When the term ‘billionaire’ pops up in Nigeria, it is easy to refer to the likes of Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga or Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija. However there are some Nigerian billionaires you might not know that keep things on a low key.
See the list below of some silent Nigerians you just might not have heard of in no particular order.
1) Jimoh Ibrahim – Nicon Insurance, Global Fleet
The story of Jimoh Ibrahim cannot fail to inspire anyone treading the path to become successful in life. Born to poor parents with about 17 siblings on 24 February 1967, he became a millionaire when he was still studying law at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) running seminars for local governments on Taxation. In 2002/2003 he contested for the governorship position of Ondo State but lost and he went on to start Global Fleet – a petroleum marketing company.
Today he has grown to become one of Nigeria’s billionaires and his investments include the following sectors, among others: oil and gas distribution, hotels, resorts, airlines, banking, real estate, insurance, publishing and investments. He delivers free lectures once a month at Excellence Hotel in Ogba, Lagos through City People on how Nigerians can make millions from any business they venture into.
2) Chief Ade Ojo – Elizade Motors Nig LTD, Distributor of Toyota cars
Chief Michael Ade Ojo was born on June 14, 1938 and was one of the pioneer students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he graduated from with a degree in Business Administration in 1965. In 1975, he cofounded Elizade Independent Agencies, with his late wife, Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Wuraola Ojo. The name 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 solely involved in the construction of a polytechnic; Elizade Polytechnic, Ilara Mokin which is aimed at giving the average Nigerian child quality education.
3) Jim Ovia – Banking and Communications
Mr. Jim Ovia was a co-founder of Zenith Bank Plc and he served as its Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for 10 years. In July this year he returned as chairman of Zenith Bank Group and he remains the bank’s largest individual shareholder with a 9.3% stake. He is also the founder of Visafone Communications Limited and in August 2014, he started construction on a $1.5 billion petrochemical complex in Akwa-Ibom in Nigeria. He is a holder the Member of the Order of Federal Republic (MFR).