being mentioned, it is easy for names such as Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga or Folorunsho Alakija to be called.
True success they say is not always in the limelight sometimes, it is inconspicuous and subtle. Some billionaires find comfort in staying off the limelight for modesty or other personal reasons. They however live their lives far from the eyes of the public to make themselves relatively unknown.
Here are 5 silent Nigerian billionaires:
1. Chief Michael Ade-Ojo
He is the founder and executive chairman and a director of a number of companies such as Elizade (Nig.) Limited, Crown Motors (Nig) Limited, Classic Motors Ltd and Odua Creations Ltd.
Born on June 14, 1938, Ade-Ojo was one of the pioneer students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1965. He co-founded Elizade Independent Agencies with his late wife, Chief Mrs Elizabeth Wuraola Ojo.
The name of the company originated from the first four letters of his wife’s name “Eliz” as well as the first three letters of his own name “Ade”. Today, the company has grown into Elizade Group of Company with as much as seven subsidiaries. He is also the founder of Elizade University. Ilara-mokin Ondo state, Nigeria.
In August 2015, Forbes Africa dedicated its cover story to the entrepreneur, who was presented as one of the great business leaders on the African continent. He became a multimillionaire in the automobile industry starting with only $63 in capital.
2. Kola Aluko
He is the Nigerian energy and aviation tycoon who founded oil trading firm Fossil Resources in 2001. Aluko is the co-chief officer and an executive director of Atlantic Energy, an indigenous, private upstream oil and gas company, focused on independent exploration and production (‘E&P”) participation.
He diversified into the aviation industry in 2011, becoming a member of the Vistajet advisory board, assisting with the West-African expansion of the Swiss-based luxury aviation company.
Aluko was ranked by Forbes Africa as one of the 40th richest Africans, as well as included in the top ten list of successful African entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter.
The New African Magazine (November 2013 issue) included Aluko in their 100 Most Influential Africans listing and issue.
3. Oba Otudeko
Oba Otudeko is the founder and chairman of Honeywell Group as well as the chairman of Airtel Nigeria, and Fan Milk of Nigeria. He was born on the 18th of August, 1943 and he is one of Nigeria’s most successful investor and entrepreneur. He finished with a Bachelor of Arts/Science, from Leeds College of Commerce.
He retired as the Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Plc after 12 years on the Board of the Bank. Between September 2006 and August 2009, he was the 16th President and Chairman of Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. His conglomerate’s operations stretch across oil and gas, flour milling, real estate and marine transportation. Another piece of his fortune is in the oceanfront Radisson Blu in Lagos, Nigeria.
4. Tony Elumelu
Has been a major player in Nigeria’s financial industry. A serial investor and businessman, Tony is the chairman of UBA Group, one of Africa’s most successful banks; Heirs Holdings, an investment company; and Transnational Corporation (TRANSCORP Plc), a conglomerate with investments in hospitality, oil, agriculture, and logistics.
Elumelu is also a renowned philanthropist; his Tony Elumelu Foundation sponsors several charity efforts in Nigeria and across the continent while his Africapitalism Institute studies the rise of capitalism in Africa.
He was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa in 2011 by New African magazine and a year later, by Forbes magazine as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012″.
5. Cletus Ibeto
Ibeto a businessman from the industrial city of Nnewi was born on November 6, 1952. He is head of The Ibeto Group, the largest business enterprise from Nnewi, Anambra state.
A grass to grace billionaire, he grew from an apprentice in a spare parts shop to the owner of the largest conglomerate in Eastern Nigeria.
On October 2, 1996, he established Ibeto Petrochemical Industries Ltd. which is engaged in the blending of oil lubricants as well as the production of various types of petroleum products for local and international markets. The Company owns the largest liquid storage facilities for petroleum products in Nigeria with a capacity of over 60,000 metric tones located at Apapa Wharf and Ibru Jetty Complex, Lagos.