Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s net worth is estimated at $4 billion, and he is considered one of the most influential and the second richest politician to come out of Nigeria. In several quarters, it is believed he is worth much more after declaring in a 2018 political rally that he was richer than Osun State, one of Nigeria’s Southwest States.
Best known as the “Asiwaju” or “Jagaban,” Bola Tinubu has entrenched himself so firmly in the political scenes of not only Lagos State but to other parts of Nigeria, and so, his net worth is rumored to be solely dependent on it. However, it appears that Jagaban has many sources that contribute to his jaw-dropping net worth.
Bola Tinubu’s Net Worth Accrued From Various Sources
Bola Tinubu is one of the living legends whose names can never be flushed out in the history of modern Nigeria. The Jagaban himself has been tagged as a ‘Pillar in Yorubaland and Nigeria’ by Ekiti Governor Ayodele Fayose, and it’s all thanks to his influence in almost every aspect of Nigeria’s growth. Therefore, it would not be surprising if his income sources touched every part of the nation’s economy.
Known sources of Tinubu’s net worth include the following:
- Private business ventures
- Real estate Acquisition
Tinubu’s Journey to Financial Success began with the Private Sector
Bola may today be known as one of the big political powerhouses of Nigeria. Still, his success journey goes way back to his early career in Nigeria’s private sector. Best known as the son of a famous business mogul, Abibatu Mogaji, popular as the Iyaloja of Lagos State, Tinubu grew up in a wealthy home with no lack. After bagging a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 1979, he didn’t hesitate to get himself a fitting job.
He worked for a couple of American companies, including Deloitte, Arthur Andersen, GTE Services Corporation, and Haskins & Sells, before returning to his home country to establish a business and begin his political career. Before returning to Nigeria, Tinubu revealed in an interview with The News Magazine in 2016 that his financial success started with his career with foreign companies.
He said he made more money from travel allowances he receives from companies like Deloitte, where he worked. However, his financial game-changer was his job for an accounting and auditing system for a joint venture between National Oil and Aramco in Saudi Arabia. He recounts that after returning to the US from an auditing assignment to Saudi Arabia, he was welcomed to a bonus package of $850,000 and salaries worth $1.8 million.
With these, he bought a house, invested the rest there, and stayed back to work for several more years before returning to Nigeria. Meanwhile, Tinubu finds it necessary to note that life before his foray into these foreign business ventures was not so easy as many would think. He recalled working as a cab driver and even a security guard before reaching where he is today.
After many years working abroad, Bola Tinubu relocated to his home country, where he worked as a senior auditor and treasurer for Mobil Oil Nigeria (now ExxonMobil Nigeria). Tinubu later resigned from his position to get fully into politics.
How Tinubu Built His Net Worth Through Politics
Bola Tinubu officially began politics in 1992 when he ran for and was elected Federal Senator representing Lagos West under the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP). During his tenure as a federal senator, Tinubu held various key positions within the ambit of the Senate. A most renowned position he held was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Finance, Appropriation, and Currency – a foremost committee of the Senate.
However, his tenure as a senator was short-lived as Nigeria’s 3rd republic was overthrown by the military, headed by General Sani Abacha. After a bit of struggle to return the country to democracy through a pro-democratic group called the National Democratic Coalition, Tinubu went on exile and returned in 1998 to begin his political journey again.
In 1998, he contested for governor of Lagos State under the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and was elected and sworn in as second executive governor of Lagos State on May 29, 1999. While he was governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu was lauded for investing a lot in education and infrastructure. On May 29, 2007, he handed power to his successor, Babatunde Fashola.
What Was Tinubu’s Salary as Lagos State Governor?
A sitting governor in Nigeria earns N2.223 million monthly as a basic salary. This, of course, excludes all the allowances that include travel, medical, and vehicle allowance. When the basic salary and allowances are added, State governors in Nigeria earn as much as N11.540 million monthly.
Although this was last reviewed in 2009, it is believed that past governors like Tinubu made huge wealth during his administration. Going by the stipulated salaries, a governor who spent eight years in office is expected to take home over N1 billion. Even after their tenure in office, most officeholders receive huge amounts as pension. This excludes other benefits and commissions from projects they agreed to during their time in office.
For the likes of Bola Tinubu, who served eight years as Lagos State governor (1999 to 2007), his earnings helped him build the fortune he now enjoys. After leaving office, Tinubu ensured that he remained relevant to the political system of Lagos State by playing some godfather role to all the politicians that occupied key political positions in the State.
Gaining more political power in more Southwestern States outside Lagos, Tinubu initiated the merging of various fragmented opposition parties from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), into a bigger party known as the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The party defeated the then ruling PDP and brought Muhammadu Buhari to power in 2015. Tinubu is currently the National Leader of the APC.
Tinubu Makes Money Through His Private Business Ventures
While politics constitute a major part of Bola Tinubu’s fast-growing net worth, there is also no doubt that he has lots of businesses that fetches him more income. Though not yet proven, it is believed that Tinubu owns most companies and business firms in Nigeria, or he has some shares in them.
He undoubtedly owns businesses that cut across different economic sectors, including real estate, oil, and gas, hospitality, media, agriculture, etc. While the politician has debunked rumors of owning most businesses, he has admitted ownership to some. These businesses include:
- Oando PLC
Recognized as the largest locally owned oil-producing company in Nigeria, Oando PLC is reportedly owned by Tinubu and managed by his nephew Adewale Tinubu. The company has its headquarters located on Victoria Island Lagos and has branch offices in Abuja, Dubai, and London.
It is one of Africa’s largest integrated energy solution providers, with an equity of over 162 billion Naira. The Nigeria-based integrated energy solutions provider comprises two companies (Oando Energy Resources and Oando trading) and operates through four segments: Exploration and production (E&P), Supply and Trading, Gas and Power, and Corporate and others.
- Lagos Oriental Hotel
This is a 5-star luxurious hotel that occupies a 4,734 square meter property situated in Admiralty Way, Victoria Island, Lagos. Although the ownership of the premium facility remains controversial, Tinubu has been associated with it for many years. However, attacks on the facilities in the aftermath of October #EndSARS protests in 2020 saw the Western Metal Products Company (WEMPCO) Group claiming ownership of the over 170 room-hotel.
There were also claims about the hotel being up for sale in 2019 for $250 million. Though it is not clear if it was finally sold out, the Lagos Oriental hotel is worth over N120 billion, with its cheapest suite going for ₦60,000 per night, while the presidential suite is N400,000 for a night.
- Tejuoso Ultra Modern Market
While Balogun Market remains the biggest market in Lagos, Tejuosho market is named as one of the most beautiful and well-organized markets you could see in the country. The ultra-modern market located at Ojuelegba, Lagos, comes with a fire station, a police post, and a parking space that can take about 800 vehicles and shop space not fewer than 4000 are said to belong to the famous politician, Tinubu.
Although he is yet to admit ownership of the market, his daughter (Iyaloja General Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo)’s visit to the market in 2016 could have helped to further fuel the rumor. The Tejuosho Ultra-modern Shopping Centre is managed by Tejuosho Property and Development Company, while MRI Investments Limited manages the Tejuosho Shopping Complex.
- TVC Television and Radio
Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the sole owner of the Television Continental (Nigeria) TVC, which has its head office in Lagos and other annexes in Abuja and different parts of Nigeria and Africa. The 24 hours television and radio began operations in 2012 and airs on British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSkyB) in the UK, Multi TV in Ghana, Startimes in Nigeria, and Naspers Ltd. (NPN)’s DStv. The private company is noted to be one of Tinubu’s greatest investments that have helped generate more income for him.
- The Nation Newspaper
Tinubu once disclosed that he is a financial investor at The Nation Newspaper, even though many believe he owns the media outfit. The Nigerian daily news publisher was founded in 2006 and is published by Vintage Press Limited. It’s headquartered in Lagos and has Adeniyi Adesina as its editor. Although the amount he makes from his investments in the newspaper company is unknown, it is believed to be in millions of Naira.
- Ikeja Shopping Mall
Situated in the heart of the major district Ikeja – alausa, home to the state government and its parastatals, is the Ikeja shopping mall that allegedly belongs to Tinubu. The mall is said to generate billions of Naira annually. However, Tinubu’s proceeds from his stake in the mall are yet to be disclosed to the media.
- Ogudu Foreshore Scheme
Established in 2006 with headquarters in Mushin, Lagos State, Nigeria, Ogudu Foreshore Scheme is located on the foreshore of Ifako-Lagos, along the OworonshokiOgudu axis of the Third Mainland Bridge. It is a housing scheme initiated by the politician and valued at N15 Billion.
- Lekki Concession Company
Lekki Concession Company is popularly described as Bola Tinubu’s brainchild. The construction company is specifically designed to design, finance, rehabilitate, and maintain the Lekki Toll Road under a 30-year concession. They have gained several contracts from the Lagos State Government, which has added to Tinubu’s wealth.
Collection of Tinubu’s Real Estate Acquisitions
In addition to gaining a handful of income from his businesses, Bola Tinubu also got himself some mouth-watering income from real estate. Today, he is the biggest landlord in Lagos, with properties portfolio worth several billion. A collection of real state acquisitions would include the following:
- 10,000 hectares of Lakowe land near Abijo at Ibeju-Lekki land, currently valued at about N80 billion.
- Beechwood Estate in Ibeju-Lekki.
- 14-hectare Parkview foreshore land known as the Ikoyi Estate Foreshore located along the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
- Fara Park Estate located in Sangotedo along the Lekki Epe expressway.
- Fishery landing jetty in Badore valued at N500 Million.
- The Ogudu foreshore scheme valued at N5 Billion.
- Another 3.8 hectares of land at the Lagos State Fisheries Office in Victoria Island valued at N3 Billion.
- The Ilubinrin housing estate, formerly used for Lagos State Civil Servants and Judges until 2007, worth N2.5 Billion.
- The former Julius Berger yard at Oko Orisan, Epe valued at N450 Million
Apart from the ones listed above, Tinubu reportedly owns a 5-bedroom detached house on one acre of land at number 4 Oyinkan Abayomi (formerly Queens) Drive, Ikoyi. The apartment was Lagos State Governor’s guest house since 1979 but now belongs to the Asiwaju.
The property’s certificate of occupancy valued at N450 million was signed and released to him by Fashola in 2007, shortly after he assumed office. Another great asset belonging to Tinubu is his residence at 26 Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi. This was presented as Oando Plc Guest House, which he later bought from Oando.
Tinubu Also Owns Properties Outside Nigeria
While it is not yet clear how many properties the Asiwaju has outside Nigeria, several media reports have linked him with some properties in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Among them is the mansion located at 32 Grove End Road, London, where he purportedly receives members of Nigeria’s elite political class, including President Muhammadu Buhari.
Although the property has been subject to money laundering investigation as exposed in the worldwide Pandora Papers investigation, the expanse 6,975 sq. ft. property in the wealthy Westminster neighborhood of London is now reportedly owned by an offshore company belonging to Tinubu’s relation, Gboyega Oyetola.
A Sneak Peek Into Tinubu’s Luxury Car Collection
Bola Tinubu’s net worth affords him the luxury lifestyle he currently enjoys. In addition to living in magnificent mansions, he also owns some first-class luxury cars. One of them is a Mercedes G-Wagon, worth N600 million and built with bulletproof, bomb detector apparatus, and surveillance cameras. Besides that, it is speculated that Tinubu owns about 30 luxury cars. Notable among them are:
- A Toyota Prado SUV worth N50 million
The 7-seater, 2.8L diesel engine SUV is specially armored and goes for about N50 million. It is tagged Tinibu’s favorite car because it saved him from a bomb attack that would have claimed his life in 2015. His first Prado was severely damaged by the bomb and was later replaced with a new one gifted to him by former Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi.
Tinubu’s Prado offers protection and comfort and is made for taste without compromising safety. Tinubu is said to use this for personal and political purposes.
- Land Rover Range Rover worth N40 million
Tinubu owns the latest Range Rover brand worth about N40 million. He has a fleet of them, which he employs for different occasions. The latest of these is his armored Range Rover Sentinel. Besides the aforementioned armored vehicles, Bola Tinubu is believed to have various other luxury automobiles inside his garage.
However, few people can get access to his home, and from a collection of pictures of him in some of the exotic cars, it is said that Jagaban’s fleet of cars includes Porsche, Chevy, Lexus, BMW, Ford, etc.
Tinubu’s private Jet is worth over ₦21.7 Billion
As a status symbol, Bola Tinubu owns more than just a garage filled with luxury cars. He also owns a private jet. The Bombardier Global 6000 Express Jet is fitted to taste and makes up a part of his acquisitions. Worth about $80 million, Bola often uses the jet to get around more comfortably. The private jet can fly long journeys across countries without refueling. International flight with this jet also needs one stop only.
Money-related Controversies Involving Bola Tinubu
Bola Tinubu has not been spared from the beam lights as the politician has been involved in several controversies. Among them are money laundering, tax evasion, and other corrupt acts. Below are some of the latest money-related scandals Tinubu has been involved in.
The Bullion Van Scandal
Like every other politician in Nigeria, Tinubu has been involved in corruption scandals, including the said bullion vans found in his residence at Bourdillon Ikoyi in 2019. While the content of the van remains a mystery to the public, rumors had it that the vans either contained ballot papers for the 2019 election or a huge amount of money meant to buy people’s votes.
Responding to the wide allegations of corruption, Bola Tinubu lashed back at his attackers, claiming that he is entitled to spend as much money as he desires as long as the funds are his and not the government. He said:
“… I am committed to my party. So, even if I have money to spend on my premises, what is your headache? If I don’t represent any government agency and I have money to spend, if I like, I give it to the people free of charge as long as it is not to buy votes.”
Money Laundering/Drug Trafficking Accusation in the United States
While Politics and business are fronted among Tinubu’s major sources of wealth, several reports also link him to some illegal practices. In 2015, a U.S. online publication, The Daily Beat, mentioned Tinubu in a drug investigation. The report says that the political leader was being investigated by the US security agencies, including DEA, FBI, and IRS, for his involvement in a federal drug racketeering.
According to the report, it led Tinubu to forfeit nearly half a million dollars to the U.S. Treasury Department after he admitted in court papers that he was involved in laundering proceeds of drug trafficking. An affidavit sworn to by one Kevin Moss, the Special Agent with the United States Internal Revenue Service, recounts how he concluded that the funds in Tinubu’s different accounts were proceeds of narcotics transactions in violation of the U.S law.
He also came up with a verified complaint about forfeiture of Bola Tinubu’s monies held in various bank accounts in the country. However, in a recent report, Tinubu denied ever being arrested, questioned, or indicted for drug crimes in the United States of America. The political leader claimed that all the allegations were smear campaigns that have been in the works against him for years.
The N160 Billion Tax Fraud Saga
While money laundering remains on the top list of Tinubu’s scandal, his tax evasion case remains alarming. In 2020, the elder statesman was linked to tax evasion cases and other money-related corrupt practices. This was contained in a writ of summons deposed at a Lagos high court by Dapo Apara, a Nigerian chartered accountant.
The 40-page writ of summons accuses Tinubu of using a consulting firm handling the computation, tracking, and reconciliation of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in Lagos State for “massive corruption purposes, including tax evasion, bribery of government officials, diversion of funds” and money laundering.
While Tinubu is yet to address the issue, the consulting firm reacted to the matter, dismissing it as “untrue.” The firm also accused Mr. Apara of making baseless cases against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to create sensational headlines to deflect attention from his criminal activities.”