Some Igbo billionaire businesspeople, including as Arthur Eze, Tony Elumelu, and Benedict Peters, have been recognized for their entrepreneurial drive and commercial skill over the years. While these business titans have attained global acclaim, several lesser-known individuals have achieved extraordinary success in their particular industries.
Their experiences, ranging from innovative manufacturing to real estate, highlight the vast range of industries in which Igbo entrepreneurs have excelled and further cement the Igbo’s image as shrewd business leaders.
These visionary business owners have not only earned significant fortune, but have also had a significant impact on their businesses and the communities they serve. In this article, HowNG delves into the lives and accomplishments of five Igbo billionaires you may not be familiar with.
1. Dr Fabian Nwora
Dr Fabian Nwora is the CEO of the Nwaora Group of Companies, which includes Efab Properties Limited, Syndicate Construction, and Commercial Co Limited. In Kano, he began his commercial career by trading building supplies for his elder brother, Chief Louis Nwora.
He traveled from Kano to Sokoto and then to Abuja on business. When he first arrived in Abuja, he settled in Idu and realized that the neighborhood was distant, so he purchased a block of land for N2000. Nwora quickly realized he was lonely after constructing a four-bedroom apartment with a Boys’ quarter on the plot.
So he bought another land from the villagers for N2500 and erected 10 self-contained flats for N10,000. Nwora, who rented the flat for 6,000, quickly realized that he could recoup the cost of both the land and the building in two years’ rent. That’s when he decided to get into the real estate business.
Dr. Nwora is from Nnewi South Local Government in Anambra State and owns first-class property in Abuja and other regions of Nigeria. Efab Petroleum, Queens Construction and Commercial Co Ltd, Fechton and Sons International Ltd, Top Rank Hotels Ltd, a 3-star hotel with branches in Abuja, Enugu, and Onisha, and First Generation Mortgage Bank are among his other investments.
2. Paulo Okoye
Okoye is the music promoter who manages Kizz Daniel, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Tekno, Iyanya, and Flavour, among others, as the Founder and CEO of Upfronts and Personal Global Management, One Africa Global Management, and One Africa Music Fest.
Okoye, from Anambra state, promotes African music to the diaspora via the One Africa Music Fest. Interswitch and Air Peace are the show’s sponsors. The millionaire, whose net wealth is estimated to be N123 billion, also has a 50% share in Cartel Music. Okoye is rumored to be in a relationship with Nigerian actress Iyabo Ojo.
3. Henry Iyke
Iyke, a friend of Obi Cubana and Emoney, is the CEO of Mermerid International Ltd and the Ifenalaide Foundation.To satisfy the requirements of the community, his foundation employs the Education Support Program, Youth Empowerment Program, Community Development Programs, Welfare, and Health.
Iyke has garnered numerous accolades and recognitions both locally and abroad, and his net worth is believed to be N28 billion. He is from Anambra State and owns vehicles such as the Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV, Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, and Lexus Lx570.
4. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii
Odii is the Chairman and Founder of Orient Global Group. Odii has subsidiary enterprises that add significantly to his net worth of N123 billion.Orient Global Manufacturing, Orient Haulage and Logistics, and Purity Agro Allied Ltd are among them.
The billionaire was appointed as the People’s Democratic Party’s gubernatorial candidate for Ebonyi State in the 2023 gubernatorial election as the CEO of Ultimate Holdings. Odii, who was defeated in the election, is suing to overturn Governor Francis Nwifuru’s victory.
5. Escoba Smith
Escoba Smith, Kingsley Ekeoba, is the CEO of Mukrons Group of Companies Nig. Ltd and Musson Developers and Properties Ltd. Escoba, from Abia State, is worth N24 billion. The self-made billionaire runs Grosvenor Suites & Apartment, a prominent hotel in Gwarinpa, Abuja.