#Y100: These are the 100 Most Influential Nigerians alive today

Segun Agbaje

The Guaranty Trust Bank boss has taken to the task of building the brand into a premier national institution and under his watch, GTBank has enjoyed some of its most profitable years. Agbaje’s GTB is the undisputed market leader in game-changers like online banking, SMS banking, and mobile apps. He has also invested in entrepreneurs via the SME Market Hub, the GTB Food & Drink Fair and the GTB Fashion Weekend.

Yinka Edward

No one lights up the screen quite like Yinka Edward and any director worth their salt- from Kunle Afolayan to Izu Ojukwu- recognises that in Edward, they can get the perfect mix of skill and professionalism. A graduate of the Nigerian Film Institute, Edward has received cinematography credits for classic films like 76, and Confusion Na Wa as well as for the iconic MTN I don port advert.

Bright Ekweremadu

Bright Ekweremadu is the Managing Director of the Society for Family Health, the biggest and most important indigenous non-governmental organisation in Nigeria. With office presence in about 25 states across the country, SFH, as led by Ekweremadu has doubled down on several public health programs and interventions especially in the fields of HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, and other infectious diseases.

Chikwe Ihekweazu

The recently appointed chief executive of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) boss has about 20years experience as a public health physician and epidemiologist working in various field locations around the world. His work with EpiAfric, a public health consultancy firm providing expertise in health project design, research, health communication and postgraduate professional development has led to initiatives like the Health Leadership Academy amongst others.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

After her second stint as finance minister came to an end, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala did not go quietly into the good night. A world renowned global thinker and economic development expert, Okonjo-Iweala was appointed a member of the international advisory panel of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). She combines this with her roles as a senior adviser at Lazard and Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Yemi Kale

Yemi Kale is the man responsible for the much-lauded recalculation of the country’s GDP figures that saw Nigeria briefly become the biggest economy in Africa. An alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government leadership in government programs, Yemi Kale is presently the Statistician General of the federation and the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria (NBS) which he leads has been pushing out real-time and reliable data on the state of the economy.

Godwin Maduka

A respected physician, Godwin Maduka is the CEO and medical director of the sprawling Las Vegas-based Pain Institute & Medical Centre. A philanthropist who has stayed in touch with his roots, Maduka is building a state of the art 15-storey building in his native Umuchukwu, a rural community in Anambra, which he is gifting to the state to start a college of medicine and centre for research for its University.

Mgbajah Ogadinma

An employee of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Ikeja, Mgbajah Ogadinma this year, became the first female to qualify as a cardiothoracic surgeon in West Africa. Committing to a gruelling training period that lasted seven years and spanned three continents, Ogadinma has dedicated her working life to fixing the heart ailments of Nigerians.

ynaija-businessChidi Ajaere

Chidi Odiase Ajaere is the chairman and chief executive officer of the GIG Group with GIGM.com ( God is Good Motors) as one of her subsidiaries, headquartered in Edo state. Taking over from his late father, Deacon Edwin Ajaere, the founder of the transport company, Chidi has been able to drive the group into the modern age through rapid expansion, technologic inclusion and construction of modern, state of the art terminals in different parts of the country.

Akin Alabi

Otunba Akin Alabi is the founder and chief executive of NairaBET, Nigeria’s first and biggest online sports betting portal, headquartered in Lagos. Licensed by the Lagos state lotteries board, Alabi, a former internet marketer has enjoyed first mover status in the world of online betting, stoking and benefitting from this market and has seen his company which he founded in 2009 grow to over 100 outlets around the country, employing hundreds more.

Aliko Dangote

Despite a weaker Nigerian currency and strife in the northern part of Nigeria, Aliko Dangote is still Africa’s richest man by far, even after a net worth decline of nearly $5 billion in the past year. In 2015 his Dangote cement, Africa’s largest cement producer launched new plants in Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Zambia.

Chijioke and Ngozi Dozie

Brothers Ngozi and Chijioke Dozie are the brains and brawns behind Café Neo, a chain of coffee stores modelled after Starbucks that attracts the upwardly mobile Nigerians and corporate and business types. Inspired by the Cafe Coffee Day success story in India, the brothers are taking advantage of their first mover status to rapidly seize a considerable market share before the arrival of the Western brands.

Leo Stan Ekeh

Multi-millionaire Leo Stan Ekeh’s new business venture, Yudala, a premium online shopping store, which made its entrance last year has already become a big hit, beating other existing online stores with a combination of aggressive campaign, celebrity endorsement, and efficient delivery services. Yudala is the first company to combine an e-commerce platform with offline retail stores located nationwide.

Tony Elumelu

Entrepreneur and investor Tony Elumelu owns a controlling interest in Transcorp, a publicly traded Nigerian conglomerate with interests in hospitality, agriculture, oil production and power generation. The Hiers Holdings’ boss through various initiatives like the Tony Elumelu Foundation, is committed to leadership, entrepreneurship and community development.

Mary Remmy Njoku

Mary Remmy Njoku is having a banner year. Her Rok Studios, an arm of iROKO which she runs as a production and original content company, has grown incredibly, launching a free-to-view 24-hour channel for all Sky subscribers on Sky TV in the UK. Rok on Sky will effectively take Nollywood to perhaps its biggest audience yet and Mary Remmy Njoku is at the forefront.

ynaija-technologyKola Aina

If you find yourself excited by Ventures Park, the trendy and aesthetically sound incubation/start-up hub that has taken Abuja by storm, then you have Kola Aina to thank. A serial investor, Aina is also among other things, CEO of Emerging Platforms Ltd, a software, and technology firm that specializes in developing innovative technology-based solutions in education, national security, governance and healthcare sectors.

Obi Asika

The media overlord has been known to bridge the gap between traditional and new media with his Storm 360 label. Asika’s grand vision which has seen him operate the Nigerian franchise for Social Media Week has been impressive to behold as year-in, year-out, he and his team draw out the most important people from all walks of life for a week of exchanging ideas and creating sparks.

Mitchell Elegbe

Mitchell Elegbe aka Mr. Cashless founded Interswitch in 2002. Under his focused leadership, the company has diversified its business, broadened distribution channels, expanded into new markets and delivered strong growth in revenue and profits. Interswitch is presently a billion Naira revenue company and powers most cashless transactions in the country.

Jason Njoku

iROKO Partners’ Njoku is undeniably one of the most powerful men in Nigeria’s business space.  Since inception, iROKO has been able to raise an unprecedented $13 million in venture capital funding. With over 500,000 registered subscribers and a peerless collection of local material, iROKO keeps growing from strength to strength. Njoku’s company Spark also invests in space leaders like Hotels.ng and ToLet.

Tayo Oviosu

Tayo Oviosu might as well be the king of mobile money. His company, Paga which only last year secured about $13million in Series B financing remains focused on continuing its rapid expansion across Nigeria. With over 10,000 agents across the country, Paga has a significant market base for its banking partners to leverage. The company also has over 3,800 businesses using its services to accept and make payments and over 5.5 million users on the platform.

Comments (0)

  1. @Chude Being the platform owner doesn’t mean you deflect your influential status.

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