Let’s talk about 3 Nigerian billionaires who started from a humble beginning. Some of the richest persons in the world, as well as the richest people in Africa, reside in Nigeria. Nigerians make up the bulk of Africa’s wealthiest individuals. These individuals are successful in life and prospering in their own right. But not everyone had it simple. It is rather astonishing that some of these people, who come from humble beginnings, have earned such money on their own. In this article, 9ja2nice is sharing with you 3 Nigerian Billionaires Who Were Once Poor and things to know about their humble beginning.
3 Nigerian Billionaires Who Were Once Poor
- Mike Adenuga
- Jimoh Ibrahim
- Orji Uzor Kalu
1. Mike Adenuga – $5.7 Billion
A well-known telecommunications entrepreneur is Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga, often known as Mike Adenuga. Mike Adenuga was born in Ibadan and is one of the wealthiest individuals in Nigeria with a net worth of $5.7 billion. Mike is the owner of Globacom, the third-largest telecom firm in Nigeria.
He went to Ibadan Grammar School in Ibadan, completed his undergraduate studies at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and received his MBA from Pace University in New York. He drove a cab for a living in the US to pay for his studies and living expenses.
Adenuga worked really hard to make ends meet, even selling lace supplies and serving beverages. In the end, his efforts were successful, and at the age of 26, in 1979, he earned his first million dollars. He hasn’t given up since and is still making an attempt.
He has built a fortune from his forays into a variety of sectors, including telecommunications and oil and gas. As the first Nigerian to discover oil in a commercially viable quantity, Mike Adenuga made history in 1984 by founding Consolidated Oil Limited. He founded Globacom in 2003, which has proven prosperous.
2. Jimoh Ibrahim-$1 Billion
Jimoh Ibrahim identified a legal issue while serving his NYSC, which prompted him to plan a seminar for all local governments in Nigeria. Only the states and the federal government possessed laws of their own, not local governments. He earned roughly N3.6 million from the seminar, which was a great success. He was inspired by the success of holding other conferences of a similar nature, and by the time he finished his NYSC, he had earned around N70 million Naira.
After completing his NYSC, he continued to conduct seminars, and it was around this time that he learned how significant oil firms were withholding taxes from the federal government. He then submitted to the authorities a thorough report on his findings along with a remedy. He would aid in the recovery of a sizable portion of the cash, and he would receive a commission for each successful recovery. Jimoh Ibrahim assisted the federal government in recovering billions of Naira once his proposal was approved.
Jimoh Ibrahim acquired a marshy plot of land near the Victoria Garden City (VGC) entrance and erected a gas station there, and two banking halls in it after accumulating so much riches from the commissions provided to him by the federal government. Additionally, he built a second gas station in the Illupeju neighborhood. He also put a significant amount of money into real estate. He later went on to establish the Global Fleet Group whose activities span oil & gas, hospitality, real estate, banking & finance, insurance, publishing, and several other industries.
3. Orji Uzor Kalu – $3 Billion
A politician and businessman with a net worth of $3 billion naira is Orji Uzor Kalu. Orji was once the Chief Whip of the House of Senators and is presently the senator for Abia North Senatorial District. He has financial investments in banking, shipping, manufacturing, oil trading, and media and is the CEO of SLOK Holding. Orji Uzor Kalu was born on 1960 in Abia State, Nigeria.’
Human rights have always been a cause dear to Orji Uzor Kalu’s heart. He participated in the “Ali Must Go” riots against the then-Minister of Education while still a student and was heavily involved in the university’s political activities, which led to his suspension. After that, he stopped attending school and started a company.
He borrowed money from his mother when he was 19 and used it to buy palm oil from the country’s southeast and sell it to areas of Nigeria’s north and was able to diversify into the furniture sector as his company swiftly expanded. He would buy furnishings from Aba and resell them in Maiduguri. Orji gave up his palm oil company and started making furniture when his furniture venture was so successful. Some of the students who had been suspended, including him, were subsequently pardoned by his institution. Due to his neutrality toward the others who were not pardoned, he rejected the pardon.
He received the national merit award from General Ibrahim Babangida, the country’s then-military ruler, in 1986. Orji Kulu established SLOK Holdings in 1987, and it has since expanded to include oil and gas, hotel and travel, manufacturing and commerce, financial services, media, and logistics over 11 nations and 3 continents.