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28 Years After Death: Sons, Family Celebrate Nigeria’s ‘Biggest’ Land Merchant, Ashamu With Net Worth Of £400M – Naijanewsdirect


…What you might not know about the Ashamu Dynasty

By: Tunde Ogunmola

Every 20th of August has continued to be a memorable day in the lives of sons, daughters and family of late Nigeria’s land merchant, Chief Emmanuel Oyedele Ashamu. It’s a day the entire family always remember their late benefactor and great philanthropist, late Chief Emmanuel Oyedele Ashamu.


However, Thursday 20th, August, 2020, was not an exception as the head of the family and Chairman of Ashamu Group of Companies, Victor Omotunde Babatunde Ashamu entertained  guests in commemoration of the 28th years remembrance of his father, Chief Emmanuel Oyedele Ashamu.


As at the time of his death on 20th August, 1992, Chief Emmanuel Oyedele Ashamu’s net worth was approximately 400million pounds, making him one of the biggest, if not the biggest land merchant in Nigeria.


His land allocations and businesses scattered across the length and breath of Nigeria, as well as outside the shores of Nigeria. Chief Ashamu was a wealthy land owner and Oyo chief who was prominent in the Nigerian business sector, his name reigned supreme for four decades starting from 60s to early 90s, even after his death in 1992. He rose to become one of the most prominent businessmen in Africa, with interests in agriculture, banking, transportation and real estate.

However, one of the unearthed facts about this late business mogul that was symbolic to his personality was that he came into this world in the month of August and also left to the great beyond in the same month of August, although different dates.

Chief Emmanuel Ashamu was born on 14 August 1924 and as earlier stated, died on 20 August 1992. He was born to Chief Agbakin Ashamu of Oyo, a Yoruba tribal chief. He had a modest educational background. He attended Durbar School, Oyo, and the Grammar School, Ilesha. He later studied Pharmacy at Yaba Higher College, graduating in 1951.

Late Chief Emmanuel Oyedele Ashamu


Chief Ashamu started work with the Nigerian government as a pharmacist at the Orthopaedic Hospital, he later left and joined Lion Chemists as a manager. He later became the managing director of Industrial Chemists in Lagos.

Chief Ashamu was a pharmacist by training and was later the owner of Industrial Chemists Ltd, Lagos, among many other prosperous businesses.
In the 60s, he delved into the real estate sector and was involved in land development including Ire Akari estate, Isolo, Lagos; Ikeja real estate, Alausa, Lagos and many areas in Yoruba land.

His landed property spanned across Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
He was also the owner of Igbeti Marble Mining Company in Oyo State.


Igbeti Mining Industries Limited (IMI) was later taken over by Oyo State Government in 1978, and renamed Nigeria Marble Mining Company Limited. The state govt. then changed the shareholding structure to a different pattern – 30 per cent was awarded to Oyo State Government, 25 per cent to IMI (i.e. Ashamu’s company), 20 per cent to Federal Government, 10 per cent to Local Government and 15 per cent to Technical Partners.

Ashamu later established Oke Afa Farms, in Isolo, Lagos in 1970, which was the largest poultry in the Nigeria at that time. From there, he set up Oyo Feeds and Premier Farms. At the height of its’ success, the business employed up to 1,000 people.


Premier Farms specialised in Maize plantation at its Okaka Farm, in Ikoyi near Igbo-Ora, Oyo state. Most of its products were sold to its’ sister company Oyo Feeds, which turned it to animal feed and then resold much of it to their parent company – Oke Afa farms. Oke Afa then sold commercial meat and chicken, to eateries and the military.


Unfortunately, by the late 1970s, these agro-business ventures were hampered by import restrictions that curtailed the availability of feed ingredients. Several years later, Chief Ashamu signed technical services agreements with foreign firms to collaborate in various business undertakings. The foreign firms would provide technical consultation, management and sizeable financial commitments to his businesses, in exchange for a proportion of the shares of these companies.


Meanwhile, multiple sources within Ashamu family revealed that by the time Chief Ashamu died, his estimated net worth was proximately $400 million Pounds as against the official figures of $50 million US Dollars in public domain. An American scholar from Harvard University, Craig Thomas was so fascinated by Chief Ashamu’s style of management and business acumen that he wrote a whole excerpt on Ashamu Holdings, in a management book titled, Strategic Management in Developing Countries, edited by James E. Austin and Tomas O. Kohn, which was published by Simon & Schuster, in 1998.

Late Chief Emmanuel Oyedele Ashamu

Philanthropic Gestures
Chief Ashamu’s philanthropic gestures was well-documented , and it even extended to foreign institutions abroad.


Family Background

He was survived by three wives, seventeen acclaimed children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The wives are: Mrs. Diana Ashamu from Asaba, Delta state; Mrs Funmilayo Ashamu, a Lagosian from Eletu Iwase Chieftaincy in Lagos; and late Caroline Ashamu, a native of Ijesha.


Chief Ashamu’s children include: late Samson Ashamu, Doyin Ashamu, Jadesola Ashamu, Pate Ashamu, Biodun Ashamu, Nike Ashamu, Iyabo Ashamu, Kemi Ashamu, Yemi Ashamu, Ishola Ashamu, Bimpe Ashamu, Tola Ashamu, Titi Ashamu, Victor Omotunde Babatunde Ashamu, Yetunde Ashamu, Tope Ashamu and Tayo Ashamu.

However, Victor Omotunde Babatunde Ashamu is the head of the family and the Chairman of Ashamu Group of Companies.

Tunde Ogunmola
Tunde Ogunmola
'Tunde Ogunmola Executive Editor/CEO (OBAT CONNECTS CONCEPTS) Publishers of Naija News Direct) Tel: 08055102893, 08126439182 (WhatsApp)

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