Bola Shagaya: Career navigation of one of Africa’s richest women

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The story of Billionaire Woman, Bola Shagaya is a proof that anything is possible and achievable even when you begin from nothing.

Rising from a humble background, Bola Shagaya has risen to become a business tycoon to reckon with on the African continent.

Hajia Shagaya is someone that comes to mind when one thinks of people with entrepreneurial spirit who run multi-million dollar businesses.

This successful Nigerian woman has made fortunes for herself and now has a net worth of over $650 million. This made her one of the richest women in Africa.

This piece will focus on her journey to wealth and also her family life.

Who is Bola Shagaya/ Family

She is from Kwara State, Nigeria. Born on the 10th of October 1959.

Her mother, Adut Makur was a Sudanese seamstress that married Emenike Mobo, Bola Shagaya’s father, who was a Nigerian public servant.

Hajia Shagaya got married to a Kwara State based transport mogul, Alhaji Shagaya.

They are blessed with six children: Sherif, Hakeem, Deeja Shagaya, Naieema, Amaya Roberts and Adeena Roberts.

Bola Shagaya is one of the richest women in Africa and the founder and CEO of Bolmus Group International.

Hajia Sagaya can be described as a business mogul that has her fingers in every pie. Oil, real estate, banking, communications etc. She seems to be a businesswoman who knows where the money is.

She is also into the photography industry or business. Her photography company, known as Fotofair is a leading photo laboratory firm in Nigeria with over thirty laboratories across Nigeria.

Her Education

Bola Shagaya had her secondary school education at Queens School, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital in Western Nigeria.

She attended Ahmadu Bello University, in Zaria for her tertiary education where she studied economics and got her second degree at Armstrong College in California, where she studied accountancy.

Beginning And Progressing in Her Career

Bola Shagaya started her career as a banker with the audit department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

It was in 1983 that she decided to take the entrepreneurship route of her career.

She began her entrepreneurial journey with importation and distribution of photographic materials when she first introduced the Konica brand of photographic materials into the Nigerian market and West Africa.

When she saw that the business was booming, she decided to add photo laboratory services to the importation and distribution business.

Just like every entrepreneurial would do, Bola Shagaya saw opportunities in the populous image-conscious Nigerian market, and this made her to expand in the business. Leading to the birth of her photography company, Fotofair (Nigeria) Limited.

Oil And Gas Industry

As her photography business continued to boom, Hajia Shagaya decided to try another business. This made her to venture into the oil and gas industry.

Through her oil and gas business, she became the managing director of Practoil Limited. Practoil is one of the largest importers and distributors of base oil in Nigeria, serving local lubricant blending plants.

The company has structured its lubricating plant in Kirikiri, Lagos and is involved in the production of multi-grade oils and lubricants.

She also found Voyage Oil and Gas Limited which came into existence in 2011 but started operations officially in 2012, as a Crude Oil trading and export company.

Voyage Oil and Gas Limited has been on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC Crude Oil Term contract since inception till date, with an average allocation of 30,000 barrels per day.

Bola Shagaya is also involved in real estate business with over 300 employees in her real estate firm.

She is the owner of many luxurious residential properties that are scattered all over Nigerian cities.

Board Membership

Bola Shagaya was at a time a board member of Unity Bank Plc formerly known as Intercity Bank for more than eight years.

She served in different capacities on various boards and committees while on the board, including serving as the chairman of the Bank’s Establishment Committee, Chairman of the Audit Committee and was a member of Unity Bank’s Audit and Credit Committee.

She was also the Chairman, Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment at the 2014 National Conference.

She is a member of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Business Group, Nigeria.

The business group provides a platform for economic growth through private and public collaboration and communication.

Awards and Recognitions

On July 2010, the then President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan awarded Bola Shagaya the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON).

In 2012, she was among Forbes’ Ten Millionaires to Watch in Africa

Additionally, in 2012, she won the National Productivity Order of Merit Award.

She also got an Award for Excellent by ThisDay Annual Awards in 2012.

This billionaire woman is a lover of sports especially Polo. Over the years, she has consistently supported polo tournaments in Nigeria.

She had also supported the Access Bank’s UNICEF Charity Shield Polo Tournament, an event hosted to raise funds for the renovation of deteriorated classrooms as well as provide a conducive learning environment for displaced and underprivileged children in Kaduna state.

Hajia Bola Shagaya is a proof of the entrepreneurial spirit residing not just in the African men but also in their women. A lot has been achieved by this business magnate and lots more is expected of her as the younger generation looks up to her guidance and template to success in the murky waters of the business world.

















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