Nigeria though rated to be among the poor nations of the world, still have people making billions of dollars, not even naira. I’m not talking about these ones who feed off tax paid for the development of the country in the name of politics.
They didn’t find it easy, as they all had their early and for some of them very humble beginnings. What drove them to the position they are at and still sustaining them is what you are about to find out.
1. MIKE ADENUGA
Chief Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr has an estimated net worth of $5.7 Billion as of February 2020. He started with sales of lace and drinks where he made his first million in at age 26. He is currently 67 years old and still going strong.
He is currently the third richest man and what gives him the billions he has is the Telecom operation company ‘Globacom’ that he owns and his stakes in Equatorial Trust Bank and Conoil. Globacom is the second-largest Nigeria network provider with a presence in Ghana and Benin.
It is worthy to note that, all this didn’t come easy as he was detained by EFCC over money laundering, upon his release, he exiled himself to London before his pardon by Late President Yar’adua. He still has unresolved debt cases but that isn’t stopping him as he’s working to take Globacom to other countries of Africa.
2. FOLORUNSO ALAKIJA
This 69-year-old business tycoon as was ranked by Forbes is the richest Nigerian woman and the second most powerful woman in Nigeria after Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, and 87th in the world. Her net worth as of January is $1.0 Billion.
The businesses that yielded the billion-dollar she has now ranged from her stakes in The Rose of Sharon Group to her stakes in Famfa Oil Ltd. She’s married with four kids. DJ Xclusive is her nephew.
She didn’t wake up to having stakes in The Rose of Sharon Group and Famfa Oil Ltd overnight, she started by opening up a tailoring shop called ‘Supreme Stitches’ while she was working with Fin Bank now known as FCMB.
3. ABDUL SAMAD ISYAKU RABIU
The current chairman of Bank of Industries ‘BOI’, though from a wealthy background, he’s late father, Khalifa Isyaku Rabiu was one of the country’s foremost industrialists during the 1970s and 1980s. He didn’t just sit back and enjoy his father’s wealth, he made his own investments that have made him the 718th billionaire in the world.
According to the ratings by Forbes, Samad Isyaku has a net worth of $3.2 billion and this he’s gotten from his company BUA Group, which invests in manufacturing, infrastructures, and agriculture, hence making revenue of about $2.5 billion in excess.
He started the BUA company in 1988 and the company grew to its current feat through his investments in mineral resources, like iron, ore, and oil. The company has a sugar refinery, two flour milling plants, multiple rolling mills, and a stake in a publicly listed Cement Company in Northern Nigeria with a cement plant. He is currently 60 years old.
The 63-year-old is currently Nigeria’s well-known business tycoon, with a net worth of $8.3 billion as published by Forbes in July 2020. He is the richest individual in Africa and the 167th in the world.
His company started off as a small trading firm in 1977. The firm grew over the years as Dangote continued to expand it. The growth from averaging company to the largest industrial group in Nigeria started when he went to Lagos in the same 1977 to expand the firm.
He’s billions of dollars come from his investments which include: Sugar refinery, flour milling plants, and cement plants. He also is into importation of rice, fish, cement, fertilizer, and pasta. He’s into exportation of cotton, cashew nuts, cocoa, sesame seeds, and ginger. He also invested in real estate, banking, transport, textiles, oil, gas, and telecommunication.
5. TERRY WAYA AKA MR. VERSACE
Little was known of Benue born billionaire until his son’s appearance in the just concluded Big Brother Naija Reality TV Show titled ‘ Lockdown’. His network is yet to be established but he is a Nigerian billion who’s network might even be in billion dollars.
Though a known well-known socialite, who was known for organizing and hosting parties for the top elite, like the one he hosted in 2003 that got President Obasanjo vexed, because 10 sitting governors who were supposed to have attended Late Stella Obasanjo’s program didn’t, because they attended his.
He’s investments spans across Real Estate to oil. He is also into fashion and has identified himself with the Versace brand, who have also made him their ambassador. He is currently 55years old with two kids.
6. Femi Otedola
Though born to a politically inclined family, his dad Late Sir Micheal Otedola, the then Governor of Lagos State from 1992 to 1993, Femi chose to trade the path of business, though he still is involved with politics indirectly. This is because he was said to have been one of the people who sponsored President Obasanjo’s re-election.
The 57-year-old started his journey in 1994 when he opened Centre Force Ltd that deals in finance, investments, and trading. In 2003, he secured enough finance to start off Zenon Petroleum and Had Ltd. He further invested about N15 billion in acquiring products and infrastructure like the storage depot at Ibafon Apapa, four cargo vessels, and a fleet of 100 DAT fuel tanker trucks. Zenon currently has a stake in Zenith Bank and the United Bank of Africa.
Otedola acquired a 55.3% stake in African Petroleum Company currently known as Forte Oil Plc. While he was still the major shareholder and chairman of the oil company, he started a power project known as Geregu Power Plc. He sold off the oil company to focus on Power. He is the owner of Swift Insurance, he was a time President or Executive Chairman of one petroleum company or another. He is into Real Estate business and the owner of FO properties. His net worth as of 2015 was $1.8 billion.
What we all need to learn from this is, none of the billionaires had one stream of income. They all took the risk and invested in something and as you know it, those investments have grown into billions of dollars today. We all need to start small and grow big. You can expand that business you are into with a proper plan. If finance is an issue, there are banks willing to give loans, no matter how small. Most if not all of the billionaires mentioned here took loans from the bank.