Top 10 Highest-Paid CEOs in Nigeria 2024

Top 10 Highest-Paid CEOs in Nigeria 2024

Top 10 highest-paid CEOs in the Nigeria

When it comes to Nigeria’s business world, the CEO holds a vital role that can make or break a company. These are the folks who steer the ship, guiding their companies toward growth, profitability, and overall success. Some of the highest-paid CEOs in Nigeria have a great impact on the economy as a whole.

And let’s be honest, we’re all a bit curious about how much these top executives are getting paid for their hard work. In this article, we’ll dive into the intriguing realm of the highest-paid CEOs in Nigeria, drawing data from the most influential companies listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

Below is a list of the top 10 highest-paid CEOs in Nigeria

1. Karl Toriola (MTN Nigeria)

Karl Toriola, a Nigerian telecom engineer, is the esteemed CEO of MTN Nigeria, the largest telecommunications company in the country. Widely recognized for his kindness and respected stature in the industry, Toriola has made remarkable contributions to the field.

In 2022, Karl Toriola became the highest-paid CEO in Nigeria, earning an impressive N850 million. This substantial increase in his salary compared to the previous year reflects his exceptional leadership and outstanding performance.

Under Toriola’s guidance, MTN Nigeria has obtained approval to launch a payment service bank, a significant milestone that allows the company to expand its range of services. This achievement showcases Toriola’s strategic vision and commitment to driving innovation in the Nigerian telecommunications landscape.

Overall, Karl Toriola’s noteworthy accomplishments and impactful contributions have firmly established him as an influential figure in the Nigerian corporate world.

>>> Read More: Top 10 Fintech Companies in Nigeria and Their Offerings  

2. Michel Puchercos (Dangote Cement)

In 2020, Michel Puchercos, the group managing director, received a nomination to join the esteemed Dangote Cement Board. Before joining Dangote Cement, Puchercos had served as the managing director of Lafarge Africa.

Puchercos made a surprising decision to resign from his position at Lafarge Africa to assume the role of managing director at Dangote Cement. Since his appointment, Puchercos has garnered recognition for implementing substantial improvements and making necessary adjustments within the company.

In February 2023, it was announced that Puchercos would retire from his position as the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Cement. His retirement marked the conclusion of his employment with the company.

During his tenure at Dangote Cement, Puchercos was among the highest-paid CEOs in Nigeria. His exemplary management skills and significant contributions to the company’s achievements were evident throughout his time there.

3. Lars Richter (Julius Berger Nigeria Plc)

Lars Richter, the CEO of Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, has a salary of N417 million, placing him among the top-paid CEOs in Nigeria for the year 2022. This represents a 2% increase from his earnings in 2021, which stood at N408 million. Before assuming the CEO position, Richter had accumulated over 16 years of experience in the building sector, with 10 years dedicated to serving as a division manager, project manager, and project engineer in Nigeria.

According to a report by Proshare, Lars Richter’s contributions in 2021 resulted in generating N828.57 in revenue for every N1 he received in compensation. This demonstrates his effectiveness and value to Julius Berger. Furthermore, the PBT-to-CEO pay ratio for Julius Berger experienced a notable increase, climbing from N12.18 in 2020 to N34.67 in 2021, marking a remarkable growth of 184.64%.

Lars Richter’s remarkable achievements and notable impact within Julius Berger Nigeria PLC solidify his position as one of the distinguished leaders in the Nigerian corporate landscape.

4. Baker Magunda (Guinness Nigeria Plc)

Baker Magunda, the former CEO of Guinness Nigeria Plc, witnessed a significant rise in his annual pay from N243 million to N505 million. In May 2018, Magunda transitioned from his role at the Diageo-owned Meta Abo Breweries in Ethiopia to assume the position at Guinness Nigeria. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Makerere University in Uganda and completed his business education at its prestigious business school. Notably, from 1996 to 1999, Magunda served as a market development manager for Coca-Cola Sabco Century Bottling Company.

It is worth mentioning that Magunda’s increased earnings compared to the previous year can be attributed to foreign exchange fluctuations, which resulted in higher CEO remuneration despite underperforming business outcomes. However, in October 2022, Magunda stepped down from his position as CEO of Guinness Nigeria Plc. The identity of his successor has yet to be disclosed.

5. Roger Brown (Seplat Energy)

Roger Brown serves as the Managing Director of Seplat Energy, one of Nigeria’s leading companies engaged in crude oil exploration. His total earnings have risen to N500 million from N475 million in 2021, showcasing his value and contribution to the company. Brown joined Seplat Energy in July 2013 as the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, playing a pivotal role in achieving the historic dual listing of the company on the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges, making it the first Nigerian corporation to accomplish such a feat.

With a remarkable career spanning over 25 years, Roger Brown brings extensive expertise and specialization in emerging markets. He holds the distinction of being a registered chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Brown possesses profound knowledge in structuring energy and infrastructure deals across the African continent, solidifying his position as a respected authority in the field.

Under Roger Brown’s leadership, Seplat Energy continues to thrive as a prominent player in the Nigerian crude oil exploration sector, leveraging his wealth of experience to drive the company’s success.

6. Khaled El Dokani (Lafarge Africa)

Khaled El Dokani received a salary of N452 million as the CEO of Lafarge Africa, a 56 per cent increase from N288 million in 2021. El Dokani joined Lafarge Holcim in 2004 and has held several positions within the organization, including vice president for Business Development and Strategy in North America and country CEO for Iraq (2018–2019), Qatar (2016–2018), and Saudi Arabia (2013–2016).

Lafarge Africa, a major cement producer in Nigeria, has been progressing significantly under El Dokani’s direction. Despite Covid-19 lockdowns, the company’s yearly profit increased in 2020, rising to N30.8 billion from N15.5 billion the previous year. But El Dokani left his post as CEO of Lafarge Africa in June 2022, and Lolu Alade-Akinyemi assumed control.

7. Segun Agbaje (GTCO Plc)

Following the unfortunate passing of Tayo Aderinokun, the previous managing director of Guaranty Trust Bank in 2011, Segun Agbaje ascended the ranks within the organization to assume the role of managing director.

As CEO, Agbaje’s salary for the fiscal year 2022 amounted to N445 million. This represents a significant increase of 160% compared to his 2021 compensation of N171 million, amounting to a N274 million raise.

Segun Agbaje’s journey with Guaranty Trust Bank began in 1991 when he became one of the bank’s founding employees. Before this, he had gained valuable experience working for Ernst & Young in the United States. Agbaje’s career progression within GTBank was notable, as he was appointed as an executive director in 2000, promoted to deputy managing director in 2002, and eventually assumed the position of managing director in 2004. He holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco and has also completed studies at Harvard Business School.

Segun Agbaje’s leadership and contributions have played a pivotal role in the success of Guaranty Trust Bank, positioning it as a prominent institution within the Nigerian banking industry.

8. Hans Essadi (Nigerian Breweries)

Hans Essaadi is the managing director and CEO of Nigerian Breweries, the biggest brewer in Nigeria. The company paid N319 million to its highest-paid director in 2022, up from N243 million in 2021. Essaadi joined Nigerian Breweries in July 2021, replacing Jordi Borrut Bel, who had completed his tenure. Before his appointment, Essaadi was the managing director of AlHaram Beverages, the HEINEKEN Operating Company in Egypt.

Essaadi began his career with Heineken 30 years ago as a sales representative and rose through the ranks, assuming senior roles within the group in different units such as sales, export, and marketing. He has extensive experience in the beverage industry, having worked in different countries, including Austria and Puerto Rico.

Under Essaadi’s leadership, Nigerian Breweries has continued to dominate the Nigerian beer market. The company recently launched a new beer brand, Stella Lager, to expand its product portfolio and increase its market share. In addition, Nigerian Breweries has been investing in renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainable development.

>>> Read More: Top 10 Investment Banks in Nigeria 2024

9. Ebenezer Onyeagwu (Zenith Bank)

Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the esteemed Managing Director of Zenith Bank, stands as one of the highest-earning CEOs on the list. In 2022, he received a total annual package of N285 million, showcasing a notable increase from N246 million in 2021. Onyeagwu has enjoyed a successful career in the banking industry, commencing his journey at the now-defunct Financial Merchant Bank in 1991. Subsequently, he joined Citizens International Bank Limited and later assumed a senior management role within Zenith Bank’s internal control and audit unit in 2002.

Under Onyeagwu’s exemplary leadership, Zenith Bank has attained remarkable financial performance and significant milestones. His visionary guidance has played a pivotal role in the bank’s growth and success. Notably, Onyeagwu was recognized as the esteemed recipient of the Best Banking CEO of the Year in Africa at the International Banker Awards 2023. Additionally, he has been appointed as the Chairman of the Body of Banks’ Chief Executive Officers in Nigeria, further solidifying his influential position in the industry.

Onyeagwu is renowned for his strategic acumen and ability to foster innovation within the bank. He has demonstrated his commitment to Zenith Bank’s future by investing in its growth and acquiring 8 million new shares in the institution, thereby exhibiting his unwavering confidence in its prospects.

10. Wassim Elhusseini (Nestlé Nigeria)

Wassim Elhusseini, a Lebanese national, serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of Nestlé Nigeria. In 2022, Nestlé Nigeria compensated its esteemed senior executive director with a total of N266 million, signifying a significant increase from N206 million in 2021.

Elhusseini assumed the role of MD at Nestlé Nigeria in August 2020, succeeding Mauricio Alarcon. Since his appointment, he has demonstrated remarkable leadership in driving the company’s operations and spearheading its growth within the Nigerian market.

Under Elhusseini’s astute guidance, Nestlé Nigeria has solidified its position as a leading Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company in the region. The company boasts an extensive product portfolio, including beloved brands such as Maggi, Milo, Nescafé, and Golden Morn, among others.

Through Elhusseini’s strategic vision and effective leadership, Nestlé Nigeria continues to thrive, delivering high-quality products and meeting the evolving needs of Nigerian consumers.

Final Thoughts on Highest-Paid CEOs in Nigeria

These CEOs are at the forefront of some of Nigeria’s most important industries, such as telecommunications, cement, construction, beverage, energy, banking, brewery, and fast-moving consumer goods. As Nigeria faces the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly evolving business environment, these top CEOs play a crucial role in shaping the country’s future.

They are not just successful business leaders but also serve as inspirational figures for aspiring entrepreneurs. Their stories inspire and motivate future generations to strive for excellence and make a positive impact in their chosen fields.

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