Despite the huge potentials in the drugs and pharmaceuticals sector of the country, the growth of this sector has been hampered by the proliferation of fake and adulterated drugs, and activities of smugglers, just to mention a few.
But even with these challenges, these firms have yielded billions of returns to key investors through share valuation.
Here is a rundown of their profiles and what they are worth, using the number of shares they own. Data used are from the most recent annual reports of these companies, which are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
*Valuation is calculated using the NSE closing figures for April 6, 2018.
Mr. Fidelis Ayebae
Fidelis Ayebae is the founder and pioneer Chief Executive Officer of Fidson Healthcare Plc, which was established in 1995.
He graduated from the Mainland Institute of Technology in 1976 with a Diploma in Civil Engineering. He also obtained an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Lagos in 1999.
He has experience in corporate management, having worked in Nigeria International Bank (now Citibank) as an Assistant General Manager and in Metalum Limited as a Project Manager.
He was appointed to the board of NEM Insurance Plc in September, 2009, and is currently Chairman.
Fidelis is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Administration and also a member of the Nigeria Institute of Management.
He holds 446,534,443 units of shares at Fidson Healthcare Plc. As at our cut-off date, Fidson was trading at N5.68 per share. This gives him a net worth of N2.5 billion.
Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma
T.Y. Danjuma, GCON, is the Chairman of May & Baker Nigeria Plc and had once single-handedly bailed the company from financial straits with a multi-billion Naira loan.
He served as a Minister of Defense for the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June, 1999, to March, 2003. He had once been the Chief of Army Staff of the Nigerian Army from 1975 to 1979.
Though largely known for his service in the military, Danjuma has also proven to be an astute businessman.
He has 254,841,302 units of shares in May & Baker Plc which was trading at N3.20 per share as at our cut-off date. This gives him a net worth of N815 million.
Danjuma could be worth much more, as he is known to have several holdings in other blue-chip firms outside the pharmaceutical sector.
Dr. ABC Orjiako has been the Chairman of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc since March 3, 2010, and has been its Director since December 14, 2009. He doubles as the Chairman of Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc.
Dr. Orjiako holds an MBBCH degree from the University of Calabar. He trained as a general surgeon in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) from 1989 to 1991.
He sub-specialised in orthopedic and trauma surgery at National Hospital, Igbobi, and qualified as a Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons.
In 1996, he delved into business, after eleven years of active medical practice at LUTH and National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.
He has 372,377,503 units of shares at Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc. As at our cut-off date, Neimeth was trading at N0.82 per share. This gives him a net worth of N305 million.
Orjiako makes the cut, despite having pharmaceutical holdings worth less than a billion, due to his being a billionaire from his holdings in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc.
Prof. Elijah Ndajiya Sokomba
Elijah N. Sokomba is a Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Jos.
He is on the board of directors at Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc. He has 409,857,176 units of shares at Neimeth.
As at our cut-off date, Neimeth was trading at N0.82. This gives him a net worth of N336 million.
Folarin Rotimi Abiola Williams Jnr.
Folarin is a son of the late legal luminary, Frederick Rotimi Alade Williams (popularly known as F.R.A Williams or Timi the law). Mr. F. R. A. Williams Jnr. is a Chemical Engineer and a legal practitioner.
He was educated at Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, where he graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons.) AGGI Chemical Engineering. Following a study at Selwyn College, Cambridge, from 1981 to 1983, Mr. Williams obtained an MA Cantab Law, and subsequently attended the Nigerian Law School from 1983 to 1984.
He holds a total of 72,587,449 shares in Pharma Deko Plc. As at our cut-off date, this gives him a net worth of N163,321,760.
Mazi S.I. Ohuabunwa
Mr. Ohuabunwa read Pharmacy in the University of Ife, graduating in 1976. He has a postgraduate degree in Business and Organizational Management at the Columbia University, N.Y., USA, and another one from the Lagos Business School.
He joined Pfizer Products Plc in 1978 as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative and rose to become the Chairman/CEO in 1993.
In 1997, he led the management buy-over of Pfizer Inc shares in Pfizer Products Plc, transforming the resultant company, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, into a medium-sized Nigerian R&D Based Pharmaceutical company.
He voluntarily retired from the company after 33 years of service in the industry, 18 years of which were at CEO level.
He has 126,956,834 units of shares at Neimeth. As at our cut-off date, Neimeth was trading at N0.82. This gives him a net worth of N104 million.
Mrs. Funmilola Ayebae
Mrs. Olufunmilola O. Ayebae got her Professional Secretaries Diploma from the London College of Secretaries in the United Kingdom, after which she worked in many organisations in various capacities for a number of years, before establishing her own business, Goodness Supermarket, in 1995.
She is also the MD/CEO of Townhouse Limited. She became a Director of Fidson Healthcare Plc in 2001. She has 64,220,000 units of shares in Fidson Healthcare Plc.
As at our cut-off date, Fidson was trading at N5.68 per share. This gives her a net worth of N364,769,600.
Mrs. Ayebae makes the cut by virtue of being on the board and married to the founder of the company.