Billionaire Success Story: IGHO SANOMI

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Igho Sanomi, the Chairman of Taveleras Group a Nigerian company with special interest in the energy and oil industry netting over US $ 2 billion in turnover. Igho is undoubtedly one of the richest young man in Nigeria with a proven and trackable success record, having broken into high barriers of entry into Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in the 1998 just at the age of 23. He has also built his business empire into a continental body with offices in London, Dubai, Geneva, Cape Town, Ivory Coast, Abuja and Lagos being one of the largest independent energy traders in Africa.

It seems success, excellence if not leadership runs in the blood having been born in 1975 in Aghor, Delta State being the fifth child and first son of Dickens Ogheneruemu Patrick Sanomi, was the second national vice-president of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) and a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in the Nigeria Police Force. His mother, Mabel Iyabo Sanomi, is a yeye jemo (tribal chief) of the Isotun Ijesha kingdom in Osun State in south-western Nigeria and a former nurse. Sanomi received a bachelor’s degree in geology and mining from the University of Jos, Plateau State, in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.(Wikipedia)

Having being fascinated by the oil industry in his final year at the university, he opted for the physical trading business of oil as he couldn’t resist the business of oil prices, hedging, taking positions etc. which was being shared and bragged about by his friend who worked for First Fuels, a local physical oil trading company. Whilst most of his friends and classmates opted for the engineers and geologists, he was choosing his own path.

Sanomi started reading about physical trading and as soon as he finished school he stated looking for joint ventures and eventually found one of which he worked with impressive results and he got the chance to learn more about the industry and he got another contract with Masefield a Swiss trading company, After a couple of successful and structured deals they went into a long-term venture prompting the CEO of Masefield to offer Sanomi a good job, which he turned down not that the conditions were bad but just that he thought he had learnt enough and it was high time he would roll out and release his expertise and passion to the world.

Sanomi with just a small team went to put his own shop Sarian Oil, building his business until had the confidence of financial institutions and shipping companies and he says he built his company not to prove on margins but just to show that as a Nigerian company they could do it and Taleveras from 2004 became the preferred supplier of fuel oil feedstock to major USA refineries, also making an exclusive joint venture with Morgan Stanley’s trading arm for crude supply to one of their refineries. Just at the age of 28, in 2004 Igho Sanomi merged various segments of his trading business and renamed the company Taleveras.

While the Company had been operation for close to a decade it rose to the spotlight in 2008 when it claimed an offshore trading arm hit a turnover exceeding $2 billion. Winning two oil blocks in 2005 during the oil bidding round organised by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Then followed a crude swap arrangement with Duke Oil Incorporated a subsidiary of NNPC, of which Taleveras was also a beneficiary. In 2013 Taleveras acquired a stake in the 900MW Afam Power plant in Rivers State in Nigeria’s Southern region. Subsequently, in 2014, Taleveras invested a minority stake in the Aiteo Consortium that acquired the prolific OML 29 from Shell.

Philanthropy Works

Igho has participated and founded a lot of philanthropy works from education to humanitarian works and here we take a look at some of the areas he has successfully exhibited that indeed he is a man of the people, a God fearing man with the people at heart.

Essay Competitions

From 2014, the Dickens Sanomi Foundation has been sponsoring an annual essay competition open to all Nigerian secondary-school pupils. The competition, which has attracted as many as 250 entries, is divided into junior and senior secondary-school students. The winner walks away with a scholarship, and the schools attended by the winners receive grants for facilities such as computer equipment.


The Dickens Foundation helped the Nigerian flood victims in the Delta State in October 2012, rescuing over 10 000 families and aiding over 12 000 displaced people, with food and relief materials worth millions of nairas. The displaced persons were rescued in 500 seater engine and speed boats from communities in Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Patani, Isoko North, Isoko South and Burutu Local Government Areas of Delta State and were subsequently taken to some government designated camps.


The Dickens Foundation has pledged a lot of money to the Bobby Moore Fund towards cancer research in the UK. It has also pledged funds to the Save for Children and Oxfam. He has also co-sponsored the Dance Theatre for Harlem’s first Latin American Tour in Tegucigalpa in 2014. Sanomi is involved in the Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC) and trhrough his company has been actively involved in Orphaned and Vulnerable Children ( OVC).


Mr Sanomi has been sponsoring events such as the Kaduna International Polo Tournament, for which the Taleveras Group fields its own polo team.  The Taleveras Group team also competes against other organisations in a variety of sports to help promote local fundraising activities.


Rank 1 – Choiseul 100 Africa – Economic Leaders for Tomorrow

Honorary Chair to the International Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jnr.

Martin Luther King Legacy Award for Service and Philanthropy


Rank 1 – Choiseul 100 Africa – Economic Leaders for Tomorrow

M.C. Ebo Award for Leadership and Service

Lifetime GIPLC Eguono Award

Papal Medal – Official Annual Medal of the Year of the Pontificate of his Holiness Pope Francis

Oil and Gas Man of the Year – Nigeria Advancement Awards

Young Humanitarian of the Year – Mode Men Magazine.

Patron of Nigeria’s National Heritage – In recognition of unrelenting effort and support for various causes through corporate social responsibility in Nigeria.

Award of Excellence
 – Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC).

Young Entrepreneur of the Year 
– Mode Men Magazine.

Male Entrepreneur of the Year
  – Federal Capital Territory Business Excellence Awards, organized by the Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), Department of International Development (DFID) and the Federal Capital Territory Administration.

Forbes Magazine – “One of the new generation of young professionals in Nigeria who are establishing themselves as young leaders of the private sector business community.”

Certificate of Merit for Humanitarianism (Taleveras Group) – Lifeline Care Association

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