Most successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria in 2018

Most successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria in 2018

We all love reading the success stories of entrepreneurs in Nigeria because usually they inspire us and show us that there is nothing impossible. This is yet another article where the top 10 most successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria will demonstrate you how to be successful. Embark on the journey to the world of success and read about the most successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria!

Most successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria in 2018

10 successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria and what they produce

Nigeria is a naturally endowed country. We have all kinds of natural, mineral and human resources. And the human resources that we operate include the hardworking and decisive individuals, who have rightfully made themselves a name in the world of business.

Rather than the wealth of these business people, we will discuss their influence on society and great entrepreneurial skills. Read further about successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria and their business, and get inspired by their willpower and leadership.

1. Aliko Dangote

He was born in 1957, and his birthplace was Kano State. In 1977, when he was only 20 years old, the young man started the business group called “Dangote Group”. He got a generous loan of N500,000 from his grandfather, Alhaji Sanusi Dantata.

Aliko Dangote’s firm started as a very small firm which specialized in trading. Now, it is a huge multi-billion corporation, with the branches being situated not only in Nigeria, but in the other African countries like Ghana, Benin Republic, and Togo. The Dangote Group is famous for being the biggest industrial group in the Western Africa region. It has more than 11,000 employees.

In 2013, Aliko Dangote was ranked by the influential magazine Forbes as Africa’s richest man, as well as the world’s richest black man.

Aliko Dangote


2. Mike Adenuga

Born in 1953, Mike Adenuga is the second richest Nigerian person and a multi-billionaire entrepreneur. He received his higher education in New York’s universities Northwestern Oklahoma State University and then Pace University.

The company founded by Mike Adenuga, called “Globacom”, is the second-largest telecommunication operator in Nigeria. In Nigeria alone, it has more than 24 million subscribers. It also has offices in Benin, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. Except this, the businessman is the owner of “Conoil Producing” company, which is one of the biggest oil companies in the country. The production capacity of it is approximately 100,000 barrels a day.

Currently, according to Forbes magazine, he is the second-wealthiest entrepreneur in Nigeria, giving the first place to Aliko Dangote. He is also the fifth richest man in Africa.

Mike Adenuga


3. Femi Otedola

This entrepreneur, who is also a well-known philanthropist and oil magnate, was born in 1962 in Ibadan, Oyo State. He established a companies in Nigeria and abroad. Some of his most prominent businesses are Forte Oil PLC, the fuel production importer which he is a chairman of, and Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, which specializes in distribution and marketing.

He has made huge investments in the other business spheres, such as finance, real estate, and shipping. Except that, he invested in the power generation, which is supposed to become a part of sector liberalization in Nigeria. A huge part of his wealth comes from the energy sector.

Femi Otedola is also a happy family man, and all of his four children are successful in their own different ways. For instance, his oldest daughter, Florence Otedola, is a famous musician, known under the name DJ Cuppy, and she is also a tourism ambassador of Nigeria. Temi Otedola, her younger sister, is a popular fashion blogger and an aspiring designer. The billionaire Femi Otedola did not just make a name for himself but has inspired his family to be just as successful as him.

Femi Otedola


4. Orji Uzor Kalu

He was a graduate of three universities: University of Maiduguri, Abia State University, and the prestigious Harvard University. Currently, the Chairman of SLOK Holding and the owner of Daily Sun Newspaper, the rich and famous Orji Uzor Kalu always knew that he wanted to be the best.

From the very young years, he attempted to start his own businesses. Once, he started a profitable business with only $35 dollars on his hands, borrowed from HIS mother. Young Orji Uzor Kalu started his entrepreneurship by palm oil trade, as he bought the commodities from the eastern regions of Nigeria and then sold it to the northern ones. Some time later, Orji Uzor Kalu switched from selling palm oil to the furniture trade, which became a huge success.

In the end, the business skills of Orji Uzor Kalu grew so quickly, that he established his own company, called SLOK Holding. This business conglomerate blew up and now it has companies not only in Nigeria but also South Africa, Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Benin Republic, Botswana, and even Korea.

Orji Uzor Kalu firmly believes that in to become a good businessman, the person should have a nose for these issues, in a similar way to how a journalist should always find out the news. He also thinks that people who want to be successful should have their heart in it and see new opportunities everywhere.

Orji Uzor Kalu


5. Jim Ovia

Famous for being a founder of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, who was born in 1951, is an educated and powerful man. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Southern University in Louisiana, as well as Master’s degree from the University of Louisiana in the same discipline. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School.

In 1980, Jim Ovia founded Zenith Bank, which is now one of the most influential banking institutions in Nigeria.

Jim Ovia is not just a businessman – he is also involved in philanthropic work. He founded the Youth Empowerment ICT Foundation, the organization which is focused on improving Nigerian youth welfare and helping them embrace new communication and information technologies.

Jim Ovia


6. Jimoh Ibrahim

The politician, businessman, lawyer, and philanthropist Jimoh Ibrahim always knew that success will come his way one day, only he needs to work his hardest for it. He was born in 1967 in Ondo State. Jimoh Ibrahim was a Law student at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University in Osun State, where he obtained both Bachelor and Master’s degrees. Afterwards, he went to the United States to study at Harvard University.

After completing his education, he began investing in a lot of profitable sectors. Some of his investment sectors are hotels, airlines, resorts, real estate, banking, publishing, insurance, and oil and gas distribution.

These days, Jimoh Ibrahim holds an honorable position of chairman at the Global Fleet Group, which is a large diverse Nigeria-based conglomerate company. It has a huge amount of subsidiaries in different cities of Nigeria, mainly Lagos, as well as in other African countries – Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe, just to name a few.

Jimoh Ibrahim is a published writer – he has been credited as an author of three books. He is also the publisher of Nigerian National Mirror Newspaper.

Jimoh Ibrahim is married to his wife Modupe Jimoh Ibrahim and they have four children.

Jimoh Ibrahim


7. Oba Otudeko

This business entrepreneur is known for being chairman of such huge companies as Honeywell Group and FBN Holdings Plc, which specialize in oil and gas, real estate, marine transportation, and flour milling. He was born in 1943, and his native city is Ibadan, Oyo State. Oba Otudeko came from the royal family.

He is an Accountancy gradate of Leeds College of Commerce, United Kingdom. He has worked as a banker, accountant, and corporate secretary.

Oba Otudeko is a respectable man who is involved in dozens of various businesses and received a lot of awards for his contribution. Of course, he is the most famous for his Honeywell Group, but he also helped a lot of other businesses grow. He also founded the Oba Otudeko Foundation, which specializes in charity and philanthropy. He is happily married to his wife Adebisi Aderonke Otudeko.

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Oba Otudeko


8. Sayyu Dantata

Alhaji Sayyu Idris Dantata is most famous for MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, which he was the chairman of before he retired recently. He has been invested in the gas and oil industry since 1993, and two years later, in 1995, he founded the MRS Group. Eventually, he managed to build a closely connected and integrated company chain, which includes the subsidiaries not only in Nigeria but also in Ghana and Geneva, Switzerland.

Sayyu Dantata has spent many years in the oil and gas industry, and he is a respectable professional who knows everything about this business. He managed to raise his little company, MRS Oil, to the African conglomerate status. The main focus of this company was oil trading, storage, shipping, retailing, and distribution. Nowadays, it is one of the most recognizable brands and efficient players in the petroleum industry of Nigeria and is widely popular among foreign marketers and investors.

Sayyu Dantata


9. Raymond Dokpesi

Here is one more extremely influential figure who has achieved everything due to his entrepreneurial talent. Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi, which is his full name, was born in 1951. His birthplace is Ibadan, Oyo State, even though his parents are from Agenebode, Edo State. For his higher education, he went to Poland, where he pursued Marine Engineering at Gdansk University.

He was a personal assistant of the Nigerian Ports Authority manager, Alhaji Bamaga Tukur, who also sponsored his studies. Aside this, he had many other jobs throughout his career.

Raymond Dokpesi first became famous with DAAR Communications, as well as the popular Nigerian TV network Africa Independent Television. He is also a politician, and his party is the People’s Democratic Party. He was the committee chairman from his party at the national conference in 2015.

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Raymond Dokpesi

10. Folorunsho Alakija

Born in 1951, Folorunsho Alakija is now the most successful and rich Nigerian businesswoman, who is also one of the wealthiest women in Africa, as well as one of the wealthiest black women in the world. At one point, she even came above Oprah Winfrey in the rating of the richest black women in the world.

Her career started in the middle of the 70s when she worked as a secretary. She is mostly known as the group managing director of the company “Rose of Sharon Group”.She is an executive vice-chairman of “Famfa Oil Limited”, from which she makes huge profits. She is also a founder of the fashion label “Supreme Stitches”, which produced clothing for rich clients.

Folorunsho Alakija does a lot of charity – for instance,she donates to the widows through “Rose of Sharon” foundation. She is the most prominent example of success for Nigerian young women, and she shows how powerful they can be if they work hard enough and believe in themselves.

READ ALSO: History of entrepreneurship in Nigeria

Folorunsho Alakija


The most successful entrepreneurs of Nigeria worked very hard to become who they are now, and their efforts fully paid off.

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