Nigerian Companies owned by family members

With the rising of self-employment in the country, the rate of family-owned companies is increasing. It is natural for owners of Nigerian companies to trust their own blood more than any other person to run the affairs of their business, while they are around and even when they are gone.

According to Forbes, less than one-third of family businesses survive the transition from first to second generation ownership while about 50% don’t survive the transition from second to the third generation. This could be caused by family politics which most times result in intense conflict leading to a final split of the business.

The younger generations, however, tend to be full of agility, innovation and fresh business ideas, therefore, it won’t be surprising if they do perform better than their predecessor. Let’s take a look at these Nigerian companies where the Chief Executive Officers are sons of the founders, ‘cos lets face it, no one suffers to build a successful company only to hand it over to a stranger.

Nigerian Companies, Founders and CEO’s

1. First City Monument Bank

Founder: Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun

CEO: Ladi Balogun


The senior Balogun founded the First City Merchant (now Monument) Bank in 1979. The bank was the first to be established in Nigeria without government or foreign support. Mr Otunba had resigned from his job at a bank two years earlier to set up FCMB. His son, Ladi Balogun took over the business in 1996 and has since then transformed it from a privately held business to a listed company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2004, and from a merchant bank to a full-service banking group. Having served as Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of First City Monument Bank Ltd was in 2017 appointed to be the Group Chief Executive of the financial institution.

2. Yinka Folawiyo Group Of Companies

Founder: Abdulwahab Iyanda Folawiyo

CEO: Tunde Folawiyo


Abdulwahab Iyanda Folawiyo began what will become a business empire in the future. He founded Yinka Folawiyo & Sons, an import-export enterprise in 1957, which had grown to Yinka Folawiyo Group of Companies, a diverse conglomerate with interests in shipping, banking, construction, agriculture and energy. Iyanda Folawiyo died in 2008 and passed on the mantle of his legacy to his son Tunde.

However, Tunde has been the CEO and Group Managing Director of the group since 1989. Just like his father, his business prowess continues to manifest; he has held roles on the board of several leading companies notable among them is MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd where he is a director and shareholder.

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3. Diamond Bank

Founder: Paschal Dozie

CEO:  Uzoma Dozie


Serial investor, Paschal Dozie, the founder of Diamond Bank (1990), one of Nigeria’s top growing banking tier, resigned as the CEO in 2006. He handed the position to his son Uzoma Dozie, who has spent the last 20 years mastering his trade in the banking industry. The 45-year-old trained chemist has his father’s blood as an advantage and is being watched closely to see if he would do better than his predecessor. He was appointed the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank effective from November 1, 2014. The Central Bank of Nigeria in December 2014, approved his appointment.

4. Elizade Nigeria Limited,

Founder: Michael Ade-Ojo

CEO: Ademola Ade-Ojo


Michael Ade-Ojo who was born on June 14, 1938, founded Elizade Nigeria Limited which is one of Nigeria’s Multi-million dollar companies handling general textile sales in the early 70s. The name Elizade was derived from both his wife’s name, Elizabeth, and his name, Ade. A few years later, the company grew into an automobile marketing company dealing in Toyota vehicles and spare parts in Nigeria.

His strong relationship with his son Demola prompted Michael to make him CEO and Managing Director of the company in 2005.

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Demola Ade-Ojo is well-grounded in the auto business; he holds a first and second degree in Business Administration from universities in the U.S. He also has experience from Toyota Motor Sales Incorporated, where he held several management positions, and that is evident in his successful leadership in Elizade. Today, the family’s conglomerate consists of Toyota Nigeria Limited, RT Briscoe Nigeria, Elizade Auto Land, Classic Motors Limited, Crow Motors Nigeria Limited, Elizade University, Okin Travels Limited, and a host of other investments.