Politics is a very expensive business in Nigeria; the richest politicians in Nigeria are also some of the most influential and respected people in politics. This money comes in handy when vying for political offices because mobilizing support does not come cheap, and the bigger the position a person wishes to attain, the bigger the purse he needs.
Across the geopolitical zones in the country there are always one or two people whose wealth have made them regional powerhouses, and who have excelled in private enterprise as well as public office. These regional powerhouses are the most prominent on the national scene because they have the political structures built over time, and because they have enough money to rally support even at the shortest notice.
These high net worth politicians have interesting profiles and back-stories; they can inspire the younger generation.
Top 10 Richest Politicians In Nigeria
Details of the Wealthiest Politicians In Nigeria and Their Net Worth
1. Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Net worth: $9.4 Billion
Bola Ahmed Tinubu; the Jagaban of Africa is biggest political figure in Nigeria at the moment; no other person in Nigeria can claim to have made as many politicians in the country. Bola Ahmed Tinubu has successfully navigated the Nigerian political terrain over the years; he was a political ally of MKO Abiola in the early 90’s, and has formed several political parties.
He was founding member of Action Congress (AC), which later became Action Congress of Nigeria (APC), and which later merged with other parties to become APC. Bola Tinubu has been the party’s National Leader since inception; he personally campaigned for Muhammadu Buhari; which led to him winning the elections in 2015.
Bola Tinubu’s empire cuts across several sectors of the economy; waste management, tax, media, infrastructure, oil and gas, and real estate, and so on. He is the only person in the whole of Nigeria known to operate toll gates through private concession. Tinubu is a visionary businessman who knows how to make wealth; which is why he is the richest politician in Nigeria.
2. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida
Net worth: $5 Billion
Ibrahim Babangida is the only Military President that Nigeria has ever had. He was a General in the Nigerian Army, and ruled from 1985 until his resignation in 1993. IBB’s tenure was marred by rapid economic decline, and also by protests by professional bodies all over the country. The darkest moment of his tenure was when he annulled the 1993 election which was adjudged to have been won by MKO Abiola.
Despite having stepped aside since 1993, IBB is one of the most influential figures in Nigerian politics. He is so influential that political aspirants from all over the country flock to him to seek his blessings before declaring their intentions to run for president, or any other major political office.
The 90’s was a different time period; all the checks and balances of government that we have today did not exist back then, and so it is impossible to give an accurate description of his wealth, or the major sources of his income. There are several companies linked to IBB, but aside from oil wells, the rest can be described as speculation.
3. Olusegun Obasanjo
Net Worth: $4 Billion
Olusegun Obasanjo is one of the most prominent personalities, not only in Nigeria, but also in Africa. He is a Nigerian former army General, Statesman, and Diplomat. Olusegun Obasanjo was the first military leader to hand over control to a civilian government. He ruled from 1976 to 1979 as a Military Head of State, and then again he became President from 1999 to 2007.
Olusegun Obasanjo’s major establishment is the Obasanjo Farms; a huge agricultural enterprise in Ota, Ogun State. However, Olusegun Obasanjo has ventures in Aviation, Education, and many other sectors. He has small shares in several blue chip companies in the country. He is also an author and key note speaker, and he has speaking engagements both locally, and all over the world.
4. Orji Uzor Kalu
Net Worth: $2.8 Billion
Orji Uzor Kalu is one of the few politicians in Nigeria recognized by Forbes. He was the Governor of Abia State from 1999 to 2007, and is presently a Senator serving Abia North Senatorial District. He is also the Chief Whip of the Senate in Nigeria. It must be stated that he was charged with, and convicted of Fraud and Money Laundry to the tune of N7.2 Billion.
A regional powerhouse, Orji Uzor Kalu is one of the richest politicians in Eastern Nigeria. He has interests in Oil and Gas, Aviation, Banking, Publishing, and Advertising.
Interestingly, many of companies are located outside Nigeria, but he controls his businesses from Nigeria.
5. Atiku Abubakar
Net Worth: $1.6 Billion
Atiku Abubakar is arguably the wealthiest political figure from northern Nigeria who is still active in politics today. He was the Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. Atiku is also a very determined personality; he has vied to be president on 5 previous occasions, and he is in the race to become President again in 2023.
Atiku Abubakar had a long and fruitful career in the Nigeria Customs Service; he worked there for twenty years, climbing through the ranks to become the Deputy Director of the agency- the second-highest position available at the time.
He took a loan, and used it to build a house in Yola; the money he got from renting out the house then got him another piece of land, and from there he built a real estate empire. While still serving in the customs he was approached by an Italian investor, and together they built the biggest port logistics and machinery company in Nigeria. Some other sectors of interest include agriculture, education, and energy.
6. Ifeanyi Ubah
Net Worth: $1.4 Billion
Ifeanyi Ubah is a businessman before a politician. He is best known for being a Senator of the Federal Republic; a position he attained on the platform of the Young People’s Party- an obscure party with little political structure. He had previously contested for the position of Governor of Anambra State.
Ifeanyi Ubah is a career businessman; he has been a dealer of automobile tires and spare parts since the 90s. Things took a turn for the good under the Presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo; he was one of the key door keepers to the office of the President, and he benefited immensely.
Ifeanyi Ubah founded Capital Oil, and he also founded a news paper. He also owns a football club by the same name; Ifeanyi Ubah Football Club, which plays in the Nigerian Premier League.
7. Rochas Okorocha
Net Worth: $1.4 Billion
Rochas Okorocha is one of the most controversial politicians in Nigeria. He has been described as the worst governor that Imo State has ever had. It must be stated that there are several corruption charges against him, and also that several properties have been recovered from him by successive governments of Imo State.
Rochas Okorocha worked at the Nigerian Red Cross, and he was the Chairman, Board of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, as well as the Pro-Chancellor, African Business School. Rochas Okorocha is the founder of the Rochas Foundation, and also the President of the Rochas Group of Companies.
8. Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu
Net Worth: $895 Million
Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu is best known as the former governor of Bauchi State from 1999 to 2007. He also served as the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party. Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu is a key political figure in northern Nigeria; he has the financial backing, and the popular following to be one of the king makers not just in the north, but throughout Nigeria.
Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu is known to have vast investments in real estate, agriculture, and other sectors.
9. Dino Melaye
Net Worth: $800 Million
Dino Melaye is a Nigerian politician who is best known for his time as a Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district. He was one of the most vocal figures in the senate, and a vicious critic of successive Presidents.
Dino Melaye has also been one of the most controversial figures in Nigerian politics; he has been the trending topic on social media several times during the past few years. Dino Melaye was appointed as spokesman for the Atiku Abubakar campaign for the 2023 elections.
Dino Melaye owns several investments; most of them located outside the country. For example; he owns Mc Donald’s fast food franchises in the US, and he has other such investments.
Dino Melaye owns a well known collection of exotic cars; he is perhaps the biggest car collector in Nigeria.
10. Timipreye Silva
Net Worth: $780 Million
Timipre Marlin Sylva is best known as a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Nigeria. However, before that he was a member of the house of reps of the old Rivers State. He is currently the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources under the Buhari Presidency.
He is known to have far reaching influence in Nigeria’s oil sector, although the extent of his private dealings in the oil industry is not known. Timipreye Silva was accused of bribery; it was said that he bribed federal legislators to help pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The richest politicians in Nigeria mostly have private businesses, however, any objective thinker will agree that the financial and business practices that have enriched several top politicians in Nigeria would probably land them in jail in other countries.
Nevertheless, money continues to play an important part in Nigerian politics; in order to be taken seriously one must have a lot of it.