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Forbes

Meet the Forbes top 10 richest women in Nigeria and their net worth

Despite Nigeria’s status as one of the world’s poverty capitals, it boasts 9100 high-net-worth individuals and 7 billionaires. Among these elites are women who helm multi-million dollar conglomerates both domestically and internationally.

To honor these influential African leaders, we’ve assembled the list of the ten wealthiest women in Nigeria for 2024, along with their estimated net worth as reported by Forbes.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that while there are high-net-worth women in Nigeria, there still exists a significant wealth disparity between men and women in the country.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report of 2023, Nigeria was ranked 130th on the wealth disparity index, highlighting the considerable gap between men and women in terms of economic resources and opportunities.

According to the report, gender gaps in wealth accumulation are often attributed to the underlying gender gap in the labor force. This includes factors such as disparities in wages, access to employment opportunities, and representation in higher-paying industries and positions.

Although the margin between the male and female labor force in Nigeria isn’t wide and has improved with increased labor participation of women over the years, women still face relatively lower wages compared to men across all occupations.

Additionally, the underrepresentation of women in high-ranking positions means that their investments and savings, crucial drivers of wealth accumulation, are often lower than those of men.

10. Diezani Allison Madueke

Diezani Allison Madueke is a prominent politician and one of the wealthiest women in Nigeria, boasting an estimated net worth of $500 million. She holds the distinction of being the first female to serve as the President of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). Her tenure in Nigerian politics spanned from 2007 to 2015, during which she held key ministerial positions including Minister of Petroleum Resources, Minister of Transportation, and Minister of Mines and Steel Development.

Madueke’s career commenced at the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, where she initially worked in the estate’s area of operations in the Lagos office, also serving as an architectural consultant. Over time, she ascended the ranks, eventually becoming Head of Civil Infrastructure. In 1997, she transitioned to the role of Head of the Corporate Issues and Crisis Management Unit. Following the completion of her MBA program at Cambridge, she was appointed Lead Joint Ventures Representation Adviser in 2004, further solidifying her position in the corporate world.

Madueke achieved a significant milestone in 2006 when she was appointed as an Executive Director of Shell, marking her as the first woman ever to hold such a position in Nigeria. However, her career has been marred by allegations of corruption and various financial misconducts, with accusations amounting to billions of dollars.

9. Ngozi Okonji Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian-American economist, is one of the wealthiest women in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $550 million, according to Forbes. She currently holds the prestigious position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization, making history as the first woman and African to do so.

Prior to her role at the WTO, Okonjo-Iweala served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and enjoyed a distinguished 25-year career as a development economist at the World Bank. During her tenure, she rose to the position of Managing Director for Operations from 2007 to 2011.

Additionally, Okonjo-Iweala is actively involved in various corporate and organizational boards, including Danone, Standard Chartered Bank, and Twitter, where her expertise and insights contribute to strategic decision-making.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is engaged in various development organizations, including the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, One Campaign, GAVI: Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, Rockefeller Foundation, R4D: Results for Development, African Risk Capacity (ARC), Earthshot Prize, and several others.

8. Stella Oduah

Stella Oduah, a Nigerian Senator and former Aviation Minister, holds the eighth position among the Forbes richest women in Nigeria, boasting an estimated net worth of $600 million. She is renowned as the founder of Sea Petroleum & Gas Company Limited (SPG), an independent marketer of petroleum products in Nigeria.

The seasoned politician commenced her career at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in 1983 following the completion of her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Accounting and Business Administration respectively in the United States.

Stella is also a matron of several companies, including Sea Shipping Agency Limited, Rotary Engineering Services Limited, and Tour Afrique Company Limited. However, her career has been marked by numerous controversies, ranging from corruption allegations to accusations of falsifying certain degrees.

7. Mo Abudu

Mosunmola Abudu, the visionary behind Ebonylife Television and Films, has secured her place among the Forbes top 10 richest women in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $650 million. Forbes has acclaimed her as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman,” while The Hollywood Reporter has recognized her as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Global Television.”

Founded in 2006, Ebonylife Television & Film, under her leadership, has become a prominent entertainment company dedicated to creating captivating movies and entertainment content. The company’s reach extends beyond borders, with its programming airing in over 49 countries across Africa, as well as in the UK and the Caribbean.

EbonyLife TV made its debut broadcast on July 1, 2013, airing on Multichoice’s DSTV Channel 165. Within less than a year of operation, the network quickly gained traction, ranking among the top 25% of the most-watched channels on the DStv platform. Building on this success, EbonyLife TV launched a premium, multi-screen video-on-demand (VOD) platform aimed at catering to Africans in the diaspora, further expanding its reach and impact.

6.Bimbo Alashe

Bimbo Alashe, known as the Furniture Tycoon, secures the sixth spot among the Forbes top 10 richest women in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $750 million. She is the visionary founder and CEO of Leatherworld Furniture, renowned as one of the largest furniture stores in the nation.

Alashe embarked on her entrepreneurial journey in a modest furniture store in Lagos, but her ambitions knew no bounds. Determined to expand beyond local confines, she propelled her business into a formidable enterprise.

Leatherworld has witnessed steady growth over the years, broadening its reach and operations from Lagos to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Additionally, the company has commissioned assembling and manufacturing plants in the Calabar Free Trade Zone, aimed at delivering world-class furniture to the Nigerian market.

5. Stella Okoli

Dr. Stella Okoli, with an estimated net worth of $800 million, earns her place among the Forbes top 10 richest women in Nigeria. She serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company in the country.

Stella’s journey in the pharmaceutical world began as a ward/clinical pharmacist at Middlesex Hospital in London, followed by a stint at Boots UK (formerly Boots the Chemist Ltd). Upon returning to Nigeria, she worked briefly at Massey Children Hospital in Lagos before joining the pharmaceutical manufacturing firm, Park Davies Nigeria Limited.

Stella’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to establish a small retail pharmacy in Shomolu, Lagos, where she imported pharmaceutical drugs into the country. This venture later evolved into Emzor Pharmaceuticals in 1984. Emzor Pharmaceutical has since become a prominent indigenous pharmaceutical company, boasting a portfolio of over 50 products.

4. Fifi Ejindu

Fifi Ejindu stands as an architect, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, ranking among the wealthiest women in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $850 million, as reported by Forbes. She holds the position of founder and CEO of Starcrest Group of Companies, which stands as one of the largest architectural firms in the country.

Starcrest Group of Companies operates across three key subdivisions, focusing on real estate, building and designing, and investment opportunities. Its subsidiaries include real property management, construction, design, oil and gas, project management, as well as youth empowerment and investment ventures.

Notably, Starcrest has played a pivotal role in attracting foreign investment to Nigeria. With the assistance of former Nigerian President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the company facilitated investment from fifty prominent businessmen from the U.A.E across various sectors of the Nigerian economy. Additionally, the company manages numerous residential and industrial villas across the nation, further solidifying its impact and influence in the Nigerian landscape.

3. Daisy Danjuma

Daisy Danjuma, a former Senator from Edo State, secures the third position among the Forbes top 10 richest women in Nigeria, boasting an estimated net worth of $900 million. She is a distinguished attorney and is widely recognized as the spouse of General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, the Defense Minister.

Danjuma’s legal expertise and astute business acumen have contributed to her remarkable success and significant wealth. Her entrepreneurial endeavors and strategic investments have propelled her to the upper echelons of Nigeria’s wealthiest individuals.

Daisy Danjuma embarked on her professional journey as an Executive Assistant at Nigerian Acceptances Limited (NAL) from 1977 to 1978. Subsequently, she assumed the role of Company Secretary and Legal Adviser for the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) from 1982 until 1992.

Her illustrious career extended into politics when she was elected as a Senator in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Edo South from 2003 to 2007. During her tenure, she served diligently, advocating for her constituency’s interests.

Beyond her political career, Daisy Danjuma has played influential roles in various public and private organizations. She served on the board of South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO), a leading petroleum company, as a director. Additionally, in 2019, she was appointed as the Chairperson of May & Baker Nigeria PLC, a prominent pharmaceutical manufacturing company, further showcasing her leadership and expertise in diverse sectors.

2. Bola Shagaya

Hajia Bola Shagaya, the CEO and founder of Bolmus Group International, secures the second position among the Forbes top 10 richest women in Nigeria, boasting an estimated net worth of $950 million. She is a Nigerian business tycoon who has amassed her wealth through diverse business ventures.

Bola Shagaya leads Bolmus Group International, a multifaceted Nigerian conglomerate with investments spanning various industries, including oil & gas, real estate, banking, and communications. Through her astute leadership and strategic investments, she has established herself as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

Her career commenced at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), where she initially worked in the auditor department. Transitioning from the banking sector, she ventured into entrepreneurship, starting with importing photographic equipment and establishing her first company, Konica Photographic Equipment.

Since then, Bola has emerged as one of the most prominent entrepreneurs on the continent. She has founded several successful companies, including Fotofair (Nigeria) Limited, a renowned photographic lab with over 30 branches nationwide.

Additionally, she established Practoil Limited, a leading exporter and distributor of base oils in Nigeria, and Voyage Oil and Gas Limited, specializing in crude oil trading and export. Furthermore, the company serves as a distributor and independent marketing company for petroleum, oil products, and gas, solidifying her position as a key player in the Nigerian business landscape.

1. Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunsho Alakija, the 70-year-old business magnate, holds the title of the richest woman in Nigeria, with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes. She is also the founder of several African multinational companies, including Famfa Oil, Rose of Sharon Group, and others.

Alakija, who is also the wealthiest woman in Africa, amassed her fortune as a major stakeholder in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry. Her career began in 1974 as an executive secretary for Sijuade Enterprises in Lagos, after which she gained experience in various corporate and banking firms before venturing into entrepreneurship.

She launched her own fashion-design company, Supreme Stitches, which later evolved into Rose of Sharon House of Fashion. In 1991, she founded FAMFA Oil Limited, which was granted the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) to operate on a 617,000-acre oil block located in the Niger Delta.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Alakija Mansion in Ikoyi, Lagos State, stands as the most expensive house in Nigeria, with an estimated value of N10 billion.

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About Alex Itoro

Music and movie pundit

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