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Politics of Wednesday, 12 October 2022


Atiku’s wealth, political journey, businesses and billionaire friends

Atiku Abubakar, 2023 Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, 2023 Presidential candidate

Atiku Abubakar, erstwhile Vice President, would be contesting for the office of the president of Nigeria for the 6th time this year, the quest he began since 1992.

Atiku was thrown into the limelight in 1982 when at the age of 36 years and a custom Officer, he got the title of Turaki Adamawa from Lamido of Adamawa, one of the prominent traditional rulers in Northern Nigeria.

Political adventure

The customs officer left his village as an ordinary village boy and became a customs officer, where he rose to prominence.

The title and marriage to the chief’s daughter, Atiku, became a national figure.

The then main opposition party led by Obafemi Awolowo asked who Atiku was.

Africa Report said Bamanga Tukur took the young Atiku under his political tutelage due to his rising popularity in Yola to help him with his campaign for the governorship.

With the influence of Tukur, Atiku was thrown into the political limelight.

Education Atiku came from a family where his father was opposed to western education.

When the government discovered that Atiku was not in school, his father was jailed for a few days until he was released after paying a fine.

At age 8, Atiku was enrolled on the Jada Primary School in Adamawa and completed his education in the same year at Adamawa local Secondary school, graduating alongside 59 other students.

Customs career

He worked in the Nigerian Customs Service for 20 years. He rose to become the Deputy Director, the second-highest position in the service at the time, retiring in 1989 and becoming a businessman and politician.

Real estate

Atiku was into real estate, even as a customs officer. In 1974, he obtained a loan of N31,000 to build his first house in Yola and put it for rent.

With the proceeds of the rent, he bought another property, built another house, and continued building a sizeable property portfolio in Yola.

In 1981, he ventured into agriculture and acquired about 2,500 hectares of land near Yola to begin a Maize and cotton farm. The business shut down in 1986. He became a trader and began to buy and sell truckloads of rice, flour and Sugar.

Transportation and logistics

His most important business was when he was still in Customs at Apapa Ports.

An Italian businessman, Gabrielle Volpi, invited him to set up Nigeria Container Services. This logistics company operates within ports and would later become Intels Nigeria Limited, providing immense wealth to Atiku.

He is also the co-founder of Intels, an oil services company with operations in Nigeria and overseas.

His other business ventures are in Yola Adamawa, including a beverage firm, an animal feed factory and the America University of Nigeria.


Atiku has been involved in controversy even as a Customs Officer.

He defended most of the allegations of owning businesses while working as a civil servant, saying he owns a limited share and is not involved in the day-to-day running of his businesses.