Meet the billionaires of Nigeria’s Tech Space

Austin okere

Nigeria’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector is probably not as big as what is obtainable in Silicon Valley.

We do not have the likes of Google, Facebook or Apple with their grandeur and imaginative products. However, we do have our own tech giants, companies that have pioneered Nigeria’s tech age for over a decade and are perhaps as old as some of the famous names in Silicon Valley today.

These companies have largely dominated the tech support space riding on Nigeria’s local content policy to service other industries looking for foothold into the jet age.

Their venture led by some of the early pioneers in Nigeria’s tech space have produced local billionaires who have in their own rights made massive amount of money selling tech on a b2b basis.

We focus on some of the early pioneers of tech in Nigeria who have tech companies listed on the Nigerian stock exchange that have valuations running into billions of Naira.

Here is a rundown of their profiles and what they are worth using the number of shares they own. All data is obtained from the most recent annual report of these companies.

*Cutoff date for measuring valuation is April 6, 2018.

Austin Okere

Austin Okere is the founder and Vice Chairman of  Computer Warehouse Group (CWG). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Information Science from the University of Lagos and an MBA withIESE Business School Barcelona, Spain.

Austin is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council and a Fellow of the Nigeria Computer Society and the Institute of Directors of Nigeria.

Okere, in February this year, founded the Ausso Leadership Academy.

He has 590,129,287 shares in CWG Plc. As at our cut off date, CWG was trading at N2.54 per share. This gives him a net worth of N1.49 billion.

Abiodun Bamidele Fawunmi  

Abiodun Fawunmi holds a Master’s of Science (Computation) Degree from the Victoria University of Manchester and a BSc in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Ife.

He served as a Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Information Technology Services Section of the United Nations Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and as the Chairman of GENCOM between 2004 and 2011. He was the Head of Infrastructure Services Section (MTIT Division) at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

He has also played significant roles in multinational organizations such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Coca-Cola.

Fawunmi stepped down as chairman but still remains on the board of CWG Plc. He holds 456,077,754 units of shares at CWG Plc

As at our cutoff date, the stock traded at N2.54. This gives him a net worth of N1.1 billion.

Phillip Obioha  

Mr. Obioha was trained as an electrical engineer, with specialization in digital electronics at West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia in USA. He also holds an MBA from the International Graduate School of Management (IESE), Navarra, Spain.

He has more than 20 years of cognitive experience in the Information Technology industry.

He is a fellow of the Institute of Directors. He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) USA, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS).

Obioha is the current chairman of CWG Plc and once served as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).

He holds 456,077,754 units of shares at CWG Plc. He also has a net worth of N1.1 billion.

Notable mentions

These are individuals who have either stepped down as board members or are deceased.

Estate of Florence Seriki

Florence Seriki was, until her death on March 6, 2017,  the founder/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Omatek Ventures Plc.

She was a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, Nigerian Computers Society (NCS) and the Institute of Directors.

She attended the University of Ife ( now Obafemi Awolowo University) where she obtained a  Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.

The company’s most recent financial statements are for the 2013 financial year. As at then, Seriki held 1,718,032,920 shares in the company amounting to 52.75% of its issued share capital.

Omatek last traded at N0.50 before its shares were placed on suspension. Her holdings would thus be valued at N859 million, which ultimately will be controlled by her estate or beneficiaries.

Felix Ohiwerei

Felix Omokhoje Aizobeejo Ohiwerei has degrees from Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Ibadan and University College, Ibadan (now University of Ibadan).

He had a long and distinguished career with Nigerian Breweries Plc, spanning over three decades and culminating in his appointment as Managing Director, and then Chairman.

Ohiwerei is an accomplished boardroom guru and has sat on the board of several firms listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange including Unilever Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Breweries, and Fidson Healthcare Plc.

Ohiwerei was on the board of Etranzact International till his retirement in January 2018.

Ohiwerei’s holding in the firm as at December 2016 was 233,000,000 shares, through an indirect holding vehicle, Multi Harvest Properties Limited.

At our cutoff date, this amounts to a net worth of N1.1 billion.

Valentine Obi

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer science, a Master’s degree in computer information system, and an MBA from Instituto de Empresa, Spain. He is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School.

He recently stepped down following allegations of financial fraud perpetrated using the company’s platform.

Valentine Obi had 600,082,000 shares in the firm as at December 2016 through an indirect holding of Sybase Nigeria Business Solutions. Using our cutoff date, this amounts to N2.8 billion.  (Nairametrics)

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One Comment on “Meet the billionaires of Nigeria’s Tech Space”

  1. This is a very lazy write up!
    Tech billionaires are made from selling innovative solutions not government contracts or buying and selling to big firms because of your connections.

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