Top 17 Richest Men in Lagos. Number 7 is Shocking!

AtlanticRide Team

This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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The richest men in Lagos are Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Femi Otedola, and Leo Stan Ekeh.

Lagos is not only Nigeria’s commercial hub but also the breeding ground for immense wealth and influence. Within its vibrant streets, a league of extraordinary individuals has risen to prominence, amassing fortunes that defy imagination. 

These titans of wealth have left an indelible mark on the nation’s economy, shaping industries, politics, and philanthropy.

In this article, we’ll examine the lives and fortunes of the richest men in Lagos. This list includes entrepreneurs, politicians, and business moguls who have made significant contributions to their industries and, by extension, to the economies of Lagos and Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Moniepoint Net Worth: How Much Is Moniepoint Worth

Read on as I’ll unveil my top 17 picks of Lagos’s richest men according to how rich they are (ranking order).

Top 17 Richest Men in Lagos

1. Aliko Dangote: Net worth ($15.6 Billion)

Aliko Dangote is one of the richest men in Lagos

Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian Businessman and industrialist born on the 10th of April, 1957. His remarkable achievements have positioned him as one of the most influential figures in Africa’s business landscape. 

Dangote founded the Dangote Group in 1977 as a small trading firm. He relocated to Lagos to expand the company’s operations.

With a ₦500,000 loan from Dantata, his uncle, he began trading commodities like bagged cement, rice, and sugar. The Dangote Group has evolved into the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa, with divisions including Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Flour, and Dangote Cement. 

Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement maker, produces over 51 million tonnes annually across ten countries.

His business empire extends beyond cement, with interests in sugar, salt, oil, fertilizer, and packaged food.

Dangote’s recent ventures include the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals Plant and the Dangote Fertilizer Plant.

Forbes recognizes Dangote as Africa’s richest person, with a net worth estimated at $15.6 billion as of April 11, 2024. He holds the record of the world’s richest black person and ranks 144th globally in terms of wealth as of 2024. 

2. Mike Adenuga: Net worth ($7 Billion)

Mike Adenuga

Chief Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr. was born on April 29, 1953, in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Adenuga attended Ibadan Grammar School and later Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro, where he obtained his Higher School Certificate (HSC).

To fund his university education, he worked as a taxi driver. He earned dual degrees in Business Administration at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Pace University in New York.

Mike Adenuga started his business ventures early. In fact, at 26, he’d already earned his first million through lace sales and soft drink distribution. Then, in 1991, his company, Consolidated Oil, made history as the first indigenous firm to discover significant oil reserves in Nigeria’s shallow waters, specifically off the coast of Southwestern Ondo State.

He received a conditional GSM license in 1999, and after it was revoked, he obtained a second one during a government auction in 2003. Adenuga founded Globacom Limited in 2003, which has become Nigeria’s second-largest telecom operator with over 60 million subscribers. 

Globacom also built Glo-1, a 6,100-mile-long submarine Internet cable connecting Nigeria to the U.K. via Ghana and Portugal. 

Mike Adenuga’s business portfolio extends beyond his telecom giant, Globacom. He also holds investments in Equitorial Trust Bank and the oil exploration company Conoil, formerly known as Consolidated Oil Company. All these summarizes how Mike Adenuga is one of the richest men in Lagos.

His oil exploration outfit, Conoil Producing, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta. Some of his major honors;

  • He holds a Yoruba tribal chieftaincy as the ‘Otunba Apesin of the Ijebu clan’.
  • Mike Adenuga’s influence extends beyond Nigeria. In 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron awarded him the prestigious Legion of Honour. Further solidifying his established figure.

3. Abdulsamad Rabiu: Net worth ($6.6 Billion)

Abdulsamad Rabiu

Abdul Samad Isyaku Rabiu, born on August 4, 1960, hails from Kano, Nigeria. His late father, Khalifah Isyaku Rabiu, was a prominent industrialist in Nigeria during the 1970s and 1980s.

Rabiu attended Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, and later returned to Nigeria at the age of 24 to manage the family business. In 1988, he founded BUA International Limited, initially a commodities trading firm.

BUA expanded into steel production, importing iron ore, and constructing rolling mills in Nigeria.

The company acquired Nigerian Oil Mills Limited, Nigeria’s largest edible oil processing company. BUA ventured into flour milling, sugar refining, and cement production.

BUA ended an eight-year sugar hold in Nigeria by opening the second-biggest refinery in sub-Saharan Africa in 2008. Rabiu’s cement company, BUA Cement Plc, is the second-largest cement producer in Nigeria after Dangote Cement.

He also owns BUA Foods, a top food and FMCG company specializing in processing, manufacturing, and distributing various food materials. All these highlight how Abdulsamad Rabiu is one of the richest men in Lagos.

4. Femi Otedola: Net worth ($1.7 Billion)

Femi Otedola

Femi Otedola was born on the 4th of November, 1962, in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, Nigeria. His father, Sir Michael Otedola, served as the Governor of Lagos State from 1992 to 1993. Otedola attended Olivet Baptist High School and later studied at Obafemi Awolowo University.

His diverse business ventures span across shipping, real estate, and finance.

  • Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd: Founded in 2003, Zenon is a marketing and distribution company for petroleum products. Otedola invested significantly in downstream infrastructure development, including storage depots and cargo vessels.
  • Geregu Power PLC: Otedola currently serves as the executive chairman of Geregu Power, a power generation business.
  • First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc: Otedola is in the top three list of single biggest shareholders of First Bank.
  • Other Investments: He has stakes in shipping, real estate, and finance companies.

5. Leo Stan Ekeh: Net worth ($1 Billion)

Leo Stan Ekeh

Leonard Stanley Nnamdi Ekeh is another name on this list of richest men in Lagos. Leo Stan Ekeh was born on February 22, 1956, in Ubomiri Mbaitoli, Imo State, Nigeria. His parents, Ihentuge Ekeh, a nurse, and his mother, a dietitian, raised him in a middle-class family with three brothers and two sisters.

Ekeh attended Holy Ghost College, Owerri, for his secondary education.

He pursued his university studies at Punjab University, India, where he acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.

He went on to pursue his postgraduate studies at the University of Nottingham, where he earned an MSc in Risk Management.

In 2001, Leo Stan Ekeh founded Zinox Technologies Limited, a company specializing in computer manufacturing. Zinox Computers received the WHQL certification, the first in sub-Saharan Africa, and later achieved the NIS ISO 2000: 9001 QMS Certification.

In 2013, Zinox announced the production of its computer tablet line, Zipad. In 2018, Ekeh’s company Zinox acquired Konga.com, buying 99% of the company’s shares.

Ekeh led the team that delivered the largest single ICT project in Sub-Saharan Africa. His group was responsible for the technology infrastructure used in Nigeria’s 2007 and 2011 Voter Registration.

Microsoft appointed him as a global partner advisor in December 2013.

Ekeh’s vision extends beyond profit; he champions entrepreneurship through the Leo Stan Ekeh Foundation.

6. Pascal Dozie: Net worth ($1 Billion)

Pascal Dozie

Pascal Dozie was born on April 9, 1939, in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. His journey to being one of the richest men in Lagos began against the backdrop of Nigeria recovering from the Biafran war.

Dozie started as an economist at the National Economic Development Office in the United Kingdom. He founded the African Development Consulting Group (ADCG), which worked with companies like Nestle and Pfizer.

In 1985, he became Chairman of Progress Bank (now defunct). His most significant achievement was the establishment of Diamond Bank in 1991. Initially capitalized at ₦10 million ($28,000) with only 21 shareholders, it grew into a major financial institution.

Dozie served as CEO of Diamond Bank from 1991 to 2006 before handing over to his son, Uzoma Dozie. He was also President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and currently owns shares in MTN Group.

7. Tony Elumelu: Net worth ($700 Million)

Tony Elumelu

Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu, popularly known as Tony O. Elumelu is one of the richest men in Lagos. He was born on 22nd March 1963 in Jos, Nigeria. Elumelu grew up with four siblings, including his brother Ndudi Elumelu, a minority leader in the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives.

He studied Economics at Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University) and later obtained a Master of Science in Economics at the UNILAG (University of Lagos).

Elumelu’s journey began as a salesman and a copier salesman.

In 1997, he led a small group of investors to acquire a struggling bank, which he turned profitable within a few years.

In 2005, he orchestrated one of the largest mergers in Sub-Saharan Africa by acquiring the United Bank for Africa (UBA). Under his leadership, UBA evolved into a pan-African financial services group with subsidiaries in 20 African countries, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.

Elumelu also chairs Heirs Holdings, a family-owned investment holding company, and is the founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. His impact extends beyond profit margins; he champions entrepreneurship through the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

8. Adewale Tinubu: Net worth ($700 Million)

Adewale Tinubu

Adewale Tinubu, also known as Wale Tinubu, is a Nigerian business executive, lawyer, and entrepreneur. 

Jubril Adewale Tinubu was born in Lagos State, Nigeria, on June 26, 1967. He hails from the influential Tinubu family. Adewale Tinubu is the nephew of president Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

Tinubu obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LLB) from the University of Liverpool, England 1988. He furthered his education at the London School of Economics, where he earned a Master of Laws degree (LLM), specializing in International Finance and Shipping, in 1989.

After returning to Nigeria, he attended the Nigerian Law School and was officially called to the Nigerian Bar in 1990. Tinubu began his career at his family law firm, K.O. Tinubu & Co., specializing in corporate and petroleum law. 

In 1994, he co-founded Ocean and Oil Group, which later transformed into Oando PLC. Under his leadership, Oando evolved from an oil trading and shipping company to an integrated energy group.

Tinubu was pivotal in the $1.5 billion acquisition of ConocoPhillips Nigeria, making Oando the country’s largest indigenous oil and gas producer. He also led the successful divestment of Oando Marketing Limited to the Vitol Group, resulting in the formation of OVH Energy.

Wale Tinubu is one of the richest men in Lagos and is recognized and honored by some top personnel.

Some of his major honors include:

  • Global Young Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007.
  • Business Leader of the Year by Africa Investor in 2011.
  • Leadership Business Person of the Year in 2014.
  • Africa Executive of the Year by the Oil Council in 2015.
  • Entrepreneur of the Year (West Africa) by Ernst & Young in 2015.

Adewale Tinubu heads the Oando Group which makes him one of the richest men in Lagos. 

9. Herbert Wigwe: Net worth ($680 Million)

Herbert Wigwe

The Late Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe was born August 15, 1966, and hails from Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. His father held a prominent position as the Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority, and his mother worked as a nurse.

Wigwe earned a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1987. He then earned a Master of Arts in banking and finance in 1991 at the University College of North Wales, which is now known as Bangor University. He later obtained an MSc in Financial Economics from the University of London in 1996.

His commitment to learning extended to the Harvard Business School, where he completed the Executive Management Program. In recognition of his achievements, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 2018. 

Wigwe began his career at Coopers & Lybrand as a Management Consultant in the late 1980s. He became a chartered accountant in 1989. Later, he joined Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), where he worked for over a decade and eventually became an executive director around 1998.

In 2002, Wigwe and his business partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, purchased Access Bank. Despite initial concerns from the Central Bank of Nigeria, they transformed Access Bank into the 4th largest bank in Nigeria by 2017.

Wigwe served as the deputy managing director of Access Bank from 2002 to 2014. He also chaired Access Bank Ghana Limited starting in 2013. 

From January 2014 until his passing, he held the positions of CEO and group managing director of Access Bank. In 2018, Access Bank merged with competitor Diamond Bank, becoming the largest bank in Nigeria.

Herbert Wigwe tragically died in February 2024 alongside his wife and son in a helicopter crash in California.

10. Tunde Folawiyo: Net worth ($650 Million)

Tunde Folawiyo

Tijani Babatunde Folawiyo, popularly known as Tunde Folawiyo, was born on April 12, 1960, in Lagos, Nigeria. His father, Wahab Iyanda Folawiyo, founded the Yinka Folawiyo Group in 1957 as a commodities trading outfit.

Tunde Folawiyo is the Managing Director of this conglomerate, which has diverse interests in energy, agriculture, shipping, real estate, and engineering.Under his leadership, the Yinka Folawiyo Group has expanded significantly:

  • Energy: The company’s oil exploration firm, Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum, owns a 60% interest in an oil block containing the Aje offshore field.
  • Agriculture: Contributing to food security and economic growth.
  • Shipping: Managing maritime operations.
  • Real Estate: Developing properties.
  • Engineering: Engaging in infrastructure projects.

Crescent University in Abeokuta, Nigeria, awarded him an honorary doctorate in business administration.

11. Hakeem Belo-Osagie: Net worth ($600 Million)

Hakeem Belo-Osagie

Hakeem Belo-Osagie, born in 1955 in Lagos, Nigeria, is a prominent figure in the Nigerian economy. His father, Professor Tiamiyu Belo-Osagie, was a renowned gynecologist who served the medical needs of the family of President Ibrahim Babangida (former Nigerian military president).

Hakeem’s educational journey led him to Harvard Business School, where he graduated and began his remarkable career.

Hakeem started his career as a petroleum economist and lawyer.

He secured positions as Special Assistant to the Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy and later as Special Assistant to the Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

These appointments allowed him to close several oil deals, leading to his first fortune. For over three decades, he has been a key player in the Nigerian economy, participating in various private-sector businesses.

His interests span across energy, finance, and telecommunications, and has earned him massive wealth and a spot on this list of richest men in Lagos.

Hakeem chaired Etisalat Nigeria and held a major ownership stake until 2017. He’s also involved in various other Nigerian businesses.

12. Cosmas Maduka: Net worth ($600 Million)

Cosmas Maduka

Cosmas Maduka is one of the richest men in Lagos. He was born on December 24, 1958, in Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria. His entrepreneurial journey began at the tender age of six, just two years after his father’s passing. To support his mother, he dropped out of primary school and started hawking Akara, a popular Nigerian food made from beans.

At 17, he was wrongly dismissed by his uncle, who had employed him as an automobile apprentice with a mere N200.00. Undeterred, Maduka co-founded a spare parts company called CosDave with his friend, Dave.

Despite initial setbacks, he founded Coscharis Motor in 1977 with a meager N300. The name “Coscharis” is a blend of his first name, Cosmos, and his wife’s name, Charity, whom he married at age 21.

In 1982, the Nigerian government granted ten motor companies import licenses, and Coscharis was among the selected few.

Today, the Coscharis Group is a conglomerate with a net worth of $500 million. It spans across various sectors, including Manufacturing, ICT, Petrochemicals, Auto Care, Automobile Sales and Services, Agriculture, and Agro Allied. 

Coscharis Motors is a leading distributor of luxury car brands such as Range Rover, Ford, and Jaguar.

In 2015, it became the sole distributor of BMW in Nigeria and established the country’s first assembly plant for Ford Ranger.

The Coscharis Farms project, approved by Anambra State, aims to cultivate rice on 5000 hectares of land, generating 3000 jobs upon completion.

13. Jim Ovia: Net worth ($550 Million)

Jim Ovia

Jim James Ovia was born on the 4th of November, he hails from Agbor, Delta State, Hisia. Ovia’s educational path led him to earn a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1977) and an MBA from the University of Louisiana, Monroe (1979).

He furthered his knowledge at the Harvard Business School. In 1990, amidst political tension and economic instability, Jim Ovia founded Zenith Bank with a modest $4 million in shareholders’ funds.

Under his leadership, Zenith Bank grew into one of Africa’s largest banks, with over $16 billion in assets.

Ovia’s commitment to integrity, hard work, and dedication transformed Zenith Bank into an internationally recognized institution. He also founded Prudential Zenith Life Assurance. 

The Jim Ovia Foundation empowers entrepreneurs and cultivates courage.

His book, “Africa Rise and Shine,” serves as an entrepreneurial manual. 

Some of his major honors include: 

  • Banker of the Year (This Day Newspaper, 2007).
  • Top 10 Bankers in Nigeria (Business Day Newspaper, 2002).
  • Zik Award for Professional Leadership (1999).
  • AAI 2017 Business Leadership Award (The Africa-America Institute, New York).

14. Sam Iwuajoku: Net worth ($500 Million)

Sam Iwuajoku

Samuel Iwuajoku, born in Nigeria in April 1956, is a seasoned entrepreneur and industrialist. He acquired a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of California and is experienced in the Oil & Gas, Commodities, and Steel industries.

Sam Iwuajoku made his wealth from the importation of rice and steel rods through his company, Steelman Nigeria Limited. His extensive political connections allowed him to obtain advantageous import duty waivers from the Nigerian Government, which fueled his business growth.

Over time, he reinvested a significant portion of his income into private aviation services, which eventually evolved into Quits Aviation Services. Sam Iwuajoku is the Chairman/CEO of Quits Aviation Services Nigeria. Quits Aviation Services operates the ExecuJet facility in Nigeria, providing top-notch private jet services.

The company offers aircraft maintenance services for major outposts, including Dornier

Sam Iwuajoku who is a serial entrepreneur and one of the richest men in Lagos owns several businesses in Nigeria including:

  • Quits Aviation Services Ltd.: Chairman/CEO since January 2008.
  • Afri Infrastructure Development Ltd.: Founded in 2011.
  • Corporate Oil and Gas Ltd.: Deals with oil and petroleum products.
  • Intercity Commodities Ltd.: Supplies bulk commodities.
  • Steelman Nigeria Ltd.: Deals with steel and billets.
  • Unigate Investments Ltd.: Engaged in stock trading.
  • Legend Hotel Expansion: Sam Iwuajoku’s Legend Hotel, managed by Hilton, takes advantage of its proximity to the Lagos International Airport and the city’s legendary traffic.

The ambitious $35 million expansion project aims to transform the hotel into a 231-room edifice with a massive conference center that can seat about 2,000 people.

15. Musiliu Obanikoro: Net worth ($75 Million)

Musiliu Obanikoro

Musiliu Obanikoro is one of the richest men in Lagos. He is popularly known as “Koro”. He is a Nigerian politician and businessman born in Lagos, Nigeria.

He attended Saint Patrick Catholic School in Idumagbo, Lagos, and Ahmadiyya College (now Anwar-ul Islam) in Agege, Lagos.

While in the United States, he earned his B.Sc degree in Public Affairs and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (M.P.A.) from Texas Southern University. Upon returning to Nigeria in 1989, Obanikoro immediately embarked on his political journey which is where he accumulated most of his wealth. 

Notable positions he held include:

  • Caretaker Committee Chairman of Surulere Local Government (National Republican Convention).
  • State Deputy Chairman (NRC).
  • Director, LASBULK (Lagos State Bulk Purchasing Corporation) under Governor Otedola’s administration.
  • Member, Lagos State Football Association.
  • Elected State Secretary, Justice Forum.
  • Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government.

16. Jimi Agbaje: Net worth ($50 Million)

Jimi Agbaje

Olujimi Kolawole Agbaje, popularly known as Jimi Agbaje, is one of the richest men in Lagos. He was born on March 2, 1957, in Lagos State, Nigeria. Jimi Agbaje is the second child and first male of five siblings, including his brother Segun Agbaje, the CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank.

In 1982, Jimi Agbaje founded JAYKAY Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company Limited. He served as the managing director until 2005 when he decided to venture into politics.

Some of his major honors and positions held in the pharmaceutical industry include:

  • Membership in the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (1999–2006).
  • National Secretary of the Nigerian Association of General Practice Pharmacists (1987–1990).
  • Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (Lagos State) (1994–1997).

Agbaje’s entry into politics was sparked by the annulment of the Moshood Abiola / Bashir Tofa presidential election.

He joined the Action Congress (AC) but later left to join the Democratic People’s Alliance (DPA) in 2007.

Agbaje has consistently advocated for people-focused governance and human capital development.

17. Segun Agbaje: Net worth ($40 Million)

Segun Agbaje

Segun Julius Agbaje, born in 1964, hails from Lagos State, Nigeria.

For his secondary education, he attended St. Gregory’s College in Obalende, Lagos, and St. Augustine Academy in Kent, England.

Agbaje pursued higher education at the University of San Francisco, California, earning degrees in Accounting and Business Administration.

Agbaje’s career began at Ernst & Young in San Francisco. In 1991, he joined the startup Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), where he rapidly ascended the ranks. He became an Executive Director in January 2000 and Deputy Managing Director in August 2002.

After leading Guaranty Trust Bank as Managing Director, Segun Agbaje transitioned to Group CEO at Guaranty Trust Holding Company in August 2021.

Under his leadership, GTBank achieved numerous accolades, including:

  • Euromoney’s Best Bank in Nigeria
  • African Banker Award’s African Bank of the Year
  • EMEA Finance’s Most Innovative Bank
  • World Business Leader Magazine’s Best Banking Group

Conclusion 

These richest men in Lagos have not only accumulated wealth but have also contributed significantly to Lagos’s growth and development. Their stories serve as a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and resilience that define the city. 

Lagos’s status as a major economic center in Africa means that many of its richest individuals have interests and assets that span across different sectors and countries, further complicating the task of accurately estimating their net worth. 

Do you think I forgot to include someone on this list? Let me know about him in the comments box and where he’ll rank on this list.

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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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