Arthur Eze is a Nigerian oil mogul, philanthropist, politician, and the CEO of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, the largest privately held Nigerian exploration and production group. The Igbos call him, ‘ozoigbondu’ of Igboland.
Early Life & Education
Arthur Eze was born on November 27, 1948, in Ukp, Dunukofia LGA, in Anambra State, Nigeria. He studied at St. Augustin Secondary School in 1970 in Nkwere, Imo State. He attended California State University from 1974 to 1978 to pursue a degree in Mechanical and Chemical Engineering after finishing his secondary education.
In 1991, Arthur Eze established the largest privately held firm in Nigeria and a producer and explorer of oil, Atlas Oranto Petroleum. Up to 22 oil and gas licenses are now held by Atlas Oranto in various regions of Africa. The largest owner of oil exploration blocks in Africa, Atlas Oranto is also the largest privately-held oil business in Nigeria. Arthur Eze’s Atlas Oranto has regional offices spread out over the best West African nations, with its main operational location in Lagos, Nigeria, and its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.
Following the liberalization of airlines in Nigeria a year after establishing Atlas Oranto, the business magnate established Triax airlines. Triax Airlines had three Boeing 727s in its fleet and operated out of Enugu Airport before going out of business in 2000. Arthur Eze is not just a successful businessman but also active in Nigerian politics. In his living room, the “All Progressive Grand Alliance” (APGA) political organization was founded. Particularly in Anambra State politics, Arthur Eze is rumored to be a godfather. After Emmanuel Anosike’s annulment in 2005, he supported Senator Joy Emordi. He is rumored to be a supporter of people that he thinks are qualified to lead Anambra State.
Arthur Eze has long been a significant contributor to the People’s Democratic Party. He is well known for hosting fundraisers for candidates, and during the most recent election, he donated around $100 million of his own funds. Eze, who is also renowned for his flamboyance, is said to own five different Rolls Royce models, as well as a private jet, and a Bombardier valued at more than $25 million. The aircraft is believed to be one of the vintage Presidential Air Fleet planes that Eze was able to acquire at auction in 2011.
The first aircraft to touch down at the newly refurbished airport in Enugu, the capital of Enugu State, was Eze’s private jet, which arrived from Europe through Senegal in August 2013. Additionally, in 2013, he gave $12 million at a banquet to support the building of an Anglican Church Youth Development Center in Otuoke, Bayelsa State—President Jonathan‘s hometown. He is renowned for giving to universities, ongoing educational initiatives, and flood relief operations in Nigeria with a $6.3 million donation in 2012.
Arthur Eze is married and has many children. The founder and president of the Prince Osisioma Foundation, Onyeka Eze, is one of Arthur Eze’s children.
Prince Arthur Eze has taken delivery of his latest Gulfstream G450 private jet. The Billionaire business mogul unveiled the luxurious private jet to some of his family members and friends.
The Gulfstream G450 is designed and built by Gulfstream Aerospace, a General Dynamics company based in Savannah, Georgia, United States. It is powered by two Rolls-Royce RB 183 Tay turbofans and it’s designed mainly for private or business use.
The G450 is a designation for the model GIV-4 which was approved by the FAA on August 12, 2004. The G450 started in 2004 and ended in 2017. By the end of the G450 production run, 365 aircraft were produced with prices ranging from $15 to $32 million depending on the features.
The price of Prince Arthur Eze’s Gulfstream G450 private jet ranges from $21,000,000.
Apart from the buzz generated from his recently-acquired private jet, he had bought a Falcon plane in 2015 and also reportedly owns a Bombardier stream valued at $25 million.
Arthur Eze Philanthropic Activities.
- Donation of $12 million for the construction of St. Stephen’s Anglican Deanery and Youth Development Center in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria in 2013.
- Arthur Eze donated $800,000 for the construction of two primary schools in Yirol and Rumbek communities in central South Sudan.
- 10 million naira donated to the elderly people of the Ukpo community.
- The Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder (APLSCD), received the sum of N5 million for a standard sickle cell clinic at the Ukpo, Dunukofia Council Area of Anambra State.
- He was part of those that contributed to the relief needs of the victims of Boko Haram insurgencies, of which he donated the sum of $800,000 at a fundraiser in Abuja.
- Arthur Eze gave 25 million naira of the total funds raised for the ‘Russia 2018’ FIFA World Cup in 2018.
- Eze donated $6.3-million to the flood relief efforts in Nigeria in the year 2013.
- A church in Abagana community benefited from his cheerful giving as he gave them the sum of 20 million naira for musical instruments and renovations in 2015.
- Arthur singlehandedly built a medical research unit for the Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
- He modernized the local market near the Ukpo palace and also created road networks linking the Dunukofia clan with neighbouring towns like Abba, Awkuzu, Ifite-Dunu, and Abagana.
- Arthur constructed the overhead bridge in Ebonyi State with his funds, without asking for government intervention.
Arthur Eze’s Awards and Recognitions.
- ‘Patron of Ndigbo Lagos’ and adoption into the Ndigbo Lagos Patron Hall of Fame at his 70th birthday.
- The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr Umahi, named a major road after Arthur Eze, and also appointed him as the Chancellor of Ebonyi State University.
- Former President Goodluck Jonathan conferred him with the distinguished award of the ‘Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR)’ in recognition of his contribution towards the development of the nation’s economy and humanitarian gesture to the Nigerian people at an event in Abuja on the 14th of November 2011.
- Enugu City Centre Rotary District 9142 named him “Outstanding Citizen of the World” in 2015.
- The Zik Prize in leadership awards honoured him with the ‘Zik Leadership Awards’ in the business category in 2018.
- ‘Africa Value Award’ by Value Reorientation and Developmental Initiative Africa (VARDIAFRICA) in 2018.
In 2020, Nigeria’s minister of labour and productivity, Chris Ngige described Prince Eze as ‘a fair weather politician’ who befriends “any government in power,” and uses his wealth to intimidate, oppress and brutalise the downtrodden people in Anambra State communities, bordering his Ukpo hometown in his land grabbing spree”.
Ngige said: “Arthur Eze is a fair weather politician, a political turncoat and an apostle and Commander-in-Chief of members of “any government in power,” (AGIP) in Nigeria”.
In 2022, the oil mogul fought tooth and nail to recover what was stolen from him by two of his nephews, Olisaebuka Okechukwu Eze and Onyeka Nnadozie Eze, the Administrative and Finance Managers respectively, who were accused of criminal breach of trust and diversion of funds to the tune over N1 billion belonging to the firm.
Consequently, he petitioned the EFCC; and at the end of the trial that lasted about two years, the businessman won.
The anti-graft agency, in the course of the investigation, initiated forfeiture proceedings against the two company officials before Justice I. M. Buba of the Federal High Court, Enugu, which granted an interim order of forfeiture of the said properties, directing the defendants to show cause why the properties should not be finally forfeited.
In September 2022, Arthur Eze, in Abuja forcibly evicted his late brother’s son, Prince Olisa Eze and his entire family from their house through a purported execution order which the police refused to show Prince Olisa Eze and his wife upon request.
Arthur had in November 2020 dragged his two brothers before a Federal Capital Territory High Court after he accused them of fraudulently diverting the sum of N1.5 billion from his business for their personal use.
According to multiple sources, Arthur Eze’s net worth is estimated to be $5.8 billion.
Arthur Eze is not listed on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index or Forbes Magazine as his wealth is yet to attract the attention of net worth watchers.
He is said to own different models of Rolls Royce whose unit price is valued at N567 million.