Billionaire Razaq Okoya: Biography, Education, Career, Marriage, Children, Source of income and Net worth

He is a Nigerian industralist, philantropist and the founder of Eleganza group of companies which has its base around the West African region. He is currently the Aare of Lagos.

Biography 

Chief Razaq Akanni Okoya. CON, who built his multi-million dollar Eleganza Business Empire from 20 Pounds.

He is the Chairman of the Eleganza Group, and RAO Property Investment Company

Rasaq Akanni Okoya is an affable socialite, he is a staunch member of a number of social clubs in Lagos, including the high-profile Metropolitan Club, Yoruba Tennis Club and The Island Club. As a matter of fact, he has made tremendous contributions to the development and uplift of these clubs, all of which have erected appropriate plaques of recognition within their premises for him.

Eleganza Industries today boasts of thousands of employees spread across the country. He also has multiple manufacturing companies in different parts of Lagos, which produce other items such as plastics, jewelry, coolers, cutlery, electric fans, etc. Eleganza group of companies, through RAO property Investment, has also invested in properties around Lagos. One of such is the magnificent Oluwa Ni Shola Estate, located in Lekki in Lagos State.

Chief Razaq Okoya and former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Early Life

At 17, an age where he could hardly be called a business ‘man’, Razaq had saved up £20 (twenty pounds) from mending shirts and trousers in his father’s shop and he decided to start a small scale trading business.

Very few traders had access to manufacturers at this time and so they had to go through middlemen, but Razaq stumbled upon a product catalogue of a manufacturer based in Japan that produced tailoring materials such as buttons, ribbons, zip fasteners, etc and decided to place a direct order. When he totaled the figures, he discovered that it would cost him £70, meaning that he needed an additional £50.

With his father’s permission, his mother loaned him the amount interest-free and he placed the order. The products barely landed before they were sold out, as it did not take traders much time to realise that they were of better quality than the ones already in the market.

The quick turnovers gave Razaq the financing he needed to expand the business and increase the orders. With lots of profits coming in, he completed his first house at Surulere by the age of 19, and by the age of 21, he had three more houses in the same location.

Education

Razaq attended Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School, Oke-Popo, Lagos, and this ended up providing his only formal education.

Age

Born in Lagos, South-West Nigeria on January 12, 1940 to the family of Tiamiyu Ayinde and Alhaja Idiatu Okoya.

Chief Razaq Okoya and his youngest wife, SADE OKOYA along with their kids

Wife 

Razaq got married quite early. His first wife, Kuburat Okoya, and the youngest wife is Mrs Shade Okoya..

Chief Razaq Okoya first wife, with their kids

Children

Okoya has fathered many children from several marriages one of his senior wives of over 50 years marriage is Kuburat Olayinka Okoya who had seven children. 

His other wives are Ajoke Okoya, Yetunde Okoya, Jennifer Okoya, Zainab Okoya. His last wife is Shade Okoya, and her children are ‹ Olamide, Subomi, Oyinlola and Wahab.

Family

Razak Okoya has had a number of wives over the course of his life. Prominent amongst them are Alhaja Kuburat Okoya, his senior wife, and Dr. Shade Okoya, the C.E.O. of Eleganza Group. He has claimed that the latter is loyal and hardworking. 

Chief Okoya has had several children with his various wives. One of them is Olori Moji Tejuosho, the consort of Omoba Lanre Tejuosho.

Career

CEO of the Eleganza group of companies which has a market spanning in Western Africa.

His group also comprises of a multi-million dollar properties investment arm called RAO Property Investment Company, and is generally one of the largest conglomerates in Nigeria today.

Razaq ventured into manufacturing and reasoned that if he could produce jewellery with the raw materials available in Nigeria, there was a ready market for it since the demand was high.

On one of his trips out of the country, he imported some jewellery manufacturing machines along with some experts and started manufacturing the jewellery at ridiculously low costs. This marked the birth of the Jewellery Manufacturing Arm of Eleganza Group.

Expectedly, the products all sold out and the business broke even very early. The young company practically found itself choked with demand for its products and this set it firmly on its feet.

Razaq then decided to venture into shoe manufacturing, but started out by paying factories in Italy to produce the shoes so that he could import the finished products. This moved on smoothly for a while until the company defaulted on one of his orders, using his advance payment to settle other bills instead.

Furious over this disappointment, he imported the necessary machines and brought in experts to train his workers; thus bringing about the Shoe Manufacturing arm of the group.

The company has grown over the years and now employs thousands of Nigerians across its factories where it manufactures coolers, chairs, soaps, weave-on for ladies, cutlery, electric fans, plastics, etc.

The Eleganza group is now headed by his youngest wife, Mrs Shade Okoya as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer while he is Chairman of the group.

RAO Property Investment Company

One of Razaq’s motivation for going into business was that he desired to be a landlord. He recalled in an interview that he noticed that most business people at the time were landlords, but “if you found a man wearing a suit and tie living in those areas in those days, he must have rented an apartment there.”

This wish always remained with him, and as soon as he had sufficient money to, he delved into real estate. By age 34, he acquired four hectares of land on Ikoyi Crescent, and by 40 years, he had two high-rise buildings standing in his name.

Years after, he set up the RAO Property Investment Company as the vehicle to drive his real estate dreams. A lover of good houses, Razaq saw this as an opportunity to provide good housing for people.

The company constructed and maintains the Oluwa Ni Shola Estate at Lekki-Ajah Expressway, which is sometimes described as an expatriates’ estate because of the high number of expatriates living there.

The luxurious estate is well equipped with uninterrupted power and water supply, marble floors, central air-conditioning, sauna, lush gardens, billiard room, tennis court, swimming pools, expensive sculptures and others, typically mirroring the type of life Okoya always dreamt of.

Through this company, he has also invested in several properties around Lagos.

Source of wealth 

He began the importation of shoes in large quantities, subsequently. On one of these occasions, the shoes were not delivered despite his payment. He travelled to Italy to see the manufacturer only to discover that they had used his money to settle their bills. He was so angry that he decided there and then to start manufacturing his own shoes. He imported all the machines and brought in some experts who trained his workers.

Today, under his Chairmanship, the Eleganza Industries produces a wide range of household goods and utensils including cutlery, collieries, food warmers, ice chest, electric fan, cosmetics and ballpoint pen. His factory locations include, Oregun-Ikeja, Isolo, Alaba and Iganmu, the Company now directly employs over five thousand Nigerians and non-Nigerians including those working in his RAO Property Investment Company. Okoya’s Eleganza Group is one of the biggest homegrown conglomerates in Nigeria today, with over six factories, and its products are household names in Nigeria neighbouring African markets.

He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award as Business Entrepreneur of Our Time from Thisday Newspapers

Net Worth

Chief Okoya has an estimated net worth of over $1billion 

Recognitions

Chief Razaq Akanni Okoya has earned and received several awards and recognitions over the years. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award of Business Entrepreneur by ThisDay Newspapers, an award which was presented to Okoya by Bill Clinton, Former President of United States of America.

He was awarded the Golden Award for Quality by the Nigerian Institute of Standards, and also holds the Commander of the Order of Niger (CON) honour from the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He is said to be one of Nigeria’s richest, though his net worth cannot be confirmed since his companies are not listed on the Stock Exchange.

In a recent interview, he was asked his thoughts on formal education, having achieved so much with only his primary education and he said, “I have nothing against education. But at times, education gives people false confidence. It makes people relax, trusting in the power of their certificates rather than in working hard. I knew I wanted to be rich, and I knew I had to work very hard”

In January 2020, the industrialist turned 80 amid much fanfare. He had this to say“My prayer is to enjoy good health, long life and leave the legacy of my industry behind as I want Eleganza to outlive me and continue with my philosophy of philanthropy.”

The information in this article was curated from online sources. NewsWireNGR or its editorial team cannot independently verify all details.

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