Looking at the richest Igbo men in Nigeria, it is clear that beyond anything else, the Igbos have an uncommon drive to succeed in business.
Anybody who knows the Igbos of Nigeria will agree that they excel at business, and traditionally, are taught to dedicate their lives to their ventures. Therefore, it is no surprise that there are few Igbo billionaires who have made their money from the corporate world.
Over the years, the Nigerian business terrain has become more volatile, especially as the government has become more involved; granting monopolies, and enforcing embargoes. Nevertheless, while many others have found the business environment more difficult to thrive, a few Igbo Businessmen have flourished.
Top 10 Richest Igbo Men In Nigeria
1. Arthur Eze
Net Worth: $5.8 billion
Prince Arthur Eze is probably Africa’s biggest indigenous oil man. He is the founder and Executive Chairman of Atlas Oranto; Africa’s biggest indigenous oil company; with investments in Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Uganda, South Sudan, and Zambia. The company also has offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Prince Arthur Eze was born 27th November 1948, in Ukpo, Dunukofia LGA, in Anambra State. He started his company in 1991, with a small oil block in Equatorial Guinea; and has now grown it to be one of the most respected oil companies in Africa, with business in around 10 African countries.
Arthur Eze is also a notable philanthropist; he has made very generous donations, especially in the area of education, to the host communities of his company. He has built schools, blocks of classrooms, and handed out scholarships.
2. Cletus Ibeto
Net Worth: $3.8 billion
Cletus Ibeto is the Chairman of Ibeto Group; one of Nigeria’s foremost industrial companies. He was born 6th November 1952, and hails from Nnewi, in Anambra State, Nigeria. He is one of the Igbo Nation’s most respected businessmen, and he is also an entrepreneur, and humanitarian.
Cletus Ibeto went to learn the vehicle parts trade at the age of 13. After years of service he was set up into business and he established his own car part dealerships in Lagos and Onitsha. From there he established a vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Anambra State. He delved into cement, but later switched to petroleum.
The Ibeto Group owns the largest tank farm in Nigeria, located at the Ibru Jetty, in the Apapa Wharf. He took a huge step forward by acquiring a publicly traded American company Century Petroleum.
The Ibeto Group also owns Ibeto Cement; which is located in Port Harcourt. He owns several properties in the country; he has several vehicles.
3. Orji Uzor Kalu
Net Worth: $3.2 billion
Orji Uzor Kalu is one of the richest Igbo men in Nigeria; his businesses span across several countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic, Guinea, South Africa, Liberia, Botswana, and Korea. He is also a politician; he served as Governor of Abia State from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. He is presently serving as a Senator representing Abia North Federal Constituency, and he is also the Chief Whip of the Senate.
Orji Uzor Kalu started as a palm oil trader; buying the oil in the South East, and selling in the north for considerable mark up. He went on to furniture, and from there he entered publishing, which took his business into the corporate world.
Some of his businesses include Ojialex Furniture Company, SLOK Nigeria Limited, Sun Newspapers Limited, SLOK United Kingdom Limited, Adamawa Publishers Limited, SLOK Vegetable Oil, Aba, SLOK Paper Factory, Aba, SLOK United States Incorporated, SLOK Ghana, SLOK Togo, SLOK Cotonou, SLOK Guinea, SLOK South Africa, SLOK Liberia, Botswana, SLOK Korea, Supreme Oil Limited, SLOK Airlines, and First International Bank Limited.
Kalu is a big contributor to the African economy. However, it must be stated that he was convicted of corruption, after the court found him guilty of defrauding Abia State to the tune of N7.65 billion.
4. Emeka Offor
Net Worth: $2.9 billion
Sir Emeka Offor was born on the 10th February 1957, in Kafanchan, Kaduna state. Emeka Offor is the Chairman of the Chrome Group which has interests in oil, gas, power, broadcasting, advertising, and media communications. The Chrome Group is also active in Houston, USA.
Emeka Offor started out in the bitumen trade at a time when this by product of the petroleum was considered a nuisance by most oil companies. From there he went into the oil and gas trade, and then his other investments. His oil company is quite big in Houston Texas.
Emeka Offor is a big philanthropist; he is affiliated with Rotary International and donates to the Rotary Foundation. Emeka Offor also has the Emeka Offor Foundation; which is dedicated to helping people attain self sufficiency.
5. Benedict Peters
Net Worth: $2.7 billion
Benedict Peters was born on the 5th of December 1966. He is from Abakaliki in Ebonyi State of Nigeria. Benedict Peters is the Founder and Chairman of AITEO Group; an Oil Company which has also become an integrated energy conglomerate. AITEO Group is one of the largest indigenous oil companies in Nigeria.
His businesses include bulk petroleum storage, oil and gas exploration and production, refining of petroleum products, and power generation and distribution.
Benedict Peters has done well to keep his life and family out of the public eye; however, it is known that he owns properties in London.
6. Andy Uba
Net Worth: $2.1 billion
Andy Uba was born on the 14th of December 1958, he hails from Uga in the Aguata LGA of Anambra State. He is a politician, he is the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District. He was also an aide to former president Olusegun Obasanjo, as well as a governorship aspirant for Anambra State.
Andy Uba has also been in procurement, and has helped notable Nigerians make investment abroad, as well as make bulk purchases abroad.
He has also invested heavily in politics; although it borders on godfatherism. He has several expensive vehicles including a Mercedes- Maybach S-class, Mercedes Benz S550, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Landcruiser Prado, and BMW 7.
7. Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah
Net Worth: $1.7 billion
Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah was born on the 3rd of September 1971. He is the second Uba brother, also from Uga in the Aguata LGA of Anambra State. He is a businessman and entrepreneur, one of the biggest Igbo investors of his generation. He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Capital Oil, which is a major indigenous oil company in Nigeria.
Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah is also the chairman of Ifeanyi Ubah F.C, a football club in the Nigeria Premier League; and he is also the founder of The Authority Newspaper; a publishing company operating in Nigeria.
Ifeanyi Uba is also a politician; he is the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District. He has also been a governorship aspirant. Ifeanyi Uba is known for his considerable wealth; he owns several powerful vehicles, including Innoson Vehicles. He recently gave away 23 SUVs to
8. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiako
Net Worth: $1.2 billion
Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiako was born on the 1st of October 1960, in Cross River State, Nigeria. He is is a trained medical doctor, and worked at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital as a Trauma and Orthopedic Surgeon for many years, before being tempted into the oil industry.
He is the Chairman and co-founder of SEPLAT, a leading Nigerian independent oil and gas company. SEPLAT is so big; it listed on both the London and Nigerian stock exchanges; and actually pays dividends to its Nigerian investors in Dollars. In September 2021, the company purchased a sizable holding in Exxon Mobil; clearly as a means of expanding its operations.
ABC Orjiako is a notable philanthropist and lover of fine cars. He has quite a collection, including a Bentley, a Range Rover, and several SUVs.
9. Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma
Net Worth: $1 billion
Innocent Chukwuma was born on the 1st of October 1961, in Uru-Umdim, Nnewi, Anambra State. Aside from being one of the richest Igbo men of his time, he is also a pioneer businessman, and a rallying point for the Igbo Nation, as the Chairman and Founder of the first indigenous vehicle manufacturing company in the country.
At a young age he was sent to learn the spare parts trade, in the popular Igbo Apprenticeship Scheme. After that he went on establish his own spare parts dealerships, which were based in Onitsha and Lagos. From there he started importing motorbikes, which he assembled in Nigeria.
Seeing that same could be done with cars, he started assembling cars in Nigeria, and the venture grew into the billion dollar business that it is today. The company now produces cars, buses, trucks, SUVs, and even armored vehicles.
10. Pascal Dozie
Net Worth: $1 billion
Pascal Dozie was born on the 9th of April 1939 in Owerri, Imo State. He is mostly known as the founder of Diamond Bank and the chairman of Pan-Atlantic University. After his education he went to London to study Economics at the London School of Economics.
Pascal Dozie then started work as an economist at the National Economic Development Office in the United Kingdom. On a part time basis, he also worked as a lecturer at the North Western Polytechnic, London.
Later he worked as an economic consultant to the government of Uganda, but was asked to return by his mother. On getting to Nigeria, he got a similar consultancy job with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He served as Chairman of the defunct Progress Bank, before applying for a banking license in order to start Diamond Bank which he handed over to his son Uzoma Dozie in 2006, and was acquired by Access Bank in 2018.
The richest Igbo men in Nigeria cut across all sectors of business including, oil, media, manufacturing, banking and so on. It may be of interest to discover that these are not the same group of men parading themselves all over social media as big boys. Many of them have the majority if not all of their businesses outside Nigeria, and for the most part, they have stayed away from politics.