As a country, Nigeria is rich in oil. They have the second largest economy in Africa. Lagos is an enormous, vibrant port city of more than 20 million people with an economy that is larger than many countries in Africa. In many ways, Nigeria is a rich country. However, almost 100,000,000 Nigerians live on less than $1 per day, making extreme poverty a big problem in the country. Then there's the Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group based in Northern Nigeria, which has left five million people in need of basic necessities like food. The U.N. believes that northeast Nigeria, the strong hold of the Boko Haram, could be at a huge risk of famine.
Here's the thing, though—many of, if not all of, these problems with extreme poverty and potential famine in Nigeria could be solved if the richest billionaires in the country got together and helped. Oxfam calculated that it would cost $24 billion to eradicate extreme poverty in Nigeria. That's living on less than $1.90 per day. That's just about the total of the net worth of the five richest people in Nigeria.
Aliko Dangote: $15.7 billion
Aliko Dangote owns the eponymous Dangote Group, which operates in the commodities field. Dangote is based in Nigeria and also does business in other African countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, and Zambia. He is the richest person in Africa. The Dangote Group employs more than 11,000 people in industries such as sugar refining, flourmills, food distribution, and cement. In fact, The Dangote Group's businesses account for one fourth of all businesses on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Mike Adenuga: $4.6 billion
Mike Adenuga built his enormous fortune in mobile telecommunications and oil production. In 2006, he founded Globacom, the second largest mobile phone network in Nigeria. With over 24 million customers in Nigeria, the company also operates in the Republic of Benin, where it recently acquired licenses to start businesses in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. What's more, his Conoil Producing is considered to be one of the largest independent exploration companies in Nigeria, with a production capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
Folorunsho Alakija: $2.5 billion
Nigeria's first female billionaire, Alakija, 66, is Nigeria's first female billionaire. She began her professional career as an Executive Secretary in Lagos, Nigeria, while simultaneously launching her own tailoring business. Her company flourished, and she went on to become the National President and a Trustee for the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria. In the early 90s, she applied for a license to begin prospecting for oil. It turns out, the plot of land she was granted was sitting on over 1 billion barrels of potential oil. She owns 60% of the drilling venture that is off the coast of Nigeria. Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, a Texaco company, and Petrobras, a Brazilian company, own the rest of the drilling operation. After the billion barrels were discovered, the Nigerian government attempted to take the land grant back. A 12 year legal battle ensued that reached all the way to the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Folorunsho was victorious and her patience was rewarded handsomely. As soon as the legal verdict came down, Folorunsho was instantly worth billions of dollars.
Femi Otedola: $1.85 billion
Femi Otedola made his fortune through his company Forte Oil, which runs more than 500 gas stations across Nigeria. He also has interests in finance and power generation.
Abdulsamad Rabiu: $1.1 billion
Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of the conglomerate BUA Group, which has interests in rice, sugar, edible oil, real estate, and cement. He took over the business in the 1980s when his father was arrested on charges of rice hoarding.