Finding the right type of business to start up is one of the most difficult things many people have to face. As a result, 9 out of 10 businesses fail in 10 years, and most of the last ones standing do not survive the next 10 years that follow.
The same applies to finding the right type of commodity to export.
The export business in its own right is a highly lucrative business to venture into, but determining the right type of commodity to export depending on the profit margins you’re targeting can sometimes be a problem.
While some exporters are okay with netting profit margins of between 10-30% per non-oil transactions, many others are uncomfortable with that, especially as an export cycle in a country like Nigeria is about 45 days, and so, would want to make the most of the time and possibly make up to or more than 100% profit on the commodity exported.
If you’re looking for high-margin commodities that can take your export business from 0 to 100 in 45 days, here are 2 hot-selling commodities that you can export to make up to or more than 100% profits on every sale:
Ginger is one of the most traded spices in the world which Nigeria happens to be among the largest producers. Why we are not exporting ginger in large quantity is beyond me. You can start a Trans-Sahara or Trans-Atlantic trade with this goods and be making dollars on regular basis. Garlic is also on top of the list of items you can export from Nigeria.
2. Palm Kernel Oil
Palm Kernel oil is the oil extracted from the pulp of palm fruit which is different from palm oil. Palm Kernel Oil is used for the manufacturing of various cosmetics, pharmaceutical products and confectioneries. The uses of this oil is broad and the mineral contents are said to be rich in protein for various uses. Nigeria has it quantum and makes dollars exporting it to other countries of the world.
3. Textiles and Garments
This industry alone generates close to $32bn as revenue from export from Nigeria. It is also a fact that unlike other products that battles with high strict rules of tests, Nigeria’s textiles enjoy duty free passage into United States where it has the largest market in the world because of its unique designs, ethnic African designs and quality.
4. Cocoa Butter
This is the real sources of chocolates of all types. The fruits of Cocoa is used for the production of various skin care products, health products, and pharmaceutical products. The demand for Cocoa is very high in both America and UK and that is why cocoa farming is very essential in Nigeria.
This is a clay-like solid substance gotten from the gallbladder of matured cow and oxen. The size could be as big as chicken egg. Gallstone is a hotcake for foreign pharmaceuticals because they use it for medical purposes. If you could lay your hand a good quantity of well dried gallstone about 100g that is well packaged, ready buyers are waiting for it in either Asia or America.
Nigeria has put in place proper Central Testing Laboratories to ensure that only certified products leave the country to Europe and America. Nigeria happens to be a significant producer of Rubber in Africa. A cubit meter of fine quality rubber goes for between $400 and $600 presently because of the instability of dollar rate in the market.
7. Sesame Seed
This may sound a bit strange if you are not from the area where it is produced in the country. Sesame seed can be found in quantity in places like Benue and Jigawa states in Nigeria. This product ranks second to cocoa in terms of export volume and foreign exchange earnings. Nigeria is the 5th largest producer of this commodity and shipping it into foreign countries brings dollars exchange.
Pure honey is another export commodity from Nigeria to other countries. Presently, a kilogram of honey costs above $150 in the international markets. Pure natural honey contains trace enzymes as sugar, mineral, vitamins and amino acids. A litre of honey can fetch good dollars in the foreign market.
The Niger Delta region in Nigeria is blessed with rich organic deposits of Shrimps. The demands for Shrimps is high in countries like Portugal, France, Belgium, Spain, and USA.
Garlic is a cash crop which is grown under irrigation by farmers in the Savanna areas in Nigeria. With internationally certified good quantities of garlic, you are sure of foreign hard currencies.
11. Yam Tubers
Nigeria is presently the highest producers of yam. In 2009 alone, yam export accounted for about US$450 million exchange. But due to low quality, it is saddening to know that the country is not maximizing its export potentials of this products. So there is need for prospective exporters of yam to foreign countries to adhere to quality regulations that is guarding the process. Yam farmers must take this into consideration and tap from this opportunity.
This is at the fore front in the international market. This product which is produced in good quantity in Nigeria with now perfected technology, has about 50% ROI.Even an individual can own a charcoal production outfit and have exporters shipping it for him. A large market for charcoal exists in ASIA, EU, and USA. A tonne of this product goes for about $1000.
This sector recently received a boost from the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) of N33 million to rehabilitate it. Cotton is the most natural sources of fiber and it is in demand internationally.
14. Cassava Flour
We already know that Cassava is food for all in Nigeria because of various methods of preparing it. There is need for this in the foreign markets as well. The demand for well processed cassava flour is increasing both in Europe, Middle East and in America.
15. Cashew Nuts
Almost every part of the country has the potential to produce this international commodity. Great quantity of unprocessed raw cashew nuts are exported to India, Brazil and Vietnam where they are processed into kernels and moved to the Northern America and Europe where they are sold for about $2 per pound. The demand is on the increase from these consuming countries.
If you can produce snails in good quantity, there is a ready market for you. Snails are hotcake in European and America. The good thing about this is that it is very easy to rear as it produces rapidly with close to nothing in expenditure for feeding.
17. Chili Pepper
Nigeria is blessed with good weather which supports the proper growths and production of the internationally accepted pepper. If you can grow and source for the export opportunity, you are sure to get it.
18. Fruit Juice
It may sound somewhat strange to many that Nigeria provide export opportunity for fruit juice concentrates. Yes, we have it because Nigeria can boast of so many naturally grown fruits all over the country which provides the best of fruit juice products of great quality. The opportunity for Nigerian fruits concentrate export is huge in USA.
Forget about the facts that some greedy Nigerians go about smuggling chicken into the country. When we talk about poultry, it involves all domestic birds, egg or meat.
Nigeria poultry farm products are still highly needed both within Africa and Western countries because Nigerian weather conditions for poultry farming still remains the best. Poultry products export from Nigeria is an avenue that is still highly untapped.
20. Cosmetics and Soap
Nigeria has grown in this very important area but the only challenge that is holding us back is procurement of good technology to produce cosmetics in great quantity to compete favorably with other developed countries.
Soap making, which extends to other toiletries, laundries and so on are already export opportunity waiting to be invested in. Nigerian cosmetics products can be exported to other African countries where they are badly needed.
Nigeria has big market in soap industry already which other neighboring countries travels thousands of kilometers to get in big quantities to sell in their countries for good profits. If that area is properly looked into, the investment opportunity there are still virgin. If well harnessed, could mean a huge opportunity for foreign exchange. This exchange will further improve the underused avenues of cosmetics and soap industry in the country.
If the exporters from Nigeria could strictly follow the rules guiding export, more avenues can be opened up for others who are aspiring to join in making export from Nigeria available to other countries around the world.
Advertising Market Leaders Give 5 Marketing Musts for 2023
Learn from your experiencesPerhaps the final word goes to Soyoung Kang, chief marketing officer at beauty brand eos. As marketers start to think about the trends that will define their 2023, she urged them to also remember the lessons of the last few years. “As we try to understand how to navigate this macroeconomic climate, it’s really important for us as marketers to continue to push forward,” she said. “We have to stay agile. We’ve built all of these muscles during the pandemic where we needed to be able to shift investments as circumstances changed. It’s time to exercise those muscles again.”
How to Start a Cocoa Business in Nigeria and Make Money From It
People born between the ’60s and ’80s would definitely know the value of cocoa production in Nigeria. Cocoa is a crop Nigeria once banked on as its major exported cash crops before the oil boom. Nigeria was the biggest exporter of cocoa in Africa and one of the biggest in the world. Then Crude Oil came and poor agricultural management set in, costing the Nigerian economy badly and allowing Nigerian to lose the prestigious spot to a fellow African country, Cote d’Ivoire, who is now the largest cocoa producer in the world, followed by Indonesia.
When cocoa production and export are concerned, Nigeria only lives in past glory and if care is not taken, Nigeria might end up losing all it has gained from the export of what is touted as some farmers as the ‘Wealth Seed.’ The demand for Cocoa now is significantly higher than what the demand was, back then. When the agricultural spotlight is focused on Nigeria, foreign countries can vividly see the potentials in Nigeria and would quickly act fast in taking advantage of it, while Nigerians sit on a goldmine and yet they can’t see it but only look forward to foreign aid and investments.
Anyone looking to delve into Cocoa production business in Nigeria is in for a bit of a fortune if he really knows his onions. For a long time, Cocoa has been and would for a really long time still be one of the fastest-selling agricultural products in both the international market and the local market. As stated earlier, there is a high prospect for cocoa business to thrive in the country. This is because it is in high demand all over the world as it is used in the manufacture of different things such as candy bars, chocolate, cocoa powder as well as drinks and several others. Cocoa farming and beans extraction are labour intensive and the beans are fragile. This pushes many people from the business, especially in a country like Nigeria where there are deficiencies of preservative facilities.
Although Cocoa is not the easiest of crops to manage, once a potential merchant can sacrifice the time and the effort to have it planted, groomed and nurtured to its full maturity, he can keep getting attractive returns on it for a time as long as decades. Truth be told, cocoa production in Nigeria is one very under-exploited and under-utilised sector and Nigeria still needs as many farmers in the cocoa production section as possible, since demand continues to outweigh supply. There are still thousands of acres of fertile lands that can still be used for the planting and cultivation of cocoa. Just like any other business, a potential Cocoa merchant must have a well-designed business plan that will guide the cocoa business. This means that he must first sit down and work out things involved in the cocoa business and have a road map on how to go about it.
Delving into Cocoa Farming and Production
Starting the cocoa farming and production business in Nigeria isn’t as hard as it seems, especially if one can endeavour to gather the right information and knowledge about the business. Armed with the right knowledge on cocoa farming, botany, industrial value and demand chain, a potential cocoa merchant can be able to utilise and exploit the huge profits associated with the business, and with time he might soon become a big player in the cocoa production business.
It is also worthy to note that the returns on cocoa business start small but grows on bigger and bigger with time and the right amount of effort.
The first major step in delving into Cocoa Farming and production is Financial Planning
Anyone who has an interests in cocoa cultivation must first work out the different costs. Different costs are involved and fundraising for the business is also important. Furthermore, research has shown that cocoa can grow together with other cash crops like Coconut and Cashew so combining the production strategies is a good way to maximise profits.
Capital also plays a large role in the kick-off of this business. A potential merchant has to decide if he would be going into Cocoa cultivation large scale or small scale. This decision would influence the amount of capital he would be investing in the business. This is why a good Business plan goes a long way in determining the success rate of the cocoa cultivation business.
Other things needed are:
- Piece of Land: If the merchant wants to see through his business from start to finish, he would unavoidably need an area of land to start his cocoa business, but it all depends on what he can afford. For a small scale business, he doesn’t necessarily have to get farmland, as he can simply buy fresh cocoa seeds from farmers who’ll sell it at a much lesser price.
- Storage and Drying Space: The merchant would inevitably need to have a store or warehouse, secure enough to give his business (the cocoa seeds) the required safekeeping it needs. His business is his cocoa seeds, as he has no business with the pods. Also, the store needs to have enough space outdoors for him to spread his seeds. Cocoa seeds need to be dried in the sun for it to be usable. The drying period normally takes a period of two weeks.
- Relevant Equipment: The merchant would need equipment like the scale for weighing the bags, normal sacks and heavy-duty sacks, for conveying the seeds from one place to another, and a wide water-proof material that can be used in drying the seeds in open air.
- Cocoa Seeds: There goes the tiny but most integral part of the business. The cocoa seeds can either be bought from cocoa farmers or harvested if the merchant already has access to a cocoa farm, an option which is advisable later in his business when you have the money.
Cocoa is a crop that cannot do well in all kinds of soil. This means that before a potential merchant commences the business, he must test the soil to determine the type of yield he would be able to attain during harvest season.
Crop protection and nutrient management are also important in this kind of business. Cocoa is known to grow well in some parts of Nigeria, especially the western part of Nigeria. One can consider acquiring land in any of these places to grow cocoa.
The Type of Cocoa Variety to Invest in
Another aspect a prospective merchant will pay attention to is the best variety to plant. This is that the reason soil test will help him discover the types of cocoa species that are compatible with a particular soil or environment.
There are at least three varieties on the market and they include the Trinitario, Forastero, as well as the Criollo. Apart from that, there are also some improved varieties, which can be gotten from other parts of the world, and these can do well in Nigeria.
Method of Propagation
When it comes to Cocoa cultivation, there are two options available to the merchant, which include the Vegetative and Seed propagation. A lot of people prefer Seed propagation because it seems to grow faster than the Vegetative propagation. Germinations starts within a week of propagation and moreover, a greater percentage of it can germinate (at least ninety per cent or more of the seed). The survival rate is higher in seed than in vegetative propagation.
Also, this stage is where the main business starts. A Cocoa merchant can also engage in mass production of cocoa after the seeds have germinated, he can transplant them using a perforated polythene bag. He can also sell some of the seedlings. Other merchants who deal in Cocoa seedlings will like to buy it.
On the other hand, many large-scale producers prefer the Vegetative option than the seedling option. Vegetation is grown through such methods like grafting, root cuttings, as well as stem budding and so on. In Nigeria, many cocoa farmers prefer the budding option.
When it comes to planting, the merchant has to be careful the way he plants it to ensure that it survives. If after testing the soil and he discovers that it is not that fertile, there are still other alternatives. He would have to dig a pit of about 50 by 50 by 50 centimetres. This advice is very important if he resides in the lateritic zones where the soil is known to be low fertile.
After digging the holes, he must make a soil combination of organic manure and topsoil and fill the pit with it. This is to enhance the survival rate. Those in fertile areas have nothing to worry about.
It is always recommended to plant it on a soil surface. The cocoa root grows well in surfaces irrespective of the depth.
There are a few must-dos that attract a bumper cocoa harvest, time and resources are of the essence when taking care of the cocoa. Once the planting is finished, the next thing to do is to mulch the basins using organic manure.
Shoots emerging from the lower portions must be removed. This is to ensure healthy development and growth of the shoot. The planting can last three to four years, but the process always has to be weed-free.
Fertilisation and Manure
The essence of the soil test is to determine soil fertility. This can equally assist in determining the right type of manure to apply. In Nigeria, NPK fertilizers are popular and this can be applied in two equal splits.
The dose to apply depends on the yield wanted. For species that yield up to sixty pods yearly, the dose must be doubled.
In addition to that, the merchant can administer dolomite to each plant yearly. This can start from the third year of the cocoa plantation. The best method to administer fertilizer to the cocoa crops is to mix fertilizer with soil in a basin and administer it to the plant.
The cocoa plant requires pruning and it grows in tiers. If properly managed, the plant can produce five fan branches. It is better if the growth is restricted just to one-tier. Because of that, there is the need for constant pruning.
Irrigation is necessary if there is no adequate rainfall distribution. Naturally, it grows well under well water. Supplemental irrigation is a necessity if the merchant stay in areas where there is no adequate water supply. Water is necessary because it helps cocoa plants to grow very well and makes the yield better.
Cocoa like other cash crops needs to be protected from diseases, pests, and vagaries of nature. The most important thing is to protect them from those harmful insects and pests around. There must be an adequate arrangement for chemical spraying and other ways of protecting it.
This is the time to yield the benefits of labour. It takes about one hundred and seventy days for the cocoa to be ready for harvesting. After harvesting the pods, the merchant can store it for four days. This facilitates fermentation. Furthermore, it makes superior quality cocoa beans possible. The pods should not be overripe before harvesting.
There are two harvesting seasons in a year; light and heavy harvest.
After harvesting, it is time for fermentation. With a good cocoa processing unit, the merchant is sure of producing different varieties of cocoa beans.
Marketing and Export
The target markets are food and beverage companies, soap making industries, chocolate producing companies etc. A ton of cocoa seeds is sold between $2195 – $3130 in the International market. Locally cocoa has a standard price of 50kg selling for ₦55,000.
There are a variety of ways that cocoa is exported from Nigeria. In some cases, one or even two middlemen are involved between the Nigerian farmers and cocoa exporters. The Nigerian trade begins with farmers working to harvest cocoa beans from the local crop. The following are ways in which cocoa beans are exported from Nigeria:
- Farmers to Small Buyers – Small buyers visit individual clients (farms) to purchase a share of the cocoa crop. In this method, small buyers may sell the crop directly to exporters, but more commonly the small buyers sell the cocoa to wholesale buyers who make the final sell to exporters.
- Farmers to Co-operatives – Farmer co-ops combine cocoa from several farms to sell to different agencies. The co-op purchases cocoa directly from farmers, and in some cases, sells it to exporters directly. In other cases, the co-op may also export the product directly.
Nearly half of all Cocoa in Nigeria is exported to the Netherlands (45%). Germany and Malaysia are ranked second and third in cocoa imports from Nigeria, importing 22% and 6.2% of Nigeria’s cocoa output, respectively. Other top importers of Nigerian cocoa include Spain, Italy, Belgium-Luxembourg, and China.
Nigerian cocoa and cocoa beans are usually exported in the raw or unprocessed form to chocolate processing plants in these countries. The cocoa is typically exported to confectionary companies to make chocolate bars and other chocolate products, such as candy, cakes, and chocolate beverages.
List of Cocoa Exporters in Nigeria
The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) based in Ivory Coast maintains a directory of farmers, exporters, and other professionals related to the cocoa industry. Although Nigeria was a member in 2010, the country is not listed among the organisation’s members in 2018.
Cocoa Exporters in Nigeria
The list of cocoa exporters in Nigeria include:
- FTN Cocoa Processors Plc
- Ideal Risku Global Limited
- Saro Agro-Allied
- Tosmega Cocoa Nigeria Limited
- Akeen and Kamoru Nigeria Ltd
- Berveek Limited
- Cocoa Products (Ile Oluji) Ltd
- Remedy Crown Investment
- Shinwillcrown Cocoa Producing Company
The list of cocoa bean exporters of bulk and wholesale cocoa beans from Nigeria include:
- Agro traders Ltd
- Crystal Green Ltd
- Gbemtan Investment Ltd
- Olatunde International Ltd
- Agebelere Cocoa Farm
- Okon & Sons Integrated Services Ltd
- Ose Global Bizness Links Nig. Ltd.
- Terry Cocoa Merchant
- Yinka Akintilo Enterprises Ltd
Cocoa Production in Nigeria: Feasibility Study
The feasibility study included in this guide is for a medium cocoa production business, from the start to the sale of 500 bags of cocoa. The Capital covers from store set-up, land acquisition, seed purchase, production, and marketing.
The selling price of cocoa is the same almost everywhere. Each bag (A standard of 50 Kg) is being sold for about ₦55,000.
For a start, all the materials needed (Renting a store depends on location, purchase of needed equipment, planting and tendering, and so on, is approximately ₦3,500,000)
If the merchant starts harvesting after 18 months, (he can start harvesting as soon as that if he had planted the early-maturing, high-yielding and disease-resistant cocoa beans seed to boost his farm’s production in a short period of time).
₦55,000 X 500 = ₦27,500,000
(Return on Investment) ROI = ₦27,500,000 – ₦3,500,000 After 18 months of cultivation, the gain is a staggering ₦24,000,000; which isn’t bad at all especially since selling cocoa beans seed doesn’t take much marketing.
Issues Affecting Cocoa Export in Nigeria
Before you engage in the cocoa trade in Nigeria, it’s important to consider how to overcome common challenges affecting the cocoa trade and cocoa exporters in Africa. These concerns include everything from adequate production to transportation. Educating yourself on these issues may not eliminate the concern, but can help you determine a plan of action before engaging in trade.
- Roads and Transport – More than 30,000 tons of cocoa were found delayed in transit in the capital city of Lagos while en route to ports for export. Specifically, traffic, craters, and floods are to blame for the delay. This delay put strain on local businesses and some even sought loans to cover expenses while waiting for exports to be shipped and paid by buyers.
- Delays in cocoa production – For many years, Nigeria ranked fourth behind Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Indonesia in cocoa production, but a recent drop in production has lowered Nigeria’s position in the cocoa production chain to fifth, tied with Cameroon. Lack of support for farmers, including access to cocoa seedlings, price risk management, and pest control training are just a few factors that have led to a decrease in cocoa production. Many small farms harvest most cocoa in Nigeria throughout the southern region.
- Lack of farmers – Several news reports outline both the lack of younger farmers and the lack of interest of younger farmers in cocoa farming. This lack of interest has led to a decrease in the number of cocoa farmers. While there have been calls to stimulate the cocoa economy, the Nigerian cocoa production efforts faces significant challenges to its growth if enough young farmers don’t participate in the cocoa trade.
COCOA PRODUCTION: RISKS INVOLVED
- Managing a cocoa farm takes time, effort, patience and energy.
- Constant guard and protective measure against rodents and infectious parasites.
- Setting up a cocoa production plant is very capital intensive.
COCOA PRODUCTION: ADVANTAGES
- Cocoa sells faster than almost every other agricultural produce.
- The merchant would inadvertently be contributing to the nations GDP.
- A lot of beverage companies rely on cocoa for production, making it very profitable.
- As a young person, you can leave the circle of the unemployed.
- The ROI from cocoa and production is very attractive and is enough compensation for the merchant’s time, energy and money.
Behind The Oil Theft In Nigeria, Behind the Menace
Nigeria, as presently constituted, qualifies to be named a crime scene. From state-sanctioned insecurity to massive corruption, down to outright abuse of state power. It appears as though Nigeria is fast becoming a banana republic of some sort. With every passing day, a new development occurs, attempting to cement the notion that Nigeria is a criminal state where only crime and criminality thrive.
The anomalies are endless and the situation is rotten and sour.
With no big shot at redemption, Nigeria has continued to crumble, and may very soon become irredeemable.
Ironically, it took recent revelations about the grand schemes of oil theft for many Nigerians to come to the new realisation.
About a month ago, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari dropped a bombshell when he announced that the government of the day just discovered a loading port somewhere in Niger Delta that had been in operation for over nine years undetected. This loading port had a 4 km illegal pipeline connected to it that ran from Forcados in Delta State down to the sea where the cycle of economic sabotage against Nigeria is rounded up.
The recent discoveries of the magnitude of oil theft going on in Nigeria clearly underscore the fact that Nigeria is a criminal state. How can a country be so blessed yet appear so cursed? A country blessed with huge deposits of crude under its soil yet it remains home to the highest number of the poorest people. Terrible!
Given the magnitude and sophistication of the ongoing crude oil theft going on in the country, it is safe to posit that it is the biggest organised crime in the history of Nigeria as a country. This is a scheme that is perpetrated by people who fully understand that their ugly scheme is not only causing life-threatening environmental pollution, but also causing the government a massive loss in revenue at a time when every dollar is needed to keep the country’s economy above the waters. Oil companies are divesting from the country in the face of revenue losses and the country’s oil industry is now looking like a shadow of itself.
Over the past six years, Nigeria has consistently failed to meet its quota in the global oil market as capped by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), for reasons ranging from vandalism to a gargantuan scale oil theft. This has impacted government revenues in very debilitating ways. More throbbing is the fact that, at a period when many oil producing countries around the world have been reaping billions of dollars and Euros from the Russia-Ukraine windfall, Nigeria is severely handicapped.
According to industry experts, the quantity of oil stolen in the country daily is well over 100,000 barrels. With a barrel of oil selling for an average of $100 for a better part of the year, it meant an income of $10 million was being donated to oil thieves. The question on the lips of Nigerians in the face of all this is, who are those committing this economic sabotage against Nigeria?
One thing that has been severally reiterated is that oil theft at that scale cannot take place without active connivance with people who control instruments of the state, the protection of regulators in the industry, and funding by the elites. Of course, there is no way a 10,000-tonne barge will move from a point of loading in the creeks down to the sea without being detected. There is surely no way big ocean liners which are deployed to lift stolen crude oil move freely within the territorial waters of Nigeria without being noticed by the Nigerian security team who are paid using taxpayers money to keep Nigeria’s security system safe.
It is important to point out that contrary to popular misconceptions, oil theft did not start recently. Interestingly, prior to becoming President, Buhari had accused Jonathan of not doing enough to end oil theft. Buhari alleged that about 400,000 barrels of crude were stolen daily under Jonathan’s nose. Of course, he vowed to end it if Nigerians elect him as their next President, and sadly, seven years later, rather than end it, he institutionalised it and this time, Nigerians are paying a heavier price for his ineptitude as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and Minister of Petroleum. That Nigeria is still insolvent despite the scale of theft and abuse it has continued to experience should be the 8th wonder of the world.
The failure of successive governments to check this situation clearly provides an idea as to how poor governance in Nigeria has been. The reality is that currently, oil thieves have grown so powerful that they now hold the Nigerian state to ransome. The whole situation clearly underscores the embarrassing failure of the security architecture in Nigeria and how useless they have proven to be. It is curious to believe that after over two decades of disruptions in the oil and gas sector in the Nigeria Delta, the Nigerian Navy is yet to come up with a single specialised capacity to protect a sector that is primarily the source of blood to the Nigerian body. The truth remains that if this madness is allowed to continue unabated, it will bring Nigeria to its knees financially, politically and economically.
The present situation in Nigeria is not only embarrassing, but is also suffocating and stifling the hopes of over 200 million citizens who have now been turned into paupers even in the midst of plenty.
These things surely raise questions about the whole essence and existence of Nigeria because anomalies and illegalities are fast becoming the norm in the country. While the economy is on a fast lane to absolute destruction, those saddled with the responsibility of sailing the ship to safety are abdicating their responsibilities not minding the fact that the economy is gradually caving in.
What Nigerians must know right now is that their oil wealth is being stolen by a syndicate that has sworn to keep them on the ground. The group of people stealing Nigeria’s oil comprise the military, oil companies, the navy, and government officials, which is why they seem unstoppable.
The list isn’t complete without mentioning current and former governors, ministers, and members of the Fulani oligarchy. Interestingly, one of them is even running for President in 2023!
Oil theft is threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria, and Nigerians should better start speaking before it is too late.
Top Wealthy Nigerians: Looters Or Legitimate Money Bags?
The country’s richest man, Aliko Dangote would have to spend $1 million every day of his life for 42 years to completely exhaust his fortune. This is both worrying and sad, and would make one wonder whether there is something going on in Nigeria that has kept the margin between the poor and the stupendously rich steadily wide.
Hence, the question of whether these billionaires are legitimate businessmen or moneybags comes begging for answers.
To find the right answers to these questions, we decided to dig into the empires of a few Nigerian billionaires who control the wealth in the country.
Some people might be quick to argue that they have never held government positions or political offices and hence should not be scrutinised.
But, they forget that some of these billionaires have become so powerful that they now decide who assume leadership positions in the country and can determine the course of a policy or issue with the wads of money in their pockets.
Let’s now consider the following billionaires and see if we can get some clarity about them.
1. Aliko Dangote.
With a net worth of over $12billion in 2018, Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Nigeria and entire Africa. Born on the 10th of April 1957, Aliko Dangote is the owner of the ‘Dangote Group,’ the largest cement and sugar producer in Africa.
Presently, his company dominates the markets in countries such as Benin, Ethiopia, Cameroon, South Africa, and Ghana among others. The ‘Dangote Group’ controls about 70% of the current Nigerian sugar market and operates as the third-largest sugar refinery in the world and the largest in Africa.
2.Mike Adenuga – Net worth of $6.2 billion
Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga is the second richest man in Nigeria among the top ten richest men and women in Nigeria, with a net worth of around $6.2 billion.
He was born on the 29th of April 1953 to Oloye Michael Agbolade Adenuga Snr and Omoba Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga in Ibadan, Oyo State.
John bull (as he is fondly called) attended Ibadan Grammar School for his secondary school education and proceeded to Comprehensive High School Aiyetoro for his Higher School Certificate.
He is married to Titi Joyce Adenuga, and they are blessed with seven children.
Mike Adenuga made his first million in 1979, at age 26, selling lace and distributing soft drinks.
Mike Adenuga’s source of wealth
Being one of the most successful businessmen in Nigeria, Mike Adenuga has earned so much wealth increasing his net worth to become the second richest man in Nigeria.
He is the owner of multinational telecommunications company Globacom and the oil exploration company Conoil which have earned him so much money to become one of the richest men in Nigeria.
His mobile phone network, Globacom, is the second-largest network operator in Nigeria, with 50 million subscribers.
Mike Adenuga was issued a conditional GSM licence in 1999; after being revoked, he received a second one when the government-held another auction in 2003.
The telecommunication company Globacom spread quickly and started challenging the giant MTN Group.
It launched services in 2008 and has continued its spread across Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, with more licences currently being prospected in other West African countries.
His oil exploration company, Conoil, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
In 2006, Adenuga was detained for money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. He subsequently left the country and lived in London until the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua regime granted him a pardon.
3.Abdulsamad Rabiu – Net worth of $4.7 billion
Abdulsamad Rabiu is the third richest man on the list of top richest men and women in Nigeria, with a net worth of 4.7 billion US dollars.
Abdulsamad Rabiu was born on the 4th of August, 1960, in Kano State to a wealthy family of late Khalifah Isyaku Rabiu, one of Nigeria’s foremost industrialists in the northern states of Nigeria in the 1970s and 1980s.
Abdulsamad Rabiu had his early education in Kano state before proceeding to the United States for his university degree. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
He is married with children; the most popular of his children is Khadija Rabiu. Abdulsamad has many siblings, including Nafiu Rabiu, a prominent businessman and Rabiu Rabiu, the IRS Airlines Chairman.
Young Abdulsamad Rabiu was saddled with running the father’s business at 24 when he returned from the United States after his studies.
At the time, his father was detained by General Muhammed Buhari’s administration on allegations of duty aversion on rice imports.
Even though young Adbulsamad did not have much business experience, he could stir the company around for good in his father’s absence.
Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining and real estate.
Abdulsamad Rabiu’s Source of Wealth
Abdul Samad Rabiu is the founder of a Nigerian conglomerate business, BUA group that engages in cement production, food products such as Flour & Pasta, Sugar, Edible Oils and Rice, ports, iron/steel and real estate.
He established BUA International Limited in 1988 for the sole purpose of commodity trading before it grew into a substantial multi-purpose company and has earned him so much wealth that he has become the third richest man among the top ten richest men in Nigeria.
In 2020, Abdul Samad Rabiu merged his privately owned Obu cement Company with Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria to maximize production and earnings. It began to construct a $900 million cement plant in Edo State, completing it in early 2015.
Abdul Samad Rabiu is currently the Nigerian Bank of Industry (BOI) chairman, the oldest and largest financial institution in Nigeria. All these have helped him become the third richest man in Nigeria.
4.Femi Otedola – Net worth of $1.8 billion
Femi Otedola is the fourth richest man on the list of the top richest men and women in Nigeria, with a net worth of $1.8 billion. Femi Otedola is a Nigerian businessman born on November 4th, 1962.
He was the former chairman of Forte Oil, which deals with oil marketing and power generation in Nigeria, a sector that has earned him so much money that he has become one of the richest men in Nigeria.
He has over 500 gas stations in Nigeria. Femi Otedola is the founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd. Generally, Otedola has so many other businesses that fetch him huge amounts of money, which has helped him rank as the fourth richest man in Nigeria.
Femi Otedola was named among the richest men in Africa in 2015 by the popular ranking website Forbes.
Even though Otedola is a rich man who lives in any part of the world he wants, he lives in Lagos State, Nigeria. He is married with four children: Tolani, Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, Elizabeth Temi, and a boy, Fewa Otedola.
5.Folorunsho Alakija – Net worth of $1billion
The fifth richest person in our list of the top richest men and women in Nigeria is Alakija Folorunsho. She is also the richest woman in Nigeria, with a net worth of $1 billion.
She is the first woman on our list of the top ten richest men and women in Nigeria. Folorunsho Alakija is a successful Nigerian businesswoman involved in different businesses such as fashion, oil, real estate, and printing industries.
She is the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company. Famfa oil partners with most of the biggest companies in the world, such as Chevron and Petrobras, a business that has helped her become the fifth richest person in Nigeria.
She is also the Managing Director of Rose of Sharon Group, a non-governmental organisation focused on alleviating the plight of widows and orphans.
Folorunsho Alakija was born on the 15th of July 1951 to Chief L.A. Ogbara in Ikorodu, Lagos State, and she has 51 siblings.
Folorunsho Alakija got married to Modupe Alakija, a lawyer, in November 1976, and they were blessed with four sons and grandchildren. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria, with her family.
Since giving her life to Christ in 1991, she preaches the gospel ceaselessly to anyone that cares to listen. She and her husband started a house fellowship, now a ministry, Rose of Sharon Glorious Ministry International.
Folorunsho Alakija is the primary sponsor of the Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarship Scheme, which records over 1,000 beneficiaries annually.
Folorunsho Alakija and FamFa Oil
In May 1993, Alakija applied to be allocated an oil prospecting license (OPL). Alakija’s company, Famfa Limited, was granted the right to explore for oil on a 617,000-acre block.
In September 1996, she entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Texaco. She appointed the company as a technical adviser to explore the license, transferring 40 per cent of her 100 per cent stake to Star Deep.
6.Uzoma Dozie – Net worth of $1 billion
Uzoma Dozie is the 6th richest man among the top ten richest men and women in Nigeria, with the same net worth as Folorunsho Alakija, the fifth richest person in Nigeria.
Uzoma Dozie is a Nigerian banker, tech investor, and financial inclusion advocate born November 2, 1969, in Egbu village, Owerri Imo State, Nigeria.
Pascal Dozie began his career as an economist at the National Economic Development Office in the United Kingdom. He was also a part-time lecturer at the North-Western Polytechnic, London. Between 1970 and 1971, he served as a consulting economist at the African States Consulting Organisation in Uganda.
The famous businessman is the CEO and founder of Sparkle, a business account that helps you manage your small and larger businesses to increase diversity in your business. The business has helped him earn a lot to become one of the richest men in Nigeria.
He was also the Executive Director of Corporate Banking and Executive Director of Regional Business Lagos & West Regions.
Dozie was also a one time President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He currently owns shares in MTN Group and is Chairman of the company.
7.Jimoh Ibrahim – Net Worth of $1 billion
Jimoh Ibrahim is the 7th man on our list of the top richest men and women in Nigeria. He is the 6th richest man in Nigeria, with a net worth of around $1 billion.
Jimoh Ibrahim is a Nigerian lawyer and businessman born on the 24th of February 1967 in Okitipupa in Ondo State, Nigeria, to Alhaji Yakubu and Omofemiwa. His father was a bricklayer who married about seven wives, while his mother was a fish seller.
He is the chairman and chief executive officer of Global Fleet Group, a diversified business based in Nigeria operating in African countries, Europe, Asia, and many other places in the world.
The Global Fleet Group has been a superb source of income for Jimoh Ibrahim, helping him be among the top richest men and women in Nigeria.
Jimoh Ibrahim is married to Mrs Modupe Jimoh Ibrahim and a father of four children. He had his primary and secondary school education at Saint John’s School, Igbotako, Ondo State.
Jimoh Ibrahim studied law at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. He obtained a master’s degree in public administration (MPA) from the same institution.
During his undergraduate studies, Jimoh proposed organized law seminars for all local governments in Nigeria to learn how to make laws. This decision was made after it was discovered that only the federal and state governments had laws.
Sources have it that he made a lot of money from conducting the seminars across all local governments in Nigeria. He also organized several workshops in his field for top government officials; it earned him good money and helped him become the 7th richest person in Nigeria.
Global Fleet Oil and Gas, a company owned by Jimoh Ibrahim grew by buying out as many gas stations as possible and in just a year, they acquired 150 gas stations.
Jimoh Ibrahim also worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a tax consultant and was among the Harvard team that championed the tax reforms in Bangladesh.
Jimoh Ibrahim is an astute investor with investments in several industries; the oil and gas industry, hospitality industry, aviation industry, banking industry, real estate sector, insurance industry, publishing and media industry which has helped him become one of the richest men in Nigeria.
8.Orji Uzor Kalu – Net worth of $1 billion
Former Governor of Abia State Nigeria, Orji Uzor Kalu, has made Nigeria’s top richest men and women list. He is the 8th richest person in Nigeria and the 7th richest man in Nigeria, with a net worth of $1 billion.
Orji Uzo Kalu is a Nigerian politician and businessman who started his business career at 19 when he was expelled from school (University of Maiduguri) to conduct a series of riots against the minister of education.
Orji Uzor Kalu was born on the 21st of April 1960 to Mr. Johnson Uzor Nesiegbe Kalu and Mrs. Eunice Kalu’s family. He attended Christ the King School, Aba and Government College, Umuahia.
He ventured into business selling different commodities as a young man when he borrowed money from his mum after his explosion from school. He sold palm oil, rice, and many other items.
Orji Uzo Kalu made his first million while selling commodities before winning a contract in Nigeria to supply oil to the federal government of Nigeria.
He is the founder of Slok Holding, a West African multi-purpose business interested in shipping, banking, oil trading, manufacturing, and the media.
Orji Uzor Kalu is the chairman of the Daily Sun, a Nigerian daily print newspaper, a business area that has increased his net worth to become the 8th richest person in Nigeria.
Orji Uzor Kalu is married to Mrs Ifeoma Ada Menakaya, and they are blessed with four lovely children.
The rich businessman has a degree from Abia State University, a Certificate in Business Administration from Harvard University, and honorary doctorates from Maiduguri and Abia State universities.
He is currently a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Abia North Senatorial Zone. Orji Uzor Kalu was a presidential candidate in 2007, a two-time governor of Abia State (1999-2007), and was a House of Representatives member in 1991.
Orji Uzor Kalu Family
The businessman cum politician Orji Uzor Kalu is married to Mrs Ifeoma Ada Menakaya, and they are blessed with four lovely children:
- Neya Kalu
- Michael Uzor Kalu
- Olivia Kalu
- Nicole Kalu
Orji Uzor Kalu’s Imprisonment over Fraud
Kalu was convicted by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday, December 5, 2019, and sentenced to 12 years in prison for N7.65 billion fraud.
Orji Uzor Kalu was convicted of defrauding Abia State’s government, where he was a governor for eight years, using his company, Slok Nigeria Limited.
9.Jim James Ovia – Net worth of $980 million
The 9th richest man on our list of top richest men and women in Nigeria is Jim James Ovia. He also is the 8th richest man in Nigeria, with a net worth of $980 million.
Jim James Ovia is a Nigerian businessman born on the 4th of November, 1951, to a large family in Agbor, Delta State. He is the second son of Obi Olihe of Agbor-Obi, one of the most revered Chiefs in the Agbor Kingdom.
Jim Ovia holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana, Monroe, USA, in 1979. He also has a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from Southern University and A&M College (1977).
He is the founder of Zenith Bank, one of Nigeria’s richest banks and largest commercial banks. He is also the owner of mobile telecom operator Visafone, a business that has earned him money to become the 9th richest person among the top ten men and women in Nigeria.
Visafone company was later acquired by MTN, a leading telecommunications company in Africa, in 2015. Before the acquisition, Visafone had more than 3million subscribers.
10.Hajia Bola Shagaya – Net worth of $950 million
The 10th person on our list of the top richest men and women in Nigeria is Hajia Bola Muinat Shagaya. Hajia Bola Muinat Shagaya is the 2nd richest woman to make the list of the top richest people in Nigeria.
Hajia Bola Shagaya’s current net worth is around $950 million. She is a businesswoman who also enjoys fashion, so she made it one of her occupations.
Bola Shagaya is the founder and CEO of Bolmus Group International, a conglomerate with holdings in real estate, oil and gas, banking, and photography.
Hajia Bola Shagaya was born on 10 October 1959 to Adut Makur, a Sudanese seamstress, and Emenike Mobo, a Nigerian public servant.
Bola Shagaya is currently married to Alhaji Shagaya, a Kwara State-based transport mogul, and with six children:
- Sherif Shagaya,
- Hakeem Shagaya,
- Deeja Shagaya,
- Naieema Shagaya,
- Amaya Roberts Shagaya and
- Adeena Roberts Shagaya.
Bola Shagaya’s children are dispersed worldwide, most reputably growing her Real Estate empire in Europe and the United States and also involved in minor business and industry holdings across Asia and Australia.
On 22 July 2010, she was awarded by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR), the title of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON).
Fresh out of school, Bola Shagaya started a promising career as a banker. She worked in the audit department of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN). In 1983, she left the corporate world and ventured into business.
Bola Shagaya’s first business experience started with importing and distributing photographic materials such as roll papers, films, and chemicals under the trading name Bolmus International (Nigeria) Limited.
Hajia, as she is fondly called, stretched her tentacles into the Nigerian oil and gas sector. She founded Practoil Limited, one of the largest importers and distributors of base oil in Nigeria today.
As far back as the late 1980s, during Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda’s led-administration, the business tycoon stirred her oil and gas company to secure oil block allocation. Thus, making her one of the indigenous oil marketers.
She expanded her oil and gas industry operations by establishing another exploration company, Voyage Oil and Gas Limited, in 2011.
In 2012, Voyage Oil and Gas Limited were awarded an oil exploration license by the Nigerian government.
Her business expansions have helped her make the top richest men and women list in Nigeria.
Hajia Bola Shagaya and Money Laundering Investigation
According to SaharaReporters, Bola Shagaya is under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Bola Shagaya and Patience Jonathan, Nigeria’s former first lady, used an NGO to launder 3.3 billion naira.
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