Jim Ovia, Zenith, Zenith Bank

Jim Ovia is the founder of Zenith Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in Nigeria. He is the chairman and largest individual shareholder with a stake of slightly more than 9% stake. He also owns prime real estate across Nigeria, and mobile telecom operator Visafone, which has 3 million subscribers.

When Jim Ovia first took interest in computers and technology in college, he never thought it would lead him to be the founder of Zenith, the largest bank in Nigeria. Realizing the importance that education played in his success, he established the Jim Ovia Foundation. To date over 1,500 students have been provided with university scholarships.

Driven by the role that technology could play in Nigeria, he established Cyberspace Limited to provide internet services and Visafone Communications Limited to provide telecom services. The latter was sold to MTN, Africa’s largest telco, for an undisclosed sum in 2015.

Jim Ovia is a philanthropist and the founder and proprietor of James Hope College, Agbor, Delta State. His foundation, which focuses on providing scholarship to the less-privileged, has a number of beneficiaries that are now qualified medical doctors, engineers, etc.

Jim Ovia Net Worth: $550m (as of 11/18/15)