Current statistics indicate that Nigeria may be the poverty capital of the world currently with an overwhelming number of Nigerians living well below the property line.

Despite this disturbing fact, Nigeria is still home to a significant number of wealthy individuals. In fact, the two richest men in Africa are Nigerians. So while names like Dangote, Adenuga, Folorunsho Alakija, Otedola readily come to mind when talking about Nigerian billionaires, the people featured in this article are lesser known names who also command a large chunk of wealth.

1. Joseph Arumemi Ikhide

Arik Airlines is the largest commercial airline in West Africa. The airline was founded by Joseph Arumemi Ikhide in the year 2012 and he remains chairman of the company.

The airline is based in Lagos and started operations with a single Hawker Jet aircraft. Today, the company boast of a fleet of over 23 aircraft in service, with orders placed for more. Arik Air is currently the official airline of neighbouring Sierra Leone.

Joseph Ikhide is also the founder of Rockson Engineering Ltd, a firm providing services in construction, oil and gas and manpower supply. It is also believed that he owns lucrative interests in Nigeria’s refining industry.

2. Albert Esiri

The executive Chairman of Ashbert Beverages Ltd, a bottling company located in Abraka is Albert Esiri.

He is a billionaire businessman with a number of business interests. He conjointly owns Abraka Turf and country club, a high – level luxury resort situated in Delta State, Nigeria.

He is also the manager & chairman of Ashbert Oil & Gas Ltd, an indigenous player in Nigeria’s upstream Oil & Gas sector with interests in a large number of oil blocks.

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3. Emmanuel Ojei

Founder of Nuel Ojei Holdings (NOH) is next on this list of 10 Nigerian Billionaires You’ve Never Heard Of.

His Nuel Ojei Holdings is a conglomerate with interests in automobile distribution, construction, banking, insurance, oil and gas, solid minerals, energy and telecommunications.

The automobile business unit of the group known as Nuel Auto Distributors Limited (NAD) is the sole distributor of Mazda vehicles in Nigeria.

Emo Group also owned by Emmuel Ojei is an oil and gas group with subsidiaries, Emo Oil and Petrochemical Company Limited, Emo Exploration and Production Limited, NJ Exploration Limited, and Emo Ashapura Energy and Mining Limited. Annual turnover of NOH is said to exceed $1 billion.

4. Igho Sanomi

Igho Sanomi is a businessman, geologist, public speaker and philanthropist. He was born on the 17th of May 1975.

His business interests span across several sectors including oil, telecommunications, the maritime industry, aviation and real estate, old founder and chief operating officer of Taleveras group, a Nigerian energy, power and construction conglomerate.

In 2004, Igho founded Taleveras Group. The company is today one of Africa’s largest energy trading firms, trading about a billion barrels of fossil fuel and lots of condensates, gasoline, jet fuel, condensates and LPG once a year. Annual turn over of Taleveras is in many billions of dollars.

5. Victor Odili

He is the chairman & executive director of Aeromaritime Group. The company has 8 subsidiaries operating across several sectors in Nigeria including shipping, stevedoring and oil and gas.

Aeromaritime owns more than 500 container vessels, 1,400,000 containers as well as a private terminal. The company offers reliable global maritime services for both importers and exporters.


Victor Odili is also a Director of many successful firms including Baco Line of Germany and telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria limited.

6. Uju Ifejika

Uju Ifejika upon retiring as a regional company secretary at Texaco which later incorporated with Chevron, founded brittaniaU Nigeria limited.

The company is an affiliate of brittaniaU group; an autochthonic and Integrated oil and gas company. It deals majorly in Petroleum, with operations ranging from exploration to refining, distribution trading, production and supply.

7. Chief Ladi Jadesimi

Chief Oladipo Jadesimi is a Nigerian oil businessman, founder and executive chairman of the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base. He also sits on the board of several companies, including FCMB as a Non Executive Director and on the board of Directors of Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc.

8. Mohammed Asibelua

Mohammed Asibelua is the executive Chairman of Quinox group Ltd. It is a global company with subsidiaries in oil commerce, services, and real estate.

Quinox partners with major international corporations such as Gazprom, Sinopec, British Gas and PetroVietnam in various upstream projects.

Mohammed in 2011 became the chairman, Board of Directors of Mira’s Resources corp, which owns Equinox TSB Development (Nigeria) limited.

9. Dr. Ernest Azudialu

Dr. Ernest Azudialu is the founder of Obijackson West Africa Limited. The company was founded in the early 1980’s.

In 1991, Ernest Azudialu founded the popular Nestoil when he diversified into oil and gas. Nestoil provides leading Engineering, procurement and Construction (EPC) services to the top players in Nigeria’s upstream industry including Shell, and Exxonmobil.

Ernest Azudialu is also the chairman and leading investor of NECONDE, a Nestoil-led association with a 45% stake in OML 42.


10. Sanni Bello

Retired Army colonel and businessman, Sani Bello is the last billionaire to feature on this list. He was born in the year 1942 on the 27th of November. He once served as the governor of Kano state. He is today a politician and businessman.

He founded AMNI petroleum, an oil exploration company with a 50% interest in the Okoro and Setu oil fields, located in the shallow water offshore Nigeria.

He owns a minority stake in telecoms giant, MTN and seats on the board of the company. Sanni Bello is also a farmer.


Featured in this article are some Nigerian billionaires that you have most likely not heard about. They are not in the news often and operate as discreetly as possible despite being stupendously rich.

They make money from several sectors of the Nigerian economy such as oil, telecoms and so on, employing thousands of people. You may previously not have heard of them but now you know them.

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