Nigeria is one of the few countries in black Africa that retains the tradition of monarchy, despite the presence of a central state. These monarchs are not only known for their great leadership and power, but also for their enormous wealth. Over the years, some of them have accumulated fortunes, partly due to their positions in society. They embody flashy lifestyles with convoys of big branded cars on special occasions.
With an estimated wealth of US$300 million in 2014, Oba Obateru Akinrutan is certainly the richest king in Nigeria. He is the traditional ruler of the Ugbo kingdom in Edo State and was born in 1950. He is also a billionaire businessman who has invested in the oil and gas industry. He is the founder of Obat Oil, a leading oil company with over 40 filling stations. He drives a 2012 Rolls Royce on commission.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar IV, is the second wealthiest traditional ruler in the country. He is the spiritual leader of the entire Nigerian Muslim population, but also co-chairs the Nigerian Council of Traditional Leaders. His net worth is estimated at $100 million. He is ahead of Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Eniitan. The Ooni of Ife, apart from being a king, is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and an associate accounting technician. His total net worth is estimated at $70 million. He owns a 2011 Rolls-Royce Phantom and two luxurious Bentleys.
Eheneden Erediauwa, a traditional leader of the Edo people, comes fourth in the ranking. The UK-educated Eheneden Erediauwa, who graduated from the University of Wales with a degree in economics, also holds a master’s degree from Rutgers University Graduate School in the US. His total net worth is estimated at $60 million with many assets to his name.
Nnaemeka Alfred Ogochwuku Achebe, the traditional ruler of Onitsha in Anambra State, is also on the list of Nigeria’s richest kings and ranks 5th. He has worked in the banking sector for decades and was an executive director of the Shell oil development company. His fortune is estimated at $50 million. He is ahead of Lamidi Olayiwole, who is one of the richest and most powerful monarchs in the Yoruba-speaking community of Nigeria. He was an insurance clerk. He is currently worth a total of $40 million.
Top 10 richest kings in Nigeria
1st Oba Obateru Akinrutan (King Ugbo) $300 million
2nd Muhammadu Abubakar IV (Sultan of Sokoto) $100m
3rd Oba Adeyeye Eniitan (Ooni of Ife) $70 million
4th Eheneden Erediauwa (Oba of Benin) $60 million
5th Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe (King of Onitsha) $50 million
6th Lamidi Olayiwole (Yoruba King) $40 million
7th Babatunde Aremu Akiolu (Oba of Lagos) $40 million
8th Godfrey Emiko (Olu of Warri) $30 million
9th Lamido Sanusi Lamido (The Emir of Kano) $14 million
10th Benjamin Keagborekuzi I (Dein of Agbor) $10 million