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Bola Shagaya – Biography and Business Life Of A Wealthy African Socialite

Hajia Bola Muinat Shagaya is Nigerian business mogul and fashion enthusiast. Bola Shagaya is the founder and CEO of Bolmus Group International, a conglomerate with holdings in real estate, oil and gas, banking and photography.

Bola Shagaya is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Africa, highly recognized with the likes of Folorunsho Alakija. Unlike most prominent industrialists, she skillfully built her wealth and network. In recognition of her outstanding virtues and immense contribution to economic growth, she was recognised and awarded twice by the Nigerian government.

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Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

Background of Bola Shagaya

Bola Shagaya was born on the 10th of October, 1959 in Kwara State. She hails from Ilorin, Kwara State but resides and conducts her business mostly in Lagos. Her father, Emenike Moba was a Nigerian public servant while her mother, Adut Makur was a Sudanese seamstress.

She attended Queens School in her hometown and has a degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria before proceeding to United States where she studied Accountancy and Economics from Armstrong College in California.

The best entrepreneurs in the world don’t act like they know it all, you have to keep learning to continually be successful. Same can be said of the businesswoman, Bola Shagaya. She has participated in numerous seminars, workshops and symposiums including some organised by Harvard Business School in United States, Euro money and KPMG.

She is married to Alhaji Ganiyu Shagaya, a Kwara-based transport magnate and they are blessed with six children.

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Entrepreneurial Journey

Fresh out of school, Bola Shagaya started a promising career as a banker. she worked in the audit department of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN). In 1983, she left the corporate world and ventured into business.

Her first business experience started with importation and distribution of photographic materials such as roll papers, films and chemicals under the trading name, Bolmus International (Nigeria) Limited. Soon, she became the sole West African agent of the then leading photographic company, Konica.

She introduced Konica brand of photographic materials into Nigerian and West African markets.

As a shrewd entrepreneur, she saw opportunities in Nigerian photography industry and expanded her Konica marketing operations to photo laboratories. This later birthed Fotofair (Nigeria) Limited, a photo laboratory company in 1997.

Today, Fotofair (Nigeria) Limited has grew into a leading photo laboratory company in Nigeria with many branches spread across the nation.

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Other Investments of Bola Shagaya

Hajia as she is fondly called stretched her tentacles into the Nigerian oil and gas sector. She founded Practoil Limited, one of the largest importer and distributors of base oil in Nigeria today.

As far back as the late 1980’s, during Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda led-administration, the business tycoon stirred her oil and gas company to secure allocation for oil blocks. Thus, making her one of the indigenous oil marketers.

Around 2005, Bola Shagaya became the managing director of Practoil Limited. She expanded her operations in oil and gas industry by establishing another exploration company, Voyage Oil and Gas Limited in 2011. In 2012, Voyage Oil and Gas Limited was awarded an oil exploration license by the Nigerian government.

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

Ever since then, her oil and gas companies have operated as dealers and independent marketers of oil, petroleum products and gas. They also engage in petroleum product sales, marketing, storage and haulage.

One of her companies, Practoil Limited has structured its lubricating plant in Kirikiri, Lagos. And it is expected to produce multi-grade oils and lubricants.

Bola’s business empire includes huge investments in real estate. She owns a lot of luxurious residential properties cutting across major cities in Nigeria.

One of the noticeable attribute of Bola Shagaya is her circle of friends. She is known to be friends with Nigeria’s first ladies including (Late) Stella Obasanjo, Turai Yara’dua and Dame Patience Jonathan. There is a saying that “Never underestimate the power of association. Who you wine and dine with determine how far you go in life”.

See Also: How To Start Cocoa Production Business In Nigeria

Boards where Bola Shagaya Serves

Bola Shagaya was on the board of Unity Bank Plc, formerly known as Intercity Bank for over eight years. While on the board, she served in different capacities on various board committees including serving as the chairman of the Bank’s Establishment Committee, Chairman of the Audit Committee and was a member of Unity Bank’s Audit and Credit Committee.

She was the Chairman, Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment at 2014 National Conference.

The socialite is a member of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Business Group, Nigeria. The business group provides a platform for economic growth through private and public collaboration and communication. NEPAD Business Group also shares information on trade and investment opportunities in Nigeria and Africa.


Bola Shagaya is a sport lover, especially polo. Over the years, she has consistently supported polo tournaments in Nigeria. Recently, she supported the Access Bank’s UNICEF Charity Shield Polo Tournament. The event was to raise fund for the renovation of deteriorated classrooms as well as provide conducive learning environment for displaced and underprivileged children in Kaduna over the next five years.

The astute entrepreneur loves fashion and supports art. It is no wonder that she was a one-time patron of Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN).

See Also: Habits of effective entrepreneurs that will grow your business.

Recognition and Awards

Member of the Order of Niger                                                      2010

Forbes’ Ten Millionaires to Watch in Africa                                     2012

National Productivity Order of Merit Award                                   2012

Award for Excellent by ThisDay Annual Awards                            2012

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