Monday, August 28, 2017

Forbes 2017 List of 10 Richest Nigerians

1. Aliko Dangote: Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Nigeria, Africa and of course the richest black man in the world. In 2014, he ranked as the 24th richest man in the world but has since then fallen to positions below 100 due to Nigeria’s poor Naira.

Net Worth: $12.5 billion.

2. Mike Adenuga: Mike Adenuga is the second richest man in Nigeria with interest in Oil and Gas and telecoms. He is the owner of Globacom, Nigeria’s second biggest telecom operators and the chairman of Conoil.

Net Worth: $10.5 billion.

3. Femi Otedola: He is the CEO of Zenon Oil and Gas and Forte Oil Plc. He has interest in real estates amongst other sectors.

Net Worth: $2.3 billion.

4. Folorunsho Alakija: Folorunsho is a business tycoon who has interest in fashion,oil and printing industries. She is the richest Woman in Nigeria and the richest woman of the African descent in the world.

Net Worth: $2.1 billion.

5. Theophilus Danjuma: Former Nigerian Chief of Army staff between 1975 to 1979. He is the current chairman of Athlantic Petroleum.

Net Worth: $1.7 billion.

6. Abdusalam Rabiu: Abdusalam is the founder of the famous BUA Group. A conglomerate active in sugar refining, cement production, real estate and port operations. In September 2015, his Group signed a $600 million deal with a chinease cement equipment service provider Sinoma Internation Engineering to construct a second production line located in Edo State Niger Delta, Nigeria.

Net Worth: $1.5 billion.

7. Tony Elumelu: A philanthropist and founder of the Transcorp and Heirs Holdings. He was the chairman of United Bank for Africa.

Net Worth: $1.4 billion.

8. Orji Uzor Kalu: The former governor of Abia State. He is the founder and chairman of Slok Holding. A conglomerate with interest in shipping, banking, oil, trading, manufacturing and the media. He became a real business man at the age of 19 after being expelled from a Nigerian University for allegedly spearheading a series of student riots.

Net Worth: $1.1 billion.

9. Jim Ovia: Jim Oviah is the founder of Zenith Bank. He is the chairman and the largest shareholder with a stake of almost 10%. He also manages a mobile telecom Visafone which has over 3 million subscribers.

Net Worth: $1 billion.

10. Oba Otudeko: Oba Otudeko is the Chairman and founder of the honey well group. He is also the chairman of FBN Holdings Plc. His operations spread across oil and gas, flour minning, real estate, and marine transportation.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


My dear citizens,

I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.

2.     In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.

 3.     In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

4.     Nigeria's unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

5.     Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.

  6.    I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.

  7.     This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

8.     The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.

9.     The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

10.   Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.

11.     Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.

 12.     Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against;

·       elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets

·       kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes,

·       in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.

13.   Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of;

·       economic security,

·       political evolution and integration

·       as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.

14.     I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.

15.    Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

Monday, August 21, 2017


In 1971, after my primary school education, poverty drove me to Lagos to find something to do to help my poor mother and siblings. Civil War devastated my father’s thriving business in Onitsha and we all suffered from 1966 to 1970 when the war ended.
With four wives and 34 children, my parents could not cope any more. My brothers and sisters dropped out of school to learn a trade. Because I was a little ‘sharp’ in school, my father encouraged me to finish primary school. It is needless here to recall how I and few of my siblings survived to finish our primary education. Consequently when my mates were taking Common Entrance Examination, I did not because there was no need to do so. No money, no three square meals a day, no good clothing, just nothing.
My mother encouraged me to travel with friends to Lagos. We landed at Sawmill Ebute Metta where I worked as a sawdust carrier at seven Shilling, six Pence a day. My job was to pack sawdust from the Machines to the Lagoon from 7am to 5 pm daily. I did this for nearly two years and later I became a danfo conductor plying Idioro/Ajegunle axis. From there I joined my brother in a supermarket business at Ijesha Road, Surulere. I did this until I returned home during Christmas in December 1973. I came home to meet my friends I was beating academically in school trying to make me feel and look inferior. Again I also noticed while in Lagos that if I fail to go to school, I may end up doing menial jobs meant for illiterates till the end of age. I decided to go back to school to add values to my life. But where are the school fees? There was nothing. How I managed to get the first school fee to start and what happened thereafter will take a book to do the narrative.
In 1979 I left Okongwu Memorial Grammar School Nnewi with Division One and was the school Head Boy. I taught in the same school as an Auxiliary Teacher from 1979 – 1980. In 1980 I got admission to read Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nigeria Nsukka and graduated in 1985. I did my Youth Service in Ogun State and thereafter I returned to Lagos in 1986 to begin a journey to where I am today. I walked the streets of Lagos from 1986 – 1988 until the then military government headed by Gen Ibrahim Babangida set up the National Directorate of Employment, (NDE) to encourage graduates to start their own businesses. I got a loan of N27,500, using my NYSC discharge Certificate and my Degree Certificate as collateral at 9% interest rate. I set up a Restaurant Business in Western Avenue, Lagos and hit an instant success. While doing this business, I spread my nets also to the auto spare parts market in Lawanson, Surulere where my brother thrives as a very successful importer. I opened a shop there and got a boy to take charge of the business. From there, I entered into Auto dealership in Western Avenue Surulere. I paid back that loan in full and collected back my certificates.
In 1995, I wrote my first book, Igbos: 25 Years After Biafra. I also established National Vision Newspapers in 1997. In 1999, I wrote my second book: Heroes of Democracy. In 2004 I co-authored 2007: The IBB Option with my good friend, Peter Claver Oparah. One thing led to another. I became an opinion molder, a public commentator, political analyst, writer and an advocate of the peoples’ cause. I bought my first car in 1990 and became a millionaire in 1995 after launching of my first book.
In 2006, the then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, made me the pioneer General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure & Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) and I was there for almost 10 years. I served Asiwaju’s government for the remainder of his days as Lagos Governor. I served His Excellency Governor Babatunde Fashola for 8years. In September 2015, His Excellency Governor Akinwunmi Ambode moved me to Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority Apapa as Chairman. I became the Publicity Secretary AC, ACN, and APC since late 2006 till date. By the grace of God I have been the Chairman of Conference of APC Publicity Secretaries (CAPS) in Nigeria since 2014.
These positions and exploits have put me in the limelight in Lagos and Nigeria since the early 90s, and God has been kind to me. These offices have opened the doors of the rich and poor to me. They have opened the inner ways,byways, subways, expressways and highways to the corridors of power in Nigeria. I have been connected to the pace setters, policy makers, the movers and shakers of blue chip companies, newsmakers and the powers that be in Lagos. The magic of Lagos, the beauty of Lagos, the dynamics of Lagos, the glory of Lagos, the momentum of Lagos, the capacity, capability and the strength of Lagos touched me in no uncertain terms since 1986 (32years ago) till date…..and still counting.
My sojourn in Lagos for 32 years has also opened my eyes as a historian as to what Lagos has done for my people from South East. Today as I write this Igbo do not have a quarter of what they have in Lagos in the South East in terms of investments. As I write this book, Igbo are the second most populous ethnic group in Lagos. Today, Igbo exert tremendous influence and capacity in Lagos and its success story. Few years back two prominent sons of Nnewi told me in confidence that they did not know they have been wasting their time in Nnewi until they came to Lagos. They said Lagos opened doors for limitless opportunities and endless possibilities. I have seen people come from other parts of Nigeria to hit gold mine in Lagos.
I got married in 1990 and all my five kids are all Lagosians and so are millions of Igbo kids born in Lagos. They have lived most of their lives in Lagos, schooled in Lagos, worked in Lagos, made friends in Lagos and have keyed to the Lagos success story. They know any other place except Lagos. Lagos is their home. This is not limited to Igbo alone but all other ethnic groups and of course Yoruba from outside Lagos. Lagos is a melting pot, a mega city, a cosmopolitan beehive. Lagos controls the heartbeat of Nigeria, its wealth, its influence and its strategic socio-economic and political hub. Lagos changed my thinking and original thoughts, Lagos emboldened me, Lagos motivated me, Lagos challenged me and Lagos made me. I can say no less. This is the story of Lagos, my Lagos. It is still unraveling, not for me alone but millions of other Nigerians, to the glory of God."
Joe Igbokwe

My Lord, Why Not Close Down The Courts? By Abdulrazaq O. Hamzat

Dear Sir,
My name is Abdulrazaq O Hamzat, an applicant in a Fundamental Human Rights suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division. My colleagues and I at the Congress Of NOUN Students (CONS) ran to court in 2015 to search for justice, when we were unjustly violated and rusticated by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for exercising our rights to freedom of Association and Expression as contained in Sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended).
My Lord, we had thought that the court, as they say, was the last hope of the common man. However, our experience since 2015 only tells us that the court is nothing other than a platform for the powerful to not only break the common man and ridicule him, but to also drain his resources. As a matter of fact, a court is the weapon of the highly placed people to permanently subjugate common man.
My Lord, since our matter first came up for hearing on 26th January 2016, it has been adjourned more than 10 times, all at the instance of either the Open University or the court itself. This was in spite the affidavit of urgency duly attached, signifying the urgency of the matter, not minding Article 36 (paragraph 1) of the 1999 Constitution which provides that every determination of civil right cases must be done within reasonable time. It’s almost 2 years my lord and the time is yet to be reasonable for judgment. The hearing is being started all over again.
May I inform my lord that between when we filed this suit and now, the University has held two convocations ceremonies and most surprisingly, the matter had also been reserved for judgment on two occasions, first on 18th April, 2016 and 26th January, 2017 and on both occasions, no judgment was ever delivered. This was due to application to “arrest judgment” filed by the University’s counsel.
On 26th January 2016, when students from all over the country were waiting for the final judgment for the second time, the judge, Hon C.M.A Olatoregun whose obvious intention was to protect the powerful over the weak did the unthinkable. She ruled in favor of NOUN application to “arrest the court’s judgment’’ under the guise of fair hearing.
My Lord, the same Open University that has done everything to frustrate judgment, that has often deliberately absented themselves from court, that has shown disregard for lay down procedures as contained in the provisions of Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009), that has knowingly or unknowingly filed wrong responses and outright lied before the court were granted favor of arresting judgment under the illusion of fair hearing. My Lord, who in this world is unaware that application to arrest judgment is unknown in Nigeria’s jurisprudence?
My Lord, can we say Justice Olatoregun is unaware that “arrest of judgment’’ is alien to Nigeria’s judicial system? Most definitely not my lord.
This application was deliberately initiated to waste our time, so we can either run out of resources to start the process afresh or to abandon the case altogether. It is a familiar tactics often used by management of Institutions to dissuade student leaders from protecting their lawful rights and interests, but unfortunately, through the help of the court.
My Lord, it is not hidden that should this matter be dragged on and left undecided till 100 years from today, NOUN suffers no damage whatsoever. As a matter of fact, this is what they desire and are set out to achieve. However, every single day that passes by without judgment being delivered takes away some parts of our lives, which can never be regained. Time is the most precious thing in this world my lord. It is more valuable than money. We can make more money, but we can’t make more time. And when the court is wasting our time, it is
wasting our lives. (May God forgive the court and its judges), but I doubt if he will ever do so. So, as the court continue to waste our time and resources on a suit, whose judgment should have been delivered almost a year ago, let it be known that the court is wasting away our lives and no remedy can ever compensate for our wasted lives. Nigerian courts, as it operates today do not uphold any law, neither do they do justice.
My Lord, we are not unaware that the court is not a place for justice, but more surprisingly is the fact that, it is also not a place for law, as obviously, judges are not guided by any known law. If a judge can rule in favor of an unknown application, in which the Supreme Court has consistently ruled against, that tells us that no law is binding.
With this ruling in favor of arrest of judgment, all we have done since 2015 has amounted to nothing. The unjust party is benefiting from their injustice through the help of the court, while we, the victims are still suffering from their act of impunity.
My Lord, students are being violated all across Nigerian institutions and student leaders are being rusticated for standing for their rights. In University of Lagos, Tai Solarin University, University of Port Harcourt etc, those violating students suffer no consequence for their abuses.
My Lord, can the court ever do justice? Even if we start the process over again and the judgment is eventually delivered, probably after another year, can we call that justice?
My Lord, what is the essence of justice, if it doesn’t remedy injustice? What is the essence of judgment, if the powerful can arrest it? What is the essence of court, if it only benefits the rich?
May I also inform my lord that, the lawsuit between NOUN Law graduates and Council of Legal Education, NOUN, NUC and Office of Attorney General of the federation whose final judgment had been reserved for 27th January 2017 was also not delivered. The presiding judge, Hon. B.O Quadri was suddenly transferred from Port Harcourt to Abuja few days to the judgment without notifying the students.
My Lord, the transferred judge is at liberty to personally deliver judgment on concluded matters or transfer case files to his successor to read the judgment, but none of this happened. As the judgment was not delivered as scheduled, it implies that the students who submitted to the legal system may perpetually be kept in the court with different technicalities.
My Lord, the dangerous implication is that having waited patiently since 2015 in the court and finally got the judgment but was technically quashed for whatever reasons, the new judge may restart the case afresh which may linger again as evident in our judicial system.
What message is the court sending out to Open University students, who have maintained the culture of not taking laws into their hands? Two lawsuits file since 2015 by students of NOUN lasted till date. Two judgments reserved for 26th and 27th January 2017 were both refused to be delivered.
My Lord, should NOUN students, like others in conventional Universities begin to explore other means of seeking justice, like protest and violence, don’t you see the possibility of chaos
considering our large population and wide spread across the country?
My Lord, patriots often defend the law, as contained in the Constitution despite knowing the authorities have power to hurt them, but they persevere for the good of the society and are aware that, though the authorities might be against them, the law is always behind them.
If the constitution no longer have meaning like it is proving to be in Nigerian courts, if courts can no longer defend the law, if judges are now in court to help the unjust benefit from their injustice, let the court come out and say so publicly, so that patriots can no longer risk their lives under the guise of defending their rights in accordance with law.
My Lord, if the court can no longer make pronouncement in defense of law, if they have resolved to aid injustice perpetrated by those in authority against helpless students, let it be known that whatever the students do in their moments of frustration is solely to be blamed on the court.
My Lord, to demonstrate the importance of Fundamental Human Rights, it takes just 7 working days for a United States Federal judge, James Robert to stop the travel ban executive order made by the new U.S President. While the U.S authorities wanted to delay the judgment, the court knew it would amount to injustice to delay a Fundamental Human Rights suit filed by citizens.
My Lord, the essence of the judiciary is to check the excesses of other arms of government, not to aid or join them in those excesses.

In conclusion my Lord, I will end this letter by telling you a story.
A Nigerian family relocated from Germany back to Nigeria few years ago. They enrolled their 6 year old daughter in a private school in Kwara State, Nigeria. In her first day in school, the primary 2 pupil saw the class teacher violate a pupil. She couldn’t watch without taking a step to correct it. She walked into the proprietor’s office to register her complain and demanded that the teacher be sacked with immediate effect. The proprietor summoned the teacher and after confirming her guilt, she was cautioned and transferred to another class.
When the 6 year old girl’s mother came to pick her at closing hour, she was informed about what her daughter had done that day. The mother asked the girl, why did you report your class teacher to the proprietor? The little girl responded with enthusiasm that the teacher abused a classmate and that she reported to the proprietor for the teacher to be sacked.
My Lord, to protect human rights violation, perpetrators must not be allowed to benefit from their abuses. Even children in civilized nations fight for their rights, but here in our country, the court’s protection of the powerful has made Nigerians docile in terms of standing for their rights.
My Lord, why not close the courts, if they cannot uphold Nigeria’s constitution in the interest of all Nigerians?
Yours Sincerely,
Abdulrazaq O Hamzat