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Igho Sanomi: The Making of a Young Nigerian Billionaire

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Igho Sanomi: The Making of a Young Nigerian Billionaire

Igho Sanomi, Nigerian billionaire businessman and founder of Televeras, an African business conglomerate in energy and infrastructure, oil and gas exploration, production, trading and supply, power and construction has captivated the world with his remarkable rise to prominence from humble beginnings. 

His entrepreneurial journey which is nothing short of fascinating has propelled him to become one of the most influential and successful individuals in Nigeria.

The young Nigerian billionaire whose journey exemplifies resilience, determination, and an unwavering commitment to both personal and societal growth serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs while representing and showcasing Africa as a rising continent in the global world.

Igho Sanomi’s rise to prominence has sparked curiosity and interest in the global space. Let’s delve into some interesting facts about his upsurge in the business space.

His friend sprouted his interest in oil trading

Igho Sanomi’s intense interest in the oil and gas industry arose during his final year at the University of Jos studying Geology and Mining. He had a friend that was interning at a local oil trading company called First Fuels at that time, who would always return from work to talk about his experience in the company ranging from fixing ships to hedging, oil prices, amongst others.

This report from his friend incited Sanomi and his other friends to want to work for large multinational oil corporations like ExxonMobil, Shell, amongst others but Sanomi’s direction is pointed somewhere else.

Aside from the good talks from his friend about the oil corporations, the profit rate of the company increased his interests, hence, his move to start reading all types of books relating to physical oil trading, while on the lookout for opportunities that would enable him to easily get into the industry.

He became the youngest nigerian billionaire

Igho Sanomi is one of the youngest billionaires in Africa who went on to build a billion dollar company before the age of 40. Sanomi’s focus on the oil trading business, exposed him to a bid by local businessmen for fuel import and export contracts from the federal government whose bidding were only to bid and resell them to foreign oil trading companies and not ready to do the hard work.

Sanomi founded the entrepreneurs who won the contracts and gave them a refusable offer which is basically helping them to maximise their profits from the contract through a joint venture. With the help of his friend who worked at Masefield, a Swiss trading company who helped them fulfill the job while he got commissions that made him a lot of money as well as valuable knowledge that shaped him into the start of his company, Taleveras Group.

After successful several deals with Masefield, Sanomi was offered a lucrative job by the company which he declined and went ahead to found his company and named it Sarian oil. He used a line of credit from the bank he used to fund his business which helped Sarian oil load a vessel with a product and go out to find a buyer. This greatly enabled them to explode their revenue rates and handle multiple transactions at the same time.

In 2004, Sanomi, 28 years old at the time, renamed Sarian Oil to Taleveras, while his company, in the same year, became the preferred supplier of fuel oil feedstock to major refiners in the United States of America (USA). In the same period, he signed a contract with Morgan Stanley’s trading arm for the supply of Nigeria’s crude oil to one of their refineries.

The next year at the age of 29, Sanomi’s firm, Taleveras, won two oil blocks in a bid organized by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Then when the NNPC introduced the crude oil swap with one of its subsidiaries called Duke Oil Incorporated, Igho Sanomi’s firm, Taleveras, was yet again another beneficiary.

By the year 2008, Talevaras was churning in revenues up to the tune of $2 billion dollars yearly which made him one of the youngest billionaires in Africa.

He won the Choiseul 100 Africa Economic Leaders for Tomorrow

Igho Sanomi emerged the 2015 winner of “The Choiseul 100 Africa Economic Leaders for Tomorrow, having come top in the top 100 young economic leaders of Africa. The recognition given by the Institut Choiseul for international Politics and Geo-economics

 are given to individuals who are shaping a modern African economy, open to the world, with new opportunities flourishing everywhere these days.”

Sanomi came ahead of Mohammed Dewji, another youngest billionaire in Africa and CEO of Tanzanian MeTL who came second and Hisham El Khazindar, CEO of Qalaa Holding of Egypt who came third.

His compassion for philanthropy

Igho Sanomi together with his siblings founded the Dickens Sanomi Foundation (DSF) in 2011 in honour of their father, Dickens Ogheneruemu Patrick Sanomi. The foundation is established to support charitable projects which includes essay competitions, musical outreach programmes, and literacy awareness campaigns. 

Some of his philanthropic works include, sponsoring an essay competition for Nigerian secondary students since 2014 with winners getting a scholarship while school gets grants to buy laboratory equipment and computers. DSF also donated food and relief materials worth millions of naira to over 12,000 flood victims in Delta State in October 2012 through its Project Rescue Flood Victims. The foundation reportedly gave out a N100 million worth of comprehensive funding package to flood victims in Bayelsa and Delta states. 

Important personalities in his circle

One of the important personalities in the Igho Sanomi circle is President Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa. During his 40th birthday in 2016, Jacob Zuma congratulated him and personally received him in his house.

 Another influential person in his circle is Amaju Pinnick, the then Delta State Sports Commissioner and president of the Nigerian Football Federation from 2014 to 2022. Sanomi presented a N10 million cheque to Pinnick in 2010 to support the first Africa Youth Athletics Championships in Warri.


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