Kings in Nigeria in ancient times were viewed as demigods, they perform functions as God’s representative on earth and the people count on them to communicate with God, they double as the political head of their kingdom, directing the affairs of the people, ensuring the kingdom is ran peacefully and that growth is being recorded in the Kingdom.
As time went by and with the emergence of civilization, different religions came into the country which gradually relieved kings of their religious function, people began to adopt other means to relate and communicate with God. In today’s Nigeria, very few people rely on their kings to direct them on things involving religion.
With colonization and the eventual emergence of independence, kings’ political duties began to reduce, there are now elected political leaders with greater political power and finances that are responsible for carrying out these monarch’s old duties and functions. Any serious monarch that wants improvement and growth in his kingdom has to parley with the political power that is to ensure growth in the kingdom and country at large.
Richest Kings In Nigeria
1. Olubadan of Ibadan
Saliu Adetunji born August 26, 1928, is a Nigerian monarch who currently sits as the 41st Olubadan of Ibadan following his coronation on March 4, 2016. He grew up learning vocational jobs until he took up fashion designing as a means of living after moving into Lagos.
While working as a fashion designer, Saliu delved into musical record marketing until 1960 when he founded his first of three record label imprints called Baba Laje Records which housed notable Fuji music acts including Dauda Epo-Akara and Wasiu Ayinde Marshall. The Olubadan is estimated to be worth about $5 million making him the richest king in Nigeria presently.
2. Dein Agbor
Dein Keagborekuzi, born Benjamin Keagborekuzi Ikenchuku on 29 June 1977 is the Dein of Agbor kingdom, a Nigerian traditional state in Delta State, Nigeria. He was named the world’s youngest crowned monarch in the 1980 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
Following the unexpected demise of his father at age two and a half, he was crowned as the child king of the kingdom of Agbor. He was thereafter flown to the United Kingdom in 1981 and spent about 21 years there. To govern the kingdom, a regent reigned in his stead until 2001 when he returned to take over the governance of the monarchy. The Dein of Agbor is worth $10 million dollars which is about 3.9 billion when converted to Nigerian Naira.
3. Emir of Kano
Aminu Ado Bayero born in 1961, is the 15th Fulani Emir of Kano from the Fulani Sullubawa clan. He ascended the throne on 9 March 2020, following the deposition of his nephew Muhammad Sanusi II.
He attended Kofar Kudu Primary School and proceeded to Government College, Birnin Kudu. He studied mass communication at the Bayero University Kano and went to Flying College, Oakland, California, US. The Emir of Kano is estimated to currently be worth 7.8 billion Nigerian Naira making him one of the wealthiest Kings in Nigeria.
4. Oba of Lagos
Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu born 29 October 1943, is the traditional Oba of Lagos. He studied law at the University of Lagos, receiving his Bachelor of Laws degree. He joined the Nigerian Police Force in 1970 and went on to serve for 32 years rising to the post of inspector-General of police.
He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management and a fellow of the Nigerian Law School. The Oba is currently worth about $40 Million, which equates to about ₦15.6 Billion when converted to Nigerian Naira.
5. Alaafin of Oyo
Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III born 15 October 1938, is the Alaafin, or traditional ruler, of the Yoruba town of Oyo and rightful heir to the throne of its historic empire.
Earlier this year, 2021, the Alaafin (Emperor) of Oyo is Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III who is the 45th Alaafin, celebrated his 50th year on the throne. The Alaafin is a lover of boxing as he was a boxer himself in his early days. The Alaafin is currently worth $40 Million, approximately ₦15.6 Billion.
6. Obi of Onitsha
Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe CFR, MNI born 14 May 1941, is a traditional ruler and the 21st Obi of Onitsha, in Anambra State, South-Eastern Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1966 and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Columbia University. The Obi worked briefly in the United States before he returned to Nigeria in 1972 after the Nigerian civil war and began work with Shell Petroleum Company.
He is currently a trustee, National Traditional Rulers Council and its state Chairman in Anambra State, besides his long tenure as director of Shell Nigeria, Obi Achebe was also, during 1985 – 87, a director of several other Shell companies in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, Liberia, and Angola. This man’s CV is enviable, he had a fantastic career! The Obi is currently worth $50 Million, about 19.5 Billion NGN.
7. Oba of Benin
Ewuare II born October 20, 1953, was crowned the Oba of Benin on 20 October 2016 and is currently one of the richest kings in Nigeria. He is the 40th Oba, a title created for the Head of State (Emperor) of the Benin Empire at some time between 1180 and 1300.
He got his A-Level Certificate from South Thames College, London, graduated with an Economics degree from the University of Wales, UK, and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Rutgers University Graduate School, New Jersey, USA. He worked at the United Nations, also served as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Angola and Sweden, with accreditation to Norway, Denmark, and the Republic of Finland. He was also Nigeria’s Ambassador to Italy. The Oba is currently worth ₦23.4 Billion.
8. Ooni of Ife
Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; (Ọjájá II) born 17 October 1974 is the 51st and current Ooni of Ife. He is the traditional ruler/monarch of the Yoruba kingdom of Ile-Ife.
He graduated as an accountant from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, he is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. The Oba is a strong businessman and has multiple investments in real estate in Lagos. He is currently worth ₦27.3 Billion.
9. Sultan of Sokoto
Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar CFR born August 24 1956, is the 20th Sultan of Sokoto. As Sultan of Sokoto, he is considered the spiritual leader of Nigeria’s Muslims, roughly fifty percent of the nation’s population.
He attended Barewa College in Zaria and proceeded to the Nigerian Defence Academy in 1975 where he was a member of the 18th Regular Course, he had a successful career in the Nigerian Military, retiring as a Brigadier-General. He is currently worth ₦39 Billion.
10. Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom
Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan born in 1950 is a Nigerian monarch, the traditional ruler of the Ugbo Kingdom, a town in Ilaje Local Government, Ondo State, Southwestern Nigeria.
He is an oil magnate and founder of Obat Oil, one of Nigeria’s largest and leading privately-held oil companies. In March 2014 Forbes estimated his net worth as US$300 million. Obateru is ranked by Forbes magazine as the second richest King in Africa and the richest in Nigeria. The Olugbo of the Ugbo kingdom, Frederick Obateru Akinruntan is undoubtedly the richest king in Nigeria.
The Richest King in Africa
The richest king in Africa also doubles as the leader of his country. King Mohammed VI of Morocco is worth 2 billion dollars and he is the only billionaire king in Africa. He inherited the throne from his father in July 1999 and made numerous economic and political reforms which made Morocco one of the most attractive tourist centers in the world.
He makes most of his money as the majority holder of Morocco’s largest investment bank the SNI Investment Company which is valued at 10 billion dollars and also has a large portion of the world’s phosphate reserves.
Gone are the days where kings lived in huts and rode on horses. Kings in Nigeria today live a life of luxury and affluence. The above are just a handful amongst hundreds of rich and influential kings in Nigeria