ABC Orjiako biography

How ABC Orjiako Became a Billionaire in Petroleum Sector After Abandoning Medical Profession


After 11 years of active medical practice, Dr ABC Orjiako, the Co-Founder & Chairman, Of Seplat Petroleum Development Company PLC, ventured into the Upstream and Downstream sector in Nigeria and grew the company to be competitive globally.

Born in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, to an Igbo family of late Mr Daniel Obiesie Orjiako and late Mrs Rebecca Orjiako from Umuchima, Uli Anambra State, the medical doctor-turned oil mogul could be said to be synonymous with the oil sector.

His experience demonstrates that to be successful in business, one must pay as much attention to details as a surgeon does while operating on a patient. We can all benefit from Dr. ABC Orjiako’s success story as one of Nigeria’s richest doctors.



  • Full name: Ambrose Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiako
  • Date of Birth: October 2, 1960
  • Place of Birth: Cross River State
  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Education: University of Calabar
  • Profession: Medical Doctor, Business Tycoon
  • Business Interest: Petroleum, Stocks, Real Estate

How ABC Orijako Started

SEPLAT, a prominent Nigerian independent oil and gas business traded on the London and Nigerian stock markets with a strategic concentration on oil, is chaired by ABC Orjiako, a co-founder.

In 1985, he graduated from the College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Nigeria, with an M.B.B.Ch. Degree in General Surgery. He then completed his residency training at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos.

The West African College of Surgeons accepted him as a fellow in 1996 after he went on to specialize in orthopaedic and trauma surgery.

In 2006, he graduated from Harvard Business School’s OPM program.

In Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, he founded and managed several upstream, downstream, and service sectors. This group includes companies such as The Trading Company of Abbeycourt and Abbeycourt energy, Zebra Energy, and Shebah Oil Exploration Company Ltd. Additionally, he is involved in real estate development and manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

How Seplat Oil Was Founded

Following an active medical career spanning eleven years, he moved into business full-time in 1996.

In 2009, he co-founded SEPLAT with Platform Petroleum Limited and Shebah Exploration and Production Company. He has been the chairman of the company since its inception, he would step down by May 2022 when the next Annual General Meeting is expected to hold.

He’s guided the firm to unprecedented heights of success and global recognition.

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Under his leadership, a groundbreaking dual-listing of its shares took place on the Nigerian and London Stock markets in 2014. The Oil and Gas Council awarded SEPLAT the “Mid-Cap Company of the Year 2014”.

Alleged Involvement of ABC Orijako in Malabu Scandal

During the tragic Malabu scandal, in which the Nigerian government contentiously handed to Mr. Dan Etete a valuable oil field, Ambroise Orjiako was then a prominent key counsel to Etete, who shared the profits with some high-ranking government officials after selling the oil field to Shell and Eni.

The Chairman of Nigeria’s largest publicly listed oil and gas company, Orjiako, took part in several meetings between Etete, Shell, and Eni between 2009 and 2011, when they negotiated the money to be paid to Etete for Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245.

Orjiako, according to the Malabu documents published by Premium Times, helped organize at least one of these meetings, assuring Shell officials that the attorney general, Mohammed Adoke, was ready to meet with them to progress the negotiations.

Was There Any Connection Between Orijako and Abacha?

When Etete was Nigeria Petroleum minister during the Sani Abacha regime in 1998, the Malabu scandal began. A firm that was owned by the minister and Abacha’s son, Malabu, was given the OPL 245 and the kleptocrat despot (Abacha).

When Abacha died, Etete took over the company, and administration of the block was a topic of controversy for years. The Olusegun Obasanjo administration even tried to rescind the allocation, which sparked legal battles.

Etete’s ownership was ultimately acknowledged by Jonathan’s administration, which helped to sell the block for $1.3 billion to Shell and Eni. Court filings state that the windfall was shared by Etete and other members of the administration’s cabinet. Several Shell and Eni officials have faced criminal charges in Europe due to their involvement in the agreement.

No document linked the Seplat founding Chairman directly with Abacha, but it was revealed that he was an adviser and negotiator in between Etete and Shell.

The scandal is one of the biggest corruption cases in Nigeria’s oil sector which also split over to successive governments since Abacha died in 1998.

Resignation as Seplat Energy Chair

On November 17, 2021, a communique from the management of Seplat that the pioneer chairman would step down.

The oil mogul said he had an amazing 12 years with Seplat Energy. Because of this, He stated that he is pleased that Seplat Energy has reached several notable milestones, including its board of directors, management, and the whole staff.

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To name a few, the company purchased eight oil and gas assets, increased its production capacity at Oben and developed new gas facilities at ANOH, and became Nigeria’s first company to be listed on the Lagos and London Stock Exchanges at the same time.

He further stated that he intends to devote all of his time and effort to the company for as long as he remains on the board.

Who Owns OML 55?

Seplat Energy operates Nigeria’s OML 55 conventional oil field, which is currently producing. It may be found in Block OML 55. Belemaoil Producing and Nigerian National Petroleum are the two companies that own the oil field in question.

Other oil wells belonging to the company include:

  • OMLs 4, 38 & 41
  • OML 40
  • OML 53
  • OML 55
  • OML 283
  • Ubima
  • Midstream gas
  • Oben Gas Processing Plant
  • ANOH Gas Processing Plant
  • Sapele Gas Processing Plant

About 30 per cent of Nigeria’s processed gas is supplied by Seplat Energy, which it planned to add additional capacity in 2022.

ABC Orjiako Net Worth

There are reports that Orjiako’s net worth is over $1 billion, this figure can’t be confirmed as the oil mogul holds his privacy to his heart dearly. However, he’s believed to be one of the richest people in Nigeria.

There are reports that Orjiako’s net worth is over $1 billion, this figure can’t be confirmed as the oil mogul holds his privacy to his heart dearly. However, he’s believed to be one of the richest people in Nigeria as his company Seplat Energy PLC (SEPLAT) is one of the most valuable stocks on the Nigerian Exchange that is classified under the Premium Board of NGX with a market capitalisation of NGN423,738,928,376.10 (as of January 19, 2022)

Regarding his collection of cars, it’s also rumoured that he has Bentley and Range Rover are some of the exotic cars in his garage.

Some Of the Key Positon ABC Orijako has held

He serves on the boards of firms in various industries, including healthcare, technology, and financial services.

He is the Chairman of Neimeth Pharmaceutical International plc, a company traded on the London Stock Exchange.

A director of MPI, traded on the NYSE Euronext Paris, and a director of Leadway Assurance Company Limited. He joined the London Stock Exchange’s Africa Advisory Group (“LAAG”) as a founding member by invitation, a select group striving to generate and channel ideas and solve challenges impacting the African continent from a commercial and social viewpoint.

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He and his wife are blessed with four wonderful children. His wife is also one of the directors in his company.

Humanitarian works

So that he could pay tribute to his late father, Chief Daniel O. Orjiako, he established the Daniel Orjiako Memorial Foundation (or “DOMF”) in 1996.

The objective of the foundation is to reduce poverty and improve the lives of rural Nigerians, the DOMF has implemented several initiatives in education, health care, and agriculture.

Ten years of violence in northeast Nigeria have rendered more than 7 million people in severe need of assistance in the three bad states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe. 1.8 million individuals are displaced within their own country and lack health care and access to necessities essential for everyone.

ABC Orjiako and his company pledged their support to the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund and also will form a Steering Group to raise awareness and resources while promoting innovative solutions, to aid humanitarian action in the north-east.


A Knighthood of St. Gregory the Great (KSGG) was bestowed to him by Pope John Paul II in 2003 in honour of his humanitarian work. As a humanitarian and an entrepreneur, he has been honoured with several prizes and accolades.

Some of them are:

1) Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Calabar in Nigeria in 2001

2) Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc. Honoris Causa) from Columbia University in New York in 2008.

3) An honorary degree from the West African College of Surgeons in 2006.

4) Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) by Nigeria’s President in 2012.

5) In the field of professional leadership, the PPRAC Zik (Nnamdi Azikiwe) Prize was awarded, as was the Oil and Gas Council’s African Business Executive of the Year 2014 award.


The major controversy hanging on the neck of Seplat founder was how he obtained several millions of dollars worth of loan from now rested Diamond Bank.

In some quarters it was alleged that Seplat loan plunged Diamond bank into the list of poor performing financial institutions in Nigeria till its acquisition by Access Bank.

As of February 5, 2021, Orjiako owed Access Bank a total of $200 million from an initial $135 million.


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