Education is considered by many Nigerians to be the key to having a wealthy and successful life and so it is generally assumed that without formal education, a person will remain poor or unimportant.
But there are have been many exceptions to the rule, who prove that formal education is not the only way to be successful.
Without further ado, here are five Nigerian billionaires who did not have formal education or complete schooling experiences:
1. Cosmos Maduka:
If you have an iota of interest in the automobile industry then you definitely will have heard about Cosmos Maduka, the founder of Coscharis Group – the sole distributor of BMW cars in West Africa.
The 60-year-old automobile entrepreneur dropped out of elementary school and became an apprentice at a tender age of seven and continued for seven years without pay with the shop floor he was trading on doubling as his bed at night.
Today, with those dark days firmly behind him and an estimated net worth of $500 million, Maduka spends most of his time on the road, or in the air, building new partnerships for his various entrepreneurial pursuits. The company also has interests in real estate, banking, technology, medical equipment, petrochemicals, elevators and agriculture. On average, the company sells more than 400 cars per month with prices around N150 million ($420,000) for the top end of its luxury fleet, which includes Rolls-Royce, BMW, Jaguar, Range Rover and Ford.
2. Folorunsho Alakija:
Ranked not only as Nigeria’s richest woman, according to Forbes ratings, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija is Africa’s richest woman. The wealthy billionaire who as at 2012 is estimated to be worth $2.5 billion revealed recently that she never attended a university.
She made this revelation at the United Nations International Youth Day held at the University of Lagos. The founder of Rose of Sharon motivated the audience by saying that she never allowed a lack of university education to suppress her dreams and ambition.
3. Olorogun Michael Ibru:
One of the largest conglomerates in Africa, Ibru Organisation, was founded by none other than Olorogun Michael Ibru.
Ibru, a prominent Nigerian businessman and pioneer frozen fish distributor in Nigeria, only a school certificate to his name, he graduated from Igbobi college in 1951.
4. Razaq Akanni Okoya:
Razaq Okoya, the founder of Eleganza Group, did not allow the lack of a formal education to stop his quest for success.
He may have only a primary school certificate from Ansar-un-deen primary School, Oke popo, Lagos but he did not allow that stop him from building an organisation with an incredible market span across West Africa.
5. Orji Uzor Kalu:
The 59-year-old billionaire founder of SLOK Holding as well as the founder of both Daily Sun and New Telegraph Newspapers does not also have formal education.
It is not for lack of trying though as he got rusticated from the University for taking part in the “Ali Must Go” demonstration turned riot. The university later reconsidered its decision and he was called back but he rejected the offer and ventured into entrepreneurship instead.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.
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