Bola Shagaya: From a daughter of a tailor to one of Africa’s richest Woman

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Bola Shagaya is a Nigerian businesswoman, and one of the richest women in Africa.

Born on 10 October 1959, Bola Shagaya is the daughter of Adut Makur a Sudanese seamstress and Alhaji Salman Babakini, a Nigerian tailor.

Bola is the CEO and managing director of Practoil Limited – which is one of the largest importers and distributors of base oil in Nigeria, serving local lubricant blending plants.

Described by Make Money as one of the most formidable businesswomen in Nigeria, and Nigeria Today as a fashion and art enthusiast, Bola Shagaya has huge investments in real estate across major cities in Nigeria, as well as in the United States and Europe.

She is often referred to as one of the most stylish women in Nigeria and currently a patron of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN)

Shagaya attended Queens’ School, Ilorin, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Armstrong College, California and Harvard Bussiness School, USA. Her love and dedication to the development of Nigeria through entrepreneurship earned her the title of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) On 22 July 2010, awarded by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR).

Her Journey to the Top

“My business experience commenced with the importation and distribution of photographic material, I was the sole West Africa agent of the then leading photographic company, Konica”

She worked at the Audit Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Before venturing into the importation and distribution of photographic materials such as films, roll papers, and chemicals under the company – Bolmus International Nigeria Limited.

Her company ‘Fotofair Limited’ a photo laboratory service centre set up in 1997, uses 100% Japanese technology under the Konica brand name. It’s on record that she introduced Konica brand into the Nigeria market and other countries in West Africa

She is married to a Kwara State based transport mogul, Alhaji Shagaya and she has six children.

“I have participated in many local and international seminars and workshop, including some organized by KPMG, Euromoney and Harvard Business school in order to keep pace with the development in management techniques”






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1 thought on “Bola Shagaya: From a daughter of a tailor to one of Africa’s richest Woman”

  1. What a humble beginning, but I must say Bola Shagaya’s educational back ground and training played a major role in motivating her to succeed where other have failed doing business in Nigeria.


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