Meet the silent Nigerian billionaires

By The Citizen

True success is not always in the limelight. Sometimes, it is inconspicuous and subtle. Some billionaires find comfort in staying off the limelight for modesty or other personal reasons.

They live their lives far from the roving eyes of the public to make themselves relatively unknown.

Some ultra-wealthy Nigerian business tycoons and entrepreneurs who fall into this category are Kola Aluko, Eddy Martins Egwuenu, ABC Orjiakor, Sam Iwuajoku, Gbenga Oyebode, Aderemi Makanjuola and Dele Fajemirokun.

Kola Aluko is the Nigerian energy and aviation tycoon who founded oil trading firm Fossil Resources in 2001 and went on to become the CEO of Exoro Energy- an indigenous oil exploration and production firm. In 2007, the company merged with Seven Energy, a leading independent oil exploration company. Aluko is now the Deputy CEO and leading shareholder of Seven Energy, which has operations and key interests in four onshore fields in the Niger Delta.

Eddy Martins Egwuenu is a former bank chief and the second largest individual shareholder of the Zenith Bank Group. His 1.5% stake in Zenith Bank alone is said to worth about $60 million.

Gbenga Oyebode is one of Nigeria's most renowned commercial lawyers. He is a founder and Managing Partner of Aluko & Oyebode- a successful corporate and commercial law firm in Nigeria. He owns minority shareholding in MTN Nigeria, and sits on the company's board. Oyebode also serves as chairman of Access Bank PLC, Okomu Oil and Crusade Insurance. The value of his shareholding in these companies is worth tens of millions of dollars.

Also gracing the list of Nigeria's inconspicuous business tycoons is Aderemi Makanjuola. The reclusive business tycoon is the founder and Executive chairman of the Caverton Offshore Support Group, Africa's first integrated offshore support service provider. The company provides marine, aviation and logistics support services to oil exploration and production firms based in West Africa.

Dele Fajemirokun is also a Nigerian entrepreneur worth noticing. His father, Henry Fajemirokun, was a renowned shipping magnate and one of Africa's most successful businessmen after Nigeria's independence.

Dele Fajemirokun, his 62-year-old son, is now in charge.

A prominent boardroom guru, Fajemirokun also owns key stakes and sits on the board of several Nigerian blue-chips, including American International Insurance Company and oil explorer First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited. - The Nation.