Prince Arthur Eze, a Nigerian oil tycoon, is considered the eighth richest person in Africa with a net worth of more than $5.8 billion. His immense wealth and influence in the oil industry are the result of canny business practices, and he has also become known for his deep connections to Nigerian politics. Here are 13 things you didn’t know about Prince Arthur Eze.
Eze is descended from tribal royalty.
Due to his heritage in tribal loyalty, Eze is often referred to as Prince Arthur Eze. His older brother is the traditional ruler of Ukpo village in the Dunukofia Local Government area of Anambra State. Eze himself is the ozoigbondu (saviour, according to one translation) of Igboland.
He trained as a chemical engineer
In 1970, Eze began attending St. Augustin Secondary School in Nkwere, where he began to discover his passion and talent for mechanical engineering. He studied mechanical and chemical engineering at California State University at Long Beach from 1974 to 1978.
He is the founder of the largest holder of oil exploration blocks in Africa
In 1991, Eze founded Atlas Oranto Petroleum for oil exploration activities in West Africa, and was able to incorporate it two years later. To date, the company is the largest holder of oil exploration blocks in Africa. The company’s acreage continues to grow, and just two oil blocks alone can produce more than 100,000 barrels of crude oil each day.
Eze is a major donor to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
Eze is a long-time major donor to Nigeria’s ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party, led by President Goodluck Jonathan. He is known for chairing fundraisers for candidates, and gave away nearly $100 million of his own money during the last election cycle.
Known for his flamboyance, Eze is rumored to have five different models of Rolls Royce in his garage, as well as a private jet – a Bombadier worth more than $25 million. It is thought that the jet is one of the old Presidential Air Fleet models that Eze managed to buy in 2011 at auction.
He is sometimes referred to as “the godfather”
Particularly among top political figures in Anambra State, Eze is often referred to as “the godfather.” They recognize the enormous power he wields with his donations to political causes. Some argue that “godfatherism” in Anambra State originated with Eze’s sponsorship of Senator Joy Emordi in 2005, after the election of Emmanuel Anosike was annulled.
Eze has won large government contracts through the years
Given his unique position as a close confidant and treasured donor of politicians in Nigeria, it may be no surprise that Eze has received major government contracts. For instance, during Chief Jim Nwobodo’s time as governor of the old Anambra State (now Enugu and Anambra States), Eze won the contract to build the Anambra State Broadcasting Service and Television Studio, a major feat at the time.
He is known for philanthropy
In 2013, Eze made headlines when he donated $12 million at a fundraising dinner to help fund construction of an Anglican Church Youth Development Center in Otuoke, Bayelsa State — hometown of President Jonathan. He is also known for his $6.3-million donation to flood relief efforts in Nigeria in 2012, as well as to ongoing educational causes and to universities.
Eze made the first international flight at Enugu Airport in Nigeria
In August 2013, Eze’s private jet flew in from Europe by way of Senegal and was the first aircraft to land at the newly upgraded airport in Enugu, capital of Enugu State. He thanked President Jonathan for the opportunity, saying, “This is the first time this is happening to the people of the South East. Other presidents before him came here and promised us an international airport, but it never came to be, but today we are happy that President Goodluck Jonathan has made this dream of our people come true…This is the greatest thing that has happened to the people. I am the greatest beneficiary.”
He made headlines when he accused Abia State of “stinking”
At the 23rd anniversary celebration for Abia State in August 2014, Eze was invited by Gov. T.A. Orji to speak about the success and development of Abia State. Eze shocked guests and members of the media when, rather than praise, he said, “Abia is stinking. Right from the Abia Tower in Umuahia, the rot hits you. Abia State is now the dirtiest in the country. Garbage everywhere, along with bad roads. The people are really suffering, and you see it in their faces…What are the senators, the members of House of Representatives and other elected people doing? Nothing.” Before dropping the microphone and walking off, Eze chastised the governor for not calling in aid from President Jonathan.
He is a big fan of several Igbo musicians
Eze is known to be a big fan of the late highlife musician, Oliver De Coque. Before he died, the Igbo artist produced an album that sang Eze’s praises. Emeka Morocco, an Igbo artist that created the ekpili brand of music, also released several songs that praised Eze on more than one of his albums.
Eze said that anybody opposing Jonathan’s reelection would “perish”
A longtime supporter of the Nigerian president, Eze took it a step further while speaking with State House correspondents after visiting with Jonathan at the presidential villa in Abuja in March 2014. He said, “Jonathan is our brother, God gave him power and anybody fighting him is fighting God, the person will perish and I don’t want perish…Now all of us will support him, he is fighting for all you the new generation…He has started changing the lives of Nigerians, the widows, the orphans, the needy. That is the will of God.”
When Buhari was elected president, Eze said he supported him
Eze said he was glad that Buhari had been elected president, and that he believed Buhari would “organise” Nigeria, according to WeeklyPost. “Things will change in this country. It is God that gives power, and God has given it to Buhari…He is coming to change our economy especially the oil sector. As you can see, most of the oil companies who left Nigeria are now coming back.”
Eze said he had total confidence in Buhari based on his experience to make the right decisions, especially regarding the oil industry. “You know Gen. Buhari has been president of Nigeria and also a former oil minister. He knows the oil industry very well. He is a man who has ability to take a decision. He has been in the system for a very long time. That is why God brought him back. Everyone of us is supporting him because God has given him power.
Nigeria’s Former Jonathan Tells African Leaders To Put Humanity First
Joke Falaju, Abuja Bags African Heritage awardFormer President Goodluck Jonathan has urged African leaders privilege to hold public offices to become servants of the people, and not turn themselves into the “bosses of the people”.Jonathan stated this while receiving the African Democracy and Peace Icon…
7th Edition Connected Banking Summit East Africa – Innovation & Excellence Awards 2023 Concludes
POSTED ON MARCH 28, 2023 BY AFRICA BUSINESS The Summit brought together the best and brightest minds in the banking, financial services, fintechs and techfin sectors. The event, which took place on 7th March 2023, featured insightful speakers, award-winning companies, and top-notch sponsors. Attendees were treated to a range…
2020 Awards | Social Media For Social Good Award Announces 100 Micro & Macro Social Media Influencers For Good
Social Media For Social Good Award Announces 100 Micro & Macro Social Media Influencers For Good and Set To Award 25 Of Them On The 13th Of June 2020. The most anticipated list of Nigerians using social media for social good which is curated by…
Ergonomic Furniture Dealer Formfunc Studio Awarded SA’s First 6-Star Green Star Award
-African Independent The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has awarded Cape Town-based Formfunc Studio, a leading ergonomic furniture supplier, a 6-star Green Star rating following the recent fit-out of their office, showroom and DC in Johannesburg. The project, led by specialist sustainability and…
The Risk And Reward Of ChatGPT In Cybersecurity
Juan is an experienced CTO with a demonstrated history of working in the computer and network security industry. He is an information technology professional skilled in SAP and Oracle applications, computer forensics, vulnerabilities research, IPS/IDS and information security. Unless you’ve been on a retreat in…
Explained – History Of Money From Fiat To Crypto
What is money? Money as a concept has been a cornerstone of human civilization and economic development. To start with the latter, money is a method of storing value and worth, and it also functions as a medium of exchange that allows individuals to exchange…
Studies Show That Nigerian Crypto Foreign Investment Is At A Record Low
Foreign direct investment in Nigeria fell by 33% last year due to a severe shortage of dollars, which discouraged crypto companies from expanding into the country. The largest economy in Africa has a foreign investment problem despite exponential growth in crypto adoption. The National Bureau…
Growing The Bitcoin Development Ecosystem In Africa
– Abubakar Nur Khalil | Bitcoin Magazine Bitcoin development in Africa, with a proper regulatory environment, could equally accelerate the continent and the technology. In this piece, we’ll be analyzing the current state of the Bitcoin developer ecosystem in Africa, ways to improve it and…