There are over 300 tribes and ethnic groups in Nigeria. The major tribes, of course, are the Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani.
The truth is that the Hausa and Fulani tribes are two different tribes, for ease of our discussions though, we’ll be lumping them together. Seeing that they have a lot of similarities in culture, tradition and also live in the same part of the country. Also, they have assimilated one another, therefore it is can actually be difficult for an outsider to differentiate them.
Certain tribes are known for some qualities. The Igbos are known for being very business minded, they are traders you’d find them in every major Nigerian town trading in essential goods. The Yoruba’s are the most educated while the Hausa/Fulanis are known for being farmers, both livestock and crops. So of all the over 300 tribes in Nigeria, who’s the richest tribe in Nigeria.
The Igbo tribe has one of the largest populations in Nigeria, and their ancestral home is in the South Eastern part of the country. There are also Igbos in Cameroun and in Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. Though they have a large population, their ancestral home which is made up of the five states of the South East is small. This is the reason why the Igbos don’t stay in their lands because it really can’t support them.
You can’t think of the richest tribe in Nigeria, without considering the Igbos as one of them. The Igbos are a tribe recognized in Nigeria for their business acumen and their affinity for money. In every major market in Nigeria, you’d find them.
In fact, some markets outside of the South East are dominated by them. For example Alaba Market, where electronics are sold, or Idumota spare part market, how about Katangowa in Super, Abulegba where they sell majorly second-hand clothing. These three markets are in Lagos and 90% of the traders are Ndigbo. These are some of the major sources of the Igbo man’s wealth.
The Igbos have been traders since time immemorial. Recently also they have diversified manufacturing and agriculture. Coscharis Maduka has the biggest rice farm in Nigeria and Innoson has the first indigenous car assembly plant in Nigeria.
Ndi-Igbo especially those from Umuahia and parts of Anambra embraced western education on time. Ahead of their counterpart in the South West and the North. The Igbos have always been able to adapt, so they took to education as fish takes to water. At the dawn of independence they occupied top positions in the civil service and the military. this made them well off at that time.
Of course, all these ended in a space of three years. That is the build-up to the Biafra war when they all had to run away and then after the Biafra war when most of them lost all they had. They couldn’t even reclaim their landed properties, nor the money in their bank accounts.
Their love for business and education, informal education though, came into play here. They started trading, innovating and helping each other and then 40 years down the line they have risen again to become one of the top tribes in Nigeria. There are a few billionaires Igbo businessmen, and even much more multi-millionaires. The Igbos also have the fewest number of those in abject poverty in Nigeria. This is because they encourage hard work, entrepreneurship, you know hustle. The fact that close to 70 percent of the private jets in Nigeria are owned by the Igbo should tell you that this is a very rich tribe. These are some Igbo Billionaires,
Cosmos Maduka of Coscharis Motors and Coscharis rice.
Cletus Ibeto of Ibeto Group; dealers in Cement, agriculture and hospitality amongst others.
Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Motors,
Ifeanyi Ubah of Oriental Oriental Oil and Ifeanyi Ubah FC
The Igbo man has some faults though, he can be very arrogant, and they don’t like politics, this has always been his bane. All the Igbo man wants to do is make his money and live in peace.
The Yoruba are found in South Western Nigeria and also in the North Central, places like Kogi and Kwara. You’d also find them in Benin Republic. The Yoruba man loves education, this you can see from the free education which the South Western region had and still had. Due to the fact that a lot of them are very interested in formal education, they occupy a lot of top positions in Blue Chip companies across the country.
They also make up the larger part of the Nigerian population in the Uk, whereas you’d find the Igbo guy hustling in the U.S. The Yoruba’s love politics and take it very seriously. So together with their education and love for politics, they are positioned in places of power and influence.
This is the major source of their wealth; politics and education. With them being placed in high position in commerce means they are well connected, therefore they can help each other and keep the money flowing.
Some very rich Yorubas include
Femi Otedola of Forte Oil
Mike Adenuga of Globacom and Conoil
Oba Otudeko of Honeywell Mills.
The Fulani’s are a fierce tribe, a conqueror tribe. They can be found in the Northern part of the country and then all over West Africa all the way up to Mauritania. The Hausa/Fulani are a nomadic tribe, they rear cattle. They’ve had also ruled Nigeria, at many times. The current President of Nigeria is a Fulani man. And some of the richest men in Nigeria are actually from this part of the country. The Dangotes, the Indimis, the Dantatas are all Northerners. The fact that they have been in the corridors of power both in politics and in the military, they have been able to influence money-making activities in their favour.
Just as the Northerners are very rich, so do they also have the highest level of poor and uneducated amongst them.
Some very rich Northerners include
Alinko Dangote of Dangote Group
Theophilus Danjuma of South Atlantic Petroleum
Abdusalam Rabiu of BUA Group
The Igbos, Yorubas and the Hausas are the richest tribes in Nigeria. However, who’s the richest of these three? Now that’s not very easy to say. There has not been any researching into the net worth of any of these tribes as a whole, except for their high net worth individuals. The fact that you have the most fewer Igbos living below the poverty line, or the fact that they have about 70% of the private jets in Nigeria, could mean that they are the richest in Nigeria.