With a rich culture and a strong tradition of trade and commerce, the Hausa community in Nigeria has produced many entrepreneurs who have made significant contributions to the country’s economy.
From Africa’s richest person, Aliko Dangote to Nigeria’s business magnate, Abdulsamad Rabiu, these successful business leaders have proven that with hard work, dedication, and innovation, anything is possible in the world of business.
While most persons are conversant with Dangote and Rabiu, there are a number of Hausa entrepreneurs that you may not know. So, let’s dive in and get to know these remarkable individuals who have left an indelible mark on the Nigerian business landscape.
Known as one of Africa’s most successful businessmen, Indimi is the founder and leading shareholder of Oriental Energy Resources, a privately held Nigerian oil exploration and production company. Founded in 1990, Oriental has three projects offshore of Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.
Indimi who wasn’t privileged to get a formal education due to his poor background was exposed to business quite early. At age 10, he joined his father in his hide and skins trading business which he later inherited. Indimi like every other entrepreneur encountered struggles with his business and his father had to borrow £100 on his behalf to keep his business running. From trading hides and skins, Indimi expanded his business into selling clothes. He got clothes from across the border and sold them in Maiduguri.
Keeping his eyes open for more business opportunities, Indimi identified the shortage of flour in Maiduguri. He made contact with the organisation handling the sale of flour in Sokoto, secured the deal and got several bags of flour transported from Sokoto to Maiduguri. From selling flour, Indimi built the first irrigation pump factory in Maiduguri after Nigeria’s transition from military to civilian government in 1979.
In 1991, Indimi was given the opportunity to own an oil prospecting license under General Ibrahim Babangida. Securing the oil license was not enough because he said, “It would take 20 years and over a billion dollars in capital to get to the point where I could sell oil.” He drilled many wells and eventually started his own business. Today, Oriental has made significant progress built on an exceptional workforce, strategic alliances, world-class technology, operational efficiency, best practices and sustainable initiatives in the host communities and area of operation.
Alhaji Sayyu Dantata
Alhaji Dantata started his career as the Director of the Engineering and Transport Division of the Dangote Group. He founded MRS Holdings LTD in 1995 when he identified a lingering supply gap in petroleum products in Nigeria. The Nigerian entrepreneur established himself in the market by buying diesel from Kaduna Refinery, Unipetrol and African Petroleum for supplies.
Dantata built an integrated group of companies comprising Ovlas Trading & Supply in Geneva, Corlay Global SA, Koggi Shipping in Ghana, MRS Oil & Gas and MRS Investments in Nigeria. His company which has been described as an African conglomerate focuses on diverse key activities in oil trading, shipping, storage, distribution and retailing.
Umaru Abdul Mutallab
Mutallab founded Nigeria’s first non-interest bank, Jaiz Bank Plc. After serving under the military government of General Murtala Mohammed and Olusegun Obasanjo, he was appointed as the executive vice-chairman of the United Bank of Africa, UBA. He grew from executive vice chairman to being the CEO of UBA and was reportedly the major financier of the 1979 presidential election.
The Nigerian businessman went further to serve as the chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Plc before introducing Islamic banking into Nigeria through Jaiz Bank International Plc. Mutallab noted that the bank was established to ensure investments that will drive economic growth in critical sectors. He was described by The Telegraph as “one of Nigeria’s most prominent bankers” and named in Forbes 2013 ranking of the 21 richest Nigerians.
Dahiru Barau Mangal
Mangal founded Mangal Airlines now known as Max Air in 2006. Max Air is a leading Nigerian airline that operates domestic, regional and international flights. Considered one of Katsina’s richest men, Mangal started hustling as a Taxi Driver. Reports say he has special interests across different sectors including transportation, oil and gas and construction.
The Nigerian entrepreneur owns Katsina Dyeing and Printing Textiles Limited, where he sits as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Newsmen gathered that Mangal Industries Limited in collaboration with a Chinese firm is constructing a 3 million metric tons per year cement plant in Kogi State. The project which is slated to be completed in 2024 is put at a total cost of $600 million.
Abdul Bashir Haske
Haske founded AA&R Investments, a long chain of oil-based companies that has stretched its boundaries in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. From a nondescript contractor, Haske has grown to become one of the most recognised and wealthiest under the 40s on the block. His company has solid interests in marine services, aviation, agriculture, information technology and logistics services
Also, the Nigerian serial entrepreneur has been described by many as a silent billionaire who acts as a major player in the local and international economic space. He serves as chairman of several other companies including Haske & Williams Limited- a pioneer company in Nigeria’s evolving commercial agriculture sector, Etihad Trading Limited, Etihad Energy Limited, Etihad Oilfield Services Ltd, Nitro Switch Ltd, and Mars Aviation Ltd, and H&W Rice Co Ltd.