Nigeria is the largest oil and gas producer in Africa. Most of her revenues are generated from Crude Oil and since it was first discovered has seen many of its people make a career and business out of it. The country has many oil businessmen either in the upstream, middle stream or dowmstream sectors.
In this article, we look at the top 10 Oil bosses in the country and the companies they run
We begin our list with former Nigerian defence minister, Theophilus Danjuma whose net worth is said to be over $720 million. The former Chief of Army Staff is the founder of oil exploration company South Atlantic Petroleum, which owns upstream assets in Nigeria, Republic of Benin, the Central African Republic and Madagascar. He serves as the company’s chairman; his wife, Daisy Ehanire Danjuma is the executive vice chairman.
Prior to forming SAPETRO, General Danjuma spent seven years as the chairman of Agip Africa until 1995.
He also owns real estate plus a stake in Notore Chemical Industries, a manufacturer of urea fertiliser, as well as a stake in NALComet, one of Nigeria’s largest shipping companies. The Oil magnate acquired a substantial stake in NatCom Development & Investment Limited, owners of ntel, a telecoms company.
His national honour as Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON, is the highest award given in Nigeria to a non-head of state.
Chief Mike Adenuga, the founder of Globacom and a billionaire businessman, is the chairman of the board of Conoil. The billionaire businessman owns 74.4 percent of the company. According to Forbes, Mike Adenuga’s net worth is 5.8 billion USD.
The Billionaire has always been a business savvy person since his youthful days. In 1979, at the age of 26, he made his first million-selling lace and distributing soft beverages, as simple as this sounds, that was what gave him his first millions. This launched him into diversifying into other businesses.
The regime of Ibrahim Babangida introduced a policy through which he was granted a drilling licence to partake in Consolidated Oil discovered off the coast of Ondo state in the shallow seas around 1990.
Conoil was the first Nigerian indigenous oil & gas company to strike oil in commercial quantities in 1990 with its OML 103 field in the Ilaje area of Ondo state. Shortly after that success, Conoil struck ‘black gold’ again in its OML 59 field in Bayelsa State. In the mid-90s, these two fields brought in an impressive daily production
Dr Ambrose Bryant Chukwuemeka Orjiako, popularly known as ABC Orjiako is the Chairman and co-founder of SEPLAT, a leading Nigerian independent oil and gas company listed on the London and Nigerian stock exchanges with a strategic focus in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. The trained medical doctor cum business tycoon owns investments in various sectors ranging from oil and gas, shipping, banking and insurance, as well as the pharmaceutical industry.
He has established and managed various companies in the upstream, downstream and service sectors of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. These include Abbeycourt Trading Company Limited, Abbeycourt Energy Services Limited, Zebbra Energy Limited and Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited.
According to Forbes, he has an estimated net worth of $650 million
Alhaji Auwalu is the Chairman and CEO of A.A. Rano Nigeria Limited. His net worth is estimated to be worth $2 billion. He is an investor in the Nigeria oil industry from Northern Nigeria and is a top partner with Nigeria’s major petroleum industries like NNPC and NLNG. He owns over 100 petrol stations across Nigeria.
The company has been enjoying an unprecedented growth in recent years, which is evident in the construction of its 56 million-litre tank farm in Lagos, and the commissioning of its newly acquired vessel, alongside the 20,000 metric tonnes capacity LPG plant in Lagos.
Cole is the Managing Director of Sahara Energy Resource Limited, which he co-founded in 1996 with his friends Tope Shonubi and Ade Odunsi. Sahara Group is a leading privately owned Power, Energy, Gas and Infrastructure Conglomerate with operating companies active in the downstream, midstream, upstream, infrastructure and power sectors.
Sahara Energy started as an oil and gas company whose core business at the time was the trading of excess fuel oil from the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries.
It later moved away from being a middleman to become an established trading house diversifying into storage depots and vessel ownership and building depots in Lagos, Onne and Abuja with a combined capacity of 55,000 metric tonnes and a fleet of five vessels moving products across West Africa. Today, Sahara Energy is a significant employer of labour with a staff strength of just over 300 people.
In 2015, Mrs Ifiejika was featured in Nasdaq’s article on “Top 6 Most Powerful Women In Oil And Gas”; since then, she has moved from strength to strength, becoming one of the strongest players in the oil and gas field. Mrs Ifiejika is indeed an oil tycoon not just in the Nigerian sphere of the industry but internationally. Mrs Uju is the chairperson & CEO of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited in 2007, an oil exploration and production company. Brittania-U is the Nigerian subsidiary of the oil and gas corporation Brittania-U Group.
In 2019, Catherine Uju Ifejika made history as Brittania-U Group acquired the biggest vessel ever used for trading in Nigeria’s cabotage waters. In addition to Brittania-U Nigeria, Uju Ifejika also founded Brittania-U Ghana Limited, Nexttee Oil & Gas Trading Co. Nigeria Ltd., and Data Appraisal Co.
Catherine is the first and so far, the only woman to become chair and CEO of an Upstream E&P Company in Nigeria.
Prince Arthur Eze – Oranto Petroleum
Prince Arthur Eze is the Chairman and CEO of Atlas Oranto Petroleum International Limited and holds positions on various other boards in different sectors across Nigeria. His company has secured significant upstream positions in frontier plays in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Ivory Coast, Chad, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. He is also a notable philanthropist.
His company has various technical partners, from Roc Oil, Pioneer Natural Resources of the USA, Canoxy, Transworld of the USA, LukOil of Russia, Tetra, Noble, Kosmos Energy of the USA, Petronas of Malaysia, DNO of Norway, TransAtlantic Petroleum of the USA and Canada’s Nexen.
He is the founder of Triax airlines – an airline company he began in 1992 stopped operations in year 2000.
Gabriel Ogbechie is the MD/CEO of Rainoil Limited, a strong player in the downstream oil sector in Nigeria. The 56 Year old billionaire has over 30 years of sales, marketing and operations experience in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. In his early years, his career started as a Production Engineer in Kano and then as an Auditor with the professional services firm Price Waterhouse (Lagos) in 1992. This was after he had graduated with B.Sc. in Production Engineering from University of Benin, Nigeria, 1987.
He worked briefly at Ascon Oil Company Limited. Although he incorporated Rainoil Limited in 1994, it was after he left Ascon Oil Company Limited in 1997 that he focused on the business. He commenced operation with N300,000 investment realised from selling his shares on the stock market. Since then, Rainoil has evolved into a fully integrated downstream company with a staff strength of over 700 with operations across 15 states.
The Rainoil boss holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Technology Management from Novena University, Nigeria. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s 57th Owner President Management Program and a pioneer member of the Lagos Business School Owner Management Programme.
Nigerian businessman and philanthropist, Mohammed Indimi is the founder and chairman of Oriental Energy Resources (OER), a privately held Nigerian oil exploration and production company. As of June 2021, his net worth was estimated at US$1.5 billion.
A close ally of prominent figures in the Nigerian military, Indimi founded and now chairs Oriental Energy Resources, an offshore oil exploration and production company.
It currently has three offshore oil and gas products, with daily production of 35,000 barrels. After over twenty years in the sector, Indimi has established himself as the 30th richest man in Africa, with a notable international presence.
Mr. Folawiyo is Chairman of the Yinka Folawiyo Group, an organization with interests in energy, agriculture, shipping, real estate, and engineering. The conglomerate was founded by his father, Wahab Folawiyo, but Tunde took over in 2008 when his father passed.
Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum is a privately held operator founded in 1992.
In June 1991, the company was granted an Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 309 as a Sole Risk Contract under the Nigerian government’s Indigenous Allocation Programme, put in place to encourage the development of a locally owned and operated Nigerian upstream Oil industry.
Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum owns a 60% interest in the Aje Oil and gas field on OML 113, 24km offshore of western Nigeria.
In 2016, Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum announced its first production of crude oil from the Aje Field, the first producing field outside of the Niger Delta in Nigeria.
Tunde has also led several international strategic ventures in petroleum distribution through F. Energy, electrical power in partnership with AES Nigeria Barge Limited, and banking. Tunde sits on the board of MTN Nigeria, Unic Insurance, and Access Bank and was recently appointed Honorary Consul of Barbados in Nigeria.