The vicious nature of the Nigerian elections suggests that access to the public purse rather than a willingness to serve might motivate the average Nigerian politician.
The richest Nigerians are mostly public servants or people with links to those in public service. The richest Nigerians are also those with access to lucrative government contracts.
Due to these peculiarities, the richest Nigerians tend to be politicians. Every election cycle sees a new set of Nigerians vying for political positions in a do-or-die affair to get a shot at the elusive national cake.
Below is a list of the richest politicians in Nigeria;
Top Ten Richest Politicians in Nigeria
1. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida GCFR
A former head of state from 1985 to 1993. He was born on the 17th of August 1941. He served in the Nigerian military, where he rose to Chief of Staff in 1984 and subsequently Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces in 1985 after a palace coup that brought him to power.
Some believe him to be the wealthiest politician in Nigeria, past or present. He is also widely believed to be worth well over $5 billion. He is also rumored to have a majority stake in several multinationals worldwide.
Forbes estimated him to be worth $12 billion, which he denied as being baseless.
2. Atiku Abubakar GCON
Born on the 25th of November 1946, served as vice president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 alongside President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He has contested five times for the office of the president of Nigeria, albeit unsuccessfully. He is also rumored to be worth at least $4.5 billion. He has been accused severally of using his position as a public servant (as a customs officer and as vice president) to vastly enrich himself.
A claim he has vigorously denied. This has earned him the number 2 spot on our top 10 richest politicians in Nigeria.
3. Dr. Bukola Saraki
Born on the 19th of December 1962. He studied at the London Hospital Medical College. He served as governor of Kwara from 2003 to 2011. He was elected a senator in 2011 and then senate president in 2015. He is rumored to be worth $ 4 billion allegedly.
He’s been accused of corruption severally, a claim he has categorically denied and even defended in court. This makes him number 3 on our top 10 richest politicians in Nigeria.
4. Bola Ahmed Tinubu
An astute politician that has held sway over Lagos state (the richest state in Nigeria) for over two decades. He was governor from 1999 to 2007. He is rumored to have several investments ranging from oil and gas to real estate.
He is allegedly worth more than $ 3.8 billion. He is one of the top ten richest politicians in Nigeria.
5. Godswill Akpabio
Served as governor of Akwa Ibom State in southern Nigeria from 2007 to 2015 and became the minority leader in the senate from 2015 to 2019. He’s currently the minister of the Niger Delta.
He is rumored to allegedly own several real estate, including hotels. He is alleged to be worth $ 3 billion. This makes him number 5 on our list of Nigeria’s top ten richest politicians.
6. Rotimi Amaechi
The current minister for transport. He served as governor of the oil-rich Rivers state for eight years (2007 to 2015). He is allegedly worth a little over $ 2.8 billion.
7. Dieziani Allison Madueke
A former minister of petroleum resources. She is notably the only woman on this list. She served as minister for petroleum from 2011 to 2015, which was arguably Nigeria’s best year in terms of oil revenue.
She is allegedly worth $ 2.5 billion, which rightly makes her one of the top ten richest politicians in Nigeria.
8. Bala Mohammed
Is a former minister of the FCT and current governor of Bauchi state. He recently made known his intention to run for president. He is alleged to be worth well over $ 2.3 billion.
9. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR
Served as president from 1999 to 2007. His investments from the farm at Ota to several others are allegedly worth at least $ 2 billion.
10. Rabiu Kwakwanso
A two-term governor of Kano State and a former minister of Defence. He is allegedly worth a little over $ 1.8 billion, which makes him number 10 among the top 10 richest politicians in Nigeria.
Over to you. Do you think it is a merit list? Which other Nigerian politician do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comment section below.