|Full Name||Olusegun Matthew Okikiola ogunboye Aremu Obasanjo|
|Date of Birth||March 5 1937|
|State of Origin||Ogun State|
|Political Position||Former President|
|Source of Wealth||Politics, Agriculture and Commercial ventures|
Obasanjo’s net worth places him among the wealthiest politicians in Nigeria, earning him recognition as one of Africa’s affluent leaders. With his prominence as a world leader and his extensive involvement in both the military and politics, Obasanjo has become a respected figure in Nigeria. Serving as the military head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as the President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, he has achieved much in the country’s history.
Not only is Obasanjo known for his political achievements, but he is also admired for his unwavering dedication to his homeland. As a Nigerian nationalist, he consistently strongly supports his country’s interests. Besides his Political achievements, Obasanjo has also significantly contributed to the agricultural sector through his large-scale farming business.
According to our estimation and research, Obasanjo’s net worth is estimated to be $1.7 billion, making him one of the richest politicians in Nigeria. In this blog, we will look into Obasanjo’s remarkable journey from his biography, businesses, political career, and all about him.
Obasanjo’s Biography and Education
Olusegun Obasanjo was born in Ibogun Olaogun in what was known as British Nigeria. His birthdate is March 5, 1937. He was the oldest among his eight siblings. In his early years, he worked in agriculture, but when he turned 11, he started attending school.
He initially attended the Baptist Day School in the Owu area of Abeokuta. Later, in 1952, he moved to the Baptist Boys’ High School in the same town. Government funds partially covered the cost of his education. Obasanjo excelled in his studies and became an enthusiastic member of the local Boy Scouts during his time in school.
When Olusegun Obasanjo was 20 years old in 1958, he joined the Nigerian Army. He went to Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, England, for six months to receive training as part of the Short Service Commission. By the time he was 25, he became a captain, and at 27 in 1965, he became a major and led the Engineering Unit of the Nigerian Army. He could buy properties in Ibadan, Kaduna, and Lagos with the money he earned.
When he was 31, during the Nigerian civil war in 1969, Obasanjo took command of the 3rd Marine Command from Colonel Benjamin Adekunle. He initiated “Operation Tail Wind,” which was crucial in quickly ending the civil war with the surrender of the Biafran forces in 1970. This made Obasanjo a war hero and a well-known figure in Nigeria.
When Obasanjo was 37 years old, he was appointed the second-in-command to Brigadier Murtala Muhammed as the Chief of Staff at Supreme Headquarters after a military coup on July 29, 1975. A year later, at 38, Obasanjo became the head of state following Muhammed’s assassination on February 13, 1976.
During his time as the head of state, he established the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), organized the World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77), introduced the controversial Land Use Decree, submitted the N20 currency note in honour of his late friend and predecessor General Murtala Muhammed, and confirmed the movement of the Federal Capital from Lagos to Abuja as part of the Murtala-Obasanjo policy program. These were just a few of his many accomplishments.
Before leaving office in April 1979, Obasanjo promoted himself to general. On October 1, 1979, he peacefully transferred power to Shehu Shagari, elected as the civilian president. This made Obasanjo the first military head of state in Nigeria to hand power peacefully to a civilian government. Throughout his tenure, Obasanjo worked to establish Nigeria as a prominent leader in Africa, and the country’s influence in the continent grew under his leadership.
Olusegun Obasanjo became the leader of Nigeria on February 13, 1976. He held this position for three years and then resigned in October 1979. He established many essential things as the leader before peacefully handing power to the democratically elected president, Shehu Shagari.
Obasanjo returned to politics after taking a break from politics for twenty years. In 1999, he ran for president in Nigeria and won the election. He was sworn in as the president of Nigeria. At the end of his first term in 2003, he was elected again for a second term. Obasanjo achieved many noteworthy things as president and significantly contributed to the country.
It is well known that Nigerian politicians are among the wealthiest in the world today, and Obasanjo is no exception. Although the amount of money he earned as the president is private, he once had an annual basic salary of N1,405,882.00.
As a former president and former leader of the country, Obasanjo receives a monthly allowance of N350,000, along with other benefits and incentives.
Obasanjo lived a lifestyle with multiple wives and relationships with different women. He married his first wife, Oluremi Akinlawon, in London in 1963, and they had their first child, Iyabo, in 1967. Iyabo had a close bond with her father. However, Oluremi was unhappy because Obasanjo had relationships with other women, and she claimed that he mistreated her.
They ended up getting divorced in the mid-1970s. During that time, Obasanjo entered into a common-law relationship with a reporter named Gold Oruh, who worked for NTA. They had two children together. In 1976, Obasanjo married his second wife, Stella Abebe, whom he met while visiting London. They had three children. Obasanjo also had a partner named Lynda Soares, a businesswoman; unfortunately, she was killed by car thieves in 1986.
Tragically, on October 23, 2005, Obasanjo’s wife, Stella Obasanjo, the First Lady of Nigeria, passed away the day after undergoing a tummy tuck surgery in Spain. In 2009, the doctor who performed the surgery, referred to as ‘AM’, was sentenced to one year in Spain for negligence and was ordered to compensate Stella’s son with approximately $176,000.
Obasanjo preferred to keep his relationships with these women private. Some of his children felt resentment because he didn’t give them any special treatment or privileges and because he didn’t treat their mothers well.
Olusegun Obasanjo is known for his philanthropic efforts and involvement in various charitable initiatives. After leaving office as the President of Nigeria, he dedicated himself to several causes to improve the lives of people in Nigeria and beyond. Here are some notable philanthropic endeavours by Obasanjo:
The Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation
Obasanjo established his foundation, the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, which focuses on addressing critical challenges in healthcare, agriculture, youth empowerment, and education. The foundation aims to uplift communities and foster sustainable development across Africa.
Education and Youth Empowerment
Obasanjo has advocated for education and significantly promoted access to quality education. He has supported scholarship programs, established educational institutions, and worked to enhance educational infrastructure in various regions of Nigeria.
Obasanjo has been actively involved in healthcare initiatives, particularly combating diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, and polio. He has campaigned for disease prevention, promoted immunization programs, and supported initiatives to improve healthcare facilities and services.
How He Makes His Money
Obasanjo has engaged in various activities to generate income and sustain his financial resources. Here are some ways through which Obasanjo has made money:
1. Book Sales
Obasanjo is a prolific author and has written several books. His books, covering various topics, including politics, governance, and personal experiences, have been published and sold to the public. The sales of his books contribute to his income. Here are a few of his books:
- My Watch
- My command
- Not My Will
- Africa through the eyes of a patriot
- Making Africa Work: A handbook for economic success
- This animal called man
- Africa in perspective
- Democracy Works: Re-Wiring Politics to Africa’s Advantage
2. Speaking Engagements
As a former president and prominent figure in Nigerian and international politics, Obasanjo is often invited to speak at conferences, events, and seminars. He receives honorariums and fees for his speeches and appearances.
3. Business Investments
Obasanjo has invested in different sectors, including agriculture, energy, and telecommunications. He has been involved in business ventures and partnerships, which generate revenue and contribute to his wealth.
Olusegun Obasanjo owns a lot of shares in two different companies. One is Transnational Corporation Plc., also known as Transcorp, and the other is Unipumps Investments Company Limited.
Transcorp is a big company that does many different things and was created in November 2014. Some important people who work there are Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Otunba Funso, Femi Otedola, Mr Jim Ovia, and Sam Nwanze. Obasanjo has $200 million shares in Transcorp.
In addition to Transcorp, Obasanjo also has 7,300,000 shares in Unipumps Investments Company Limited. This company got a big contract from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to make and supply prepaid energy meters all across the country. The contract was worth billions of dollars.
4. Agricultural Ventures
Obasanjo Farms started as one farm in 1979 and has since expanded into multiple farms across Nigeria. These farms provide food and create numerous job opportunities for Nigerians. Agricultural experts manage them and produce various agricultural products, including livestock and multiple crops. Here are the farm companies and their branch locations:
- Commercial Broiler farms
Obasanjo commercial broiler farms have Ota, Abeokuta, and Alomaja, Ogun State branches. These farms have dedicated land for cultivating vegetables and forage grass. Additionally, they operate farms for snails, pigs, rabbits, and fish. OFN Alomaja, with an incubator capacity of 1,300,000, can raise over 356,000 broiler chickens for sale. The layer farm in Ibokun Ola-Ogun accommodates 1,260,000 layer hens and produces a remarkable 20,000 crates of eggs daily, supplying a steady food source.
- Pureline ObaMarshall Breeders
This farm is situated on the Abeokuta-Igboora road in Nigeria. Pureline ObaMarshall specializes in breeding different types of chickens, including over 53,000 Marshall pure line chickens, Oba giants, turkeys, Nicolas breed broilers, and Marshall parent stocks.
They obtain breeding samples from top breeding companies worldwide and begin the process by placing eggs in an incubator. The chickens at GDS farm are raised with full feathers to help them adapt to different weather conditions, and the strongest and most adaptable ones are selected as grandparent stocks for producing day-old chickens sold to customers.
- Obasanjo Farms Nigeria LTD Owiwi
This branch of Obasanjo Farms specializes in breeding animals such as quails, ducks, ostriches, and turkeys. It is equipped with a package plant, pulp-and-paper mill, and a factory dedicated to processing different animal products. This enables the farm to efficiently handle the packaging and processing of the animals and their related products.
- Ota Chicken Processing Plant
The Ota chicken processing plant is renowned as one of the country’s top and largest chicken processing companies. With the aid of a cold room, the plant has the capacity to process 2,500 chickens every hour.
These chickens undergo processing and packaging primarily for the popular fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlets. The plant plays a vital role in meeting the high demand for processed chicken products.
- Obagayan Farms LTD
Obagayan Farms LTD, situated in Kaduna, focuses on supplying chickens for sale in northern Nigeria and beyond. The farm operates a feed mill capable of producing ten metric tons of feed per hour, ensuring a steady supply of nutritious food for the chickens. Their incubator can hold 1,080,000 eggs, enabling efficient hatching processes. In addition to chicken production, the farm specializes in producing eggs for meat consumption.
- Ibad Oil Palm Plantation Calabar
This particular branch started in 2001, and it occupies a land area of 1,200 hectares. The main focus of this branch is cultivating Tenera palms, a type of palm tree. These palms are grown for their fruit, harvested every nine days. After every five years of cultivating the palms, they are ready for harvest.
The farm has automatic and semi-automatic palm oil production mechanisms, producing about 40 metric tons of oil with a free fatty acid level below five per batch.
- OFN Igboora LTD
This is another part of Obasanjo Farms located in Igboora, Oyo State. OFN Igboora LTD can accommodate many chickens, with a capacity for over 446,000 broilers, laying hens, and parent stock.
Additionally, a fish farm on the same property houses over 65,000 catfish in reserve and more than 5,000 incubators. Furthermore, the Igboora Hatchery, also situated there, has an incubator that can hold over 1,088,000 chicken eggs.
- Fish Farm Olumo Abeokuta
Fish Farm Olumo Abeokuta is considered one of the largest farms in Nigeria, it specializes in breeding a substantial quantity of catfish and supplying them to numerous clients. Its operations have significantly contributed to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by reducing the need for fish imports. The farm also maintains a healthy stock of catfish fries (young fish) and adult fish, ensuring a sustainable production cycle.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is known to own over 30 houses globally, with approximately 18 of them located in Nigeria. One of his prominent residences is in Ota, where he resides.
This house, perched on a hill, features a helicopter pad visible from various angles. In addition to his impressive real estate holdings, Obasanjo possesses an extensive collection of cars, including vintage vehicles showcased in his personal car museum.
Notable cars in his collection include a custom-built Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, a second-generation Mercedes S-Class, various Peugeot models, and aircraft. Among his fleet, a Rolls-Royce, Peugeot 504, 2016 Land Cruiser Prado, Lexus LX570, Mercedes-Benz S550, and Mercedes-Benz G500 are just a few examples of his luxury cars.
This puts him among the 40 Nigerian celebrities who regularly drive a Rolls-Royce. In 2019, Obasanjo caused a stir on Nigerian social media when he arrived in a gold-painted Rolls-Royce sedan at Gabriel Igbinedion’s 85th birthday party.
Olusegun Obasanjo’s life journey is remarkable, as he rose from humble beginnings as a village boy to become the country’s leader and leave behind a significant legacy. Beyond his presidential tenure, Obasanjo has been involved in various initiatives that have contributed to developing beneficial infrastructures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Obasanjo’s wife now?
Olusegun Obasanjo’s wife is Bolanle Patience Jonathan (née Adebutu). They got married on May 13, 2021.
Who are Olusegun Obasanjo’s parents?
Amos Adigun Obasanjo Bankole and Ashabi Obasanjo are the parents of Olusegun Obasanjo. Amos Adigun Obasanjo Bankole is his father, while Ashabi Obasanjo is his mother. They played significant roles in raising and shaping the life of Olusegun Obasanjo.
Did Olusegun Obasanjo support Peter Obi?
Olusegun Obasanjo publicly supported Peter Obi and his running mate Datti in the 2023 elections.
What did Obasanjo do for Nigeria?
Obasanjo is recognized as a prominent figure among the second generation of African leaders after colonial rule. He is commended for leading Nigeria’s transition to representative democracy during the 1970s.
Additionally, Obasanjo has been praised for his Pan-African initiatives to foster collaboration and cooperation among African nations. His contributions to democracy and his efforts in promoting unity across the continent have garnered him admiration and recognition on the African political stage.
How much is Olusegun Obasanjo worth?
He is reportedly worth 1.7 billion dollars.
Is Obasanjo richer than Tinubu?
No, Tinubu is the richest politician in Nigeria, with an estimated net worth of $8.4 billion.