Richest Men in Nigeria: Umaru Abdul Mutallab

Nigeria’s Richest men

Umaru Abdul Murallab’s Biography



Alhaji Umaru Abdul Murallab was born in Katsina Town, Northwestern Nigeria, on December 15, 1939. His father, Abdul Mutallab Barade, was an officer with the Funtua Works Department. Umaru is based in Funtua, Katsina State, Nigeria.

Like most Northern Nigerian leaders from the early days, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab attended the Barewa College in Zaria in the present day Kaduna State, from where he proceeded to the Achimota College in Accra, Ghana. He also attended the South West London College in London, England. The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife awarded him an honorary doctorate degree.

Having completed the School Certificate Examinations in 1959, the vibrant Umaru began took up the position of a clerk with Pannell, Fitzpatrick and Company in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria. He would later travel out to further his studies abroad, after which he returned to Nigeria in the year 1968. On his return, he was appointed the Chief Accountant of the Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria. He became the financial controller of the New Nigerian Development Company in Kaduna in 1971, moving up to the position of a General Manager in the year 1975.

Alhaji Umari Abdul Mutallab was an erstwhile Federal Commissioner (now minister) of Economic Development in 1975, although his reign as a commissioner was short-lived as he was deposed from the failed military coup d’état that later ensued. He later became a member of the country’s Federal Executive Council (1976 to 1978). Shortly after, he became the Executive Deputy Chairman of the United Bank for Africa, rising through the rank of the Managing Director up until he became the CEO, all in under just a year, 1978 to 1988.

He was a one-time Chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria Plc between 1999 and 2009. He has served on the boards of directors of many companies, which includes the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), Arewa Textile Limited, the National Communications Commission (NCC), NACB, Agip Oil and the prestigious Cement Company of Nigeria. Similarly, he was the chairman of many companies which include: The Spring Waters Nigeria Limited (SWAN), in Kerang, Plateau, Northcentral Nigeria, Incar Nigeria Plc, and Impressit Bakolori Plc.

Alhaji Umar Mutallab, whose son, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is the suspected Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bomber, is the chairman of Nigeria’s first Islamic Bank, the Jaiz Bank International Plc, established in the year 2003.

He is also the chairman of the Business Working Group of Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020. In the same vein, he is the president of Barewa College’s Old Boys Association.

Alhaji Umar Mutallab is a fellow of both the FCCA and FCA, and was confer with the national honor of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), one of the highest national honors in Nigeria.

He was ranked the 15th richest man in Nigeria in 2015.


  • Barewa College, Zaria
  • Achimota College, Accra
  • South West London College, England

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