- In the days of Yore, Nigeria boasted of great men and women of immense wealth among whom commanded billions
- Some of them were said to be billionaires in dollars and pounds and founded institutions that remain to date
- From Dantata, who is one of the forebears of Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote and Louis Ojukwu who was said to be a one time richest man in Nigeria, the country had great men
Before the emergence of Dangote, Africa's richest man, Nigeria has never lacked wealthy men and women. The epitaph, ‘giant of Africa’ was said to have actually been coined by the number of rich men and women coming out of Nigeria.
Nigeria is ranked Africa’s biggest economy with a population of over 200 million and a Gross Domestic Production (GDP) of $432 billion and is a major oil producer in the world.
The country also ranked third in Africa with the highest number of millionaires, only bested by South Africa and Egypt.
From Da Rocha, Ojukwu and many others, Nigeria paraded a number of men and women with high net worths and deep pockets.
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According to the Punch, Nigerians were wealthy pre-independence.
Candido Da Rocha (1860 – 1959)
Born in Brazil, Da Rocha was the first Nigerian in recorded history to become wealthy. He hailed from Esan in modern-day Edo State. He became a millionaire at the age of 18 and a multimillionaire at 22 after he inherited $1 million from his father and grandfather.
He sold water from house to house, a business he inherited from his father who was nick-named Casa d’Agua.
Alhassan Dantata (1877 –1955)
A groundnut merchant, Alhassan Dantata was said to be the founder of the Dantata dynasty and the forebear of Africa’s richest man, Dangote.
Dantata sold groundnuts as far back as 1918, with the United Kingdom-based Royal Niger Company, later known as the United Africa Company.
Timothy Odutola (1902-1995)
According to reports, renowned Nigerian politician, Obafemi Awolowo asked Odutola for a loan of about 1,400 pounds from Timothy Odutola which Awolowo repaid 12 years later and the pair went on to form a political alliance.
NewWire reports that he ran multimillion-dollar businesses which included factories, a retail franchise, a cattle ranch and a sawmill prior to 1960.
Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony (1907-1991)
Famous businessman and philanthropist, Mobolaji was an erstwhile Lagos Stock Exchange council president. He invested in Aero Contractors and held the rights to cars made by Rootes Group.
Businessman and philanthropist, he was a former Lagos Stock Exchange council president. He was also a minority investor in Aero Contractors and held the distributional rights to cars manufactured by Rootes Group.
Sir Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu (1908-1966)
Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu was Nigeria’s first-ever billionaire and founding president of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The progenitor of Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu the Biafra warlord, said he made his wealth by selling dried fish, textiles, cement and transportation.
Ojukwu was said to have made his money by importing dried fish, dealing in textiles, cement and transport.
- Shafi Edu (1911–2002)
- Sanusi Dantata (1919–1997)
- Emmanuel Akwiwu (1924-2011)
- Ade Tuyo
- Talabi Braithwaite (1928–2011)
Top 5 richest reople in Africa in June and their net worth
Legit.ng reported that Africa parades a horde of stingingly rich men and women with immense net worth which span various fields, including manufacturing, retail and even groceries.
About five Africans have featured in the new Bloomberg’s Billionaires index in 2021 of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.
According to the report, the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, retains his position as Africa’s richest man for the 11th year running with a net worth of $20.5 billion, an increase from $20.3 billion in May. He is ranked 64th on the billionaires' table.