Top 10 Successful Entrepreneurs in Nigeria

by Ojeyemi Adeleye

Every individual wants a comfortable life and wants to make a lot of money which makes them venture into entrepreneurship. To dabble in the world of entrepreneurs in Nigeria is a big task. However, to become a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria is a bigger task.

All You Need to Know about Entrepreneurs in Nigeria

In the world today, there are large numbers of entrepreneurs across the globe either countries or continents or the world at large. This is a result of individuals standing up for themselves in becoming better people. Moreover, becoming an entrepreneur in Nigeria can help build a good life. 

Entrepreneurship deals with coming up with a business and bearing the risk and gain all alone. However, in this article, you will grab some key points about the top 10 successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria respectively. 

Read also: How to Stop Procrastinating as an Entrepreneur in Nigeria

10 Successful Entrepreneurs in Nigeria 

  1. Aliko Dangote

There is no way you would talk about successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria and not mention the business icon, Aliko Dangote. I am certain his name would be the first to pop up in your mind when talking about the top 10 richest entrepreneurs in Nigeria. This is so because of the reputable image he has built. 

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Meet Aliko Dangote, a business tycoon.

Moreover, Aliko Dangote has successfully managed his numerous chains of businesses and investments both at home (Nigeria) and abroad. He is the C.E.O of the Dangote group with a net worth of over 12 billion U.S.D. (United State Dollars). His chain of businesses cuts across the oil and gas sector, agro-allied and logistics among other sectors. All these achievements made Aliko Dangote blaze the trail. So, he ended up as one of the top 10 richest men in Nigeria.

  1. Mike Adenuga

He is the CEO of one of the most popular and second-largest telecommunication network providers in Nigeria known as, “Globalcom“. Most Nigerians know the Globalcom network as “Glo”. Mike ranks as the second richest and most successful entrepreneur in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of 7.9 billion U.S.D. 

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Mike Adenuga is the CEO of Globalcom.

Besides, this business tycoon is one of the stakeholders of “Conoil–Consolidated Oil Company.” Conoil is one of the most popular oil companies in Nigeria. 

Mike was born on the 29th of April, 1953. He is a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria who made his first million at the age of 26. At that time, he accumulated his wealth as a fabric seller (lace, precisely) as well as a distributor of soft drinks. 

Read also: How to Overcome the Fear of Failure as an  Entrepreneur

  1. Femi Otedola

Here is another business mogul and a philanthropist who ranks as the third most successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. He was born on the 4th of November, 1962 in Ibadan, Oyo State. 

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Here is Femi Otedola, another successful entrepreneur in Nigeria.

Femi was the former chairman of “Forte Oil” and the founder of “Zenon Petroleum and Gas limited”. His main sources of wealth are his numerous businesses that cut across shipping, real estate and finance. As of 2021, he became the largest shareholder of First bank PLC. Femi Otedola’s net worth is 300 million U.S.D.

  1. Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunsho Alakija is the only woman who finds her way among the top 10 successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria. I am pretty sure your next question will be, how did she manage to be on the list?

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Folorunsho Alakija is a businesswoman who ranks among the successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

Well, Folorunsho Alakija is a businesswoman whose niche falls within the real estate, oil and gas, fashion and printing industries. As of 2020, she ranks as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of 1 billion dollars.

Moreover, Folorunsho is the director of “the rose of Sharon group” which deals in the group’s prints and promotion. It doesn’t stop there, Folorunsho Alakija is also the vice-chairperson of Famfa oil. All these success stories qualified Folorunsho as a living legend amongst all successful female entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

  1. Abdulsamad Rabiu

Meet Abdulsamad Rabiu, another successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. He was born on the 4th of August, 1960 in Kano, Nigeria. Also, he was the founder and chairman of “BUA groups” which deals with manufacturing, construction and agriculture. 

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Abdulsamad Rabiu, a successful entrepreneur and a philanthropist.

The company focuses on the importation of rice, flour, edible oil, iron and steel. Apart from being a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria, he is also a philanthropist.

Through his BUA Foundation, he contributes greatly to the growth of humanity. Abdulsamad Rabiu was responsible for the building of wards at the Aminu Kano teaching hospital. Besides, he provided funds for the construction of the centre for Islamic studies at Bayero University. 

  1. Theophilus Danjuma

Theophilus Danjuma is one of those entrepreneurs in Nigeria who deals in real estate and who is also a politician. Meanwhile, he was also a former Nigerian Defense minister and the founder of South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO). 

Danjuma is one of the few successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria who is selfless in the act of serving humanity. His foundation has made significant contributions to the needy. 

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Theophilus Danjuma.

His foundation seeks to eradicate poverty in various communities by providing the basic amenities and education for both children and adults. He also provides free medical care for indigent people. Danjuma is one of those successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria that supports non-governmental organizations and bodies. This rich entrepreneur and philanthropist are worth 1.2 billion dollars.

  1. Tony Elumelu

Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu was born on March 22, 1963. The Nigerian entrepreneur obtained a B.Sc degree and master of Science in economics from Ambrose Alli University and the University of Lagos respectively. Guess what? It doesn’t end there! He also went to Harvard Business School for an Advanced Management Programme. 

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Tony is the mastermind behind the Tony Elumelu’s Foundation.

You can trace Tony’s sources of income to his ownership of trans corp with an interest in hospitality, agriculture, oil production and power generators. Plus, he is the founder of the Tony Elumelu foundation whose aim is to assist young entrepreneurs in Nigeria. 

Tony’s estimated net worth is said to be around 900 million dollars. The philanthropist is the founder and chairman of the famous Nigerian bank, United Bank of Africa (U.B.A.).

  1. Orji Uzor Kalu

The famous former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, was born on April 21, 1960. Kalu is the chairman of the famous Nigerian newspapers “the daily ” and “new telegraph”. He is another successful entrepreneur in Nigeria with a lot of political history. 

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Kalu is another successful entrepreneur in Nigeria. Besides, he is a politician.

Kalu is a Nigerian politician and businessman with a net worth of 1.1 billion dollars. He is the founder of Slok Holdings, a company that specializes in shipping, banking, oil trading and media. He is one of the richest and most influential Igbo men in Nigeria.

  1. Jim Ovia

Meet Jim Ovia, the brain behind the existence of Zenith bank in Nigeria. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana. Also, he has a B.Sc degree in Business Administration from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A. 

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Jim Ovia is the founder of Zenith Bank.

Jim Ovia is the founder of visafone communications limited and the chairman of the Nigeria Software development initiative and the National information technology Advisory council. Ovia owns some prime real estate across Nigeria.

Read also: How to Start a Logistics Business in Nigeria

    1. Oba Otudeko

The last person on the list of top 10 successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria is Oba Otudeko. He is the founder of Honeywell Group and the chairman of FBN Holdings Plc. FBN holdings cuts across oil and gas,  flour milling, real estate and marine transportation. 

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Oba Otudeko.

Another source of his fortune is the oceanfront Radisson Blu in Lagos. Oba Otudeko was born in Ibadan on August 18, 1943. His estimated net worth as of 2020 was 550 million dollars. Oba Otudeko is a successful Nigerian entrepreneur and businessman. More importantly, he is the founder of the Oba Otudeko foundation.

Read also: Top 5 books every entrepreneur must read


I’m sure this article has shared with you all you need to know about the top 10 richest and most successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria. However, one could easily spot some similarities in terms of businesses that are common amongst the mentioned above successful entrepreneurs. 

These common factors are oil and gas, real estate, manufacturing, and agriculture. As youths or youths’ entrepreneurs, a study of how these successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria rose to the top can help nurture the mindset of being successful in entrepreneurship.

Are you an entrepreneur or do you love entrepreneur-related articles? Then, you are just in the right place. Simply subscribe to our YouTube channel or our newsletter to keep track of more mind-blowing posts. However, you can visit’s WhatsApp community if you want to learn more about successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Thanks for your time!

About Author

Avatar of Ojeyemi Adeleye
Ojeyemi Adeleye
I am Ojeyemi Adeleye, a theatre arts graduate of the University of Ilorin, and a master's in view in Dramatic Arts at Obafemi Awolowo University. I am a content writer who believes the world can be brought to your doorstep through writing.

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