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  The year 2022 appears to have been a decent one for the Chief Executives Officers (CEOs) of Nigeria’s largest companies. Data from organizations listed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) suggests that they received significantly more pay than they did in the 12 months prior.
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An indicator of the climbing sums accruing to the country’s top executives is the total remuneration received by its 10 highest-paid CEOs. Last year, this crop got a cumulative ₦4.7 trillion in salaries and other benefits—51.6% more than the ₦3.1 trillion they took in 2021. Here’s a run through the profiles of these corporate leaders, listed in ascending order of the value of their pay.
  1. Wassim ElHusseini, Nestle Nigeria

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Wassim Husseini is a Lebanese national who presides over the affairs of Nestle in Nigeria. In 2022, he was paid a total of ₦266 million by the company. He became CEO of Nestle Nigeria in 2020, after having worked with Nestle’s Kuwaiti, Saudi Arabian, Jordanian, and Emirati (UAE) operations. ElHusseini is an alumnus of the American University of Beirut, the Wharton School, the London Business School, Harvard University, and the University of Cambridge.
  1. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank’s CEO and Group Managing Director was paid ₦285 million by his employer last year. He had been appointed to his current position in 2019, following almost 30 years of moving up the ranks at the bank. He obtained an OND and HND from Auchi Polytechnic in 1984 and 1987 respectively. Onyeagwu has also enrolled on various programs at the University of Oxford, Wharton Business School, Columbia Business School, Harvard Business School, and the Lagos Business School.
  1. Hans Essaadi, Nigerian Breweries

In 2022, Nigerian Breweries paid Hans Essaadi ₦319 million for his services. The Dutchman became CEO of the company in August 2021. Prior to taking charge there, he had been Managing Director at Al Ahram Beverages in Egypt, and Managing Director at Heineken Malaysia. Essaadi graduated from the Hotelschool, The Hague, in 1991.
  1. Lars Richter, Julius Berger

As corporate head of Julius Berger Nigeria, Dr Lars Richter received ₦417 million as payment from the company last year. His career has seen him take on roles on two continents. The earlier years of Richter’s professional life were spent in Germany, where he was a construction and project engineer. A year after being recruited by Julius Berger International, he joined the company’s operations in Nigeria. He’s since spent more than a decade here, culminating in his appointment as CEO in 2018.
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  1. Segun Agbaje, GTCo

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Segun Agbaje is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (an organization that includes the Guaranty Trust Bank). According to data made public by GTCo, it paid Mr Agbaje ₦445 million in 2022. This makes him the sixth highest-paid executive in the country. He has a Bachelor of Accounting degree and an MBA from the University of San Francisco, California, and has worked with GT Bank since 1991. Agbaje was appointed Managing Director of the bank in 2011 and took on the role of Group CEO of GTCo in 2021. He’s also been elected to the board of PepsiCo.
  1. Khaled El Dokani, Lafarge Africa

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Khaled El Dokani is CEO of Lafarge Africa, a member of the Holcim Group. His annual pay currently stands at ₦452 million, according to his employer. A graduate of Alexandria University (Egypt), he’s previously worked with LafargeHolcim in Iraq (where he was also CEO) and Qatar. El Dokani was appointed Country CEO for Nigeria in 2020, replacing Michel Pucheros (who also appears on this list).
  1. Roger Brown, Seplat Energy

Roger Brown, who became CEO of Seplat Energy in 2020, got paid ₦500 million last year for his services. A chartered accountant with extensive experience in finance, Brown joined Seplat as its Chief Financial Officer in 2013. Before getting hired by the company, he was Managing Director of Oil and Gas EMEA for Standard Bank Group. Earlier in his career, he worked with PwC, UK. He is an alumnus of the University of Dundee, Scotland.
  1. Baker Magunda, Guinness Nigeria

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Baker Magunda was the third highest-paid CEO in Nigeria in 2022, with an annual pay put at ₦505 million. The Ugandan has had a long career in the brewing industry. Starting out with a stint as Regional Marketing Manager for Diageo Africa, he rose to become Managing Director of East African Breweries in 2008. By 2018, he had landed the role of Managing Director at Guinness Nigeria. He stepped down from this position in November 2022.
  1. Michel Puchercos, Dangote Cement

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Dangote Cement ranks within the top three most valuable companies listed on the NGX. Its robust financial resources have enabled it to hire what it considers some of the most competent executives on the continent. In 2020, it recruited Michel Pucheros, a French businessperson, as its CEO. Two years later, it paid him ₦736 million. Pucheros had previously been CEO of Lafarge Africa (Nigeria), Lafarge Halla (South Korea), and Bamburi Cement (Kenya).
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  1. Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria

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MTN’s Karl Toriola is Nigeria’s highest-paid CEO, with an annual remuneration put at ₦850 million for 2022. He joined MTN in 2006 and filled various executive positions for the company in the Republic of Benin, Cameroon, and Congo Brazzaville while also serving as its Chief Technical Officer in Nigeria. He rose to his current position as CEO of MTN Nigeria two years ago. Toriola has a B.Sc in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University. He’s also an alumnus of Swansea University, London Business School, Harvard Business School, the Wharton School, and INSEAD. The data in this article was sourced from the annual reports of the companies (which are listed on the Nigerian Exchange). Featured Image Source: Capital
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This article was first published on 10th May 2023


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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