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Jim Ovia Biography, Family, Education, Career, Net Worth and Assets



 Jim Ovia Biography Family Education Career Net Worth and Assets
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In this piece, chronicles the biography, family, education, career, net worth and assets of Jim Ovia.


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Photo of Jim Ovia

Jim James Ovia CFR CON is a Nigerian businessman, he is the founder of Zenith Bank which he founded in 1990.



He is a member of the Governing Council of Lagos State University, Lagos and a member of the Board of Trustees, Redeemer’s University For Nations, Lagos.


He was a member of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (1999–2007) and served on the board of American International School, Lagos (2001–2003).


Ovia headed numerous NGO’s at various times including serving as the first President of the Nigeria Internet Group (2001–2003).


He is the founder and Chairman of Mankind United to Support Total Education (MUSTE), a philanthropic organization focused on providing scholarships for the less privileged.


He is the founder of the Youth Empowerment / ICT Foundation, which focuses on improving the socioeconomic welfare of Nigerian youths by inspiring and motivating them to embrace Information and communication technology.


Jim Ovia born 4 November 1951, is the second son in the family of Obi Olihe of Agbor-Obi. His father was one of the most revered chiefs in Agbor Kingdom, Delta State..

Jim Ovia is married to Kay Ovia who is  the MD/CEO at Quantum Markets Ltd.

The union is blessed with five children – Isioma, Zephia, Tito, Tomi and Jesse.



He had his primary education in Delta State, after which he enrolled at the prestigious  Ika Grammar School, Bojiboji-Owa for his secondary education .


Jim Ovia holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana, Monroe, Louisiana, USA in 1979 and a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA in 1977.

He is also an Alumnus of Harvard Business School.



He is the founder of Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s tier-1 bank and one of the most profitable financial institutions in Nigeria until 2010, when he moved into the chairman role. He was the recipient of a Nigerian national honor.


Jim Ovia, dubbed the “Godfather of Banking” by Forbes Africa, earned this title by building Nigeria’s largest bank.


Ranked 325th in the world (The Banker, Top 1000 World Banks, 2016), Zenith Bank has over $16bn in assets today across over 300 branches in Nigeria, with a strategic international presence in the UK, Dubai, China, Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Gambia.



During two decades of leadership, he helped position the bank as one of the largest and most profitable in Africa.



Ovia is the founder of Visafone Communications Limited and the chairman of both the Nigerian Software Development Initiative (NSDI) and the National Information Technology Advisory Council (NITAC).


He is a member of the Honorary International Investor Council as well as the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI).



He is the Chairman of Cyberspace Network Limited. He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in the 50th convocation ceremony of the University of Lagos.


In September 2018, Ovia announced the publication of his book Africa, Rise and Shine published with ForbesBooks.

In October 2022, a Nigerian national honour of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) was conferred on him by President Muhammadu Buhari.



Jim Ovia is among the first ten richest bankers in Nigeria.

According to Forbes, Jim Ovia has an estimated net worth of $550 million.


Jim Ovia has landed properties in different parts of the world, as well as fleets of cars in his garage.


It is said that he has a house in Lagos.
Jim Ovia is also the owner of a 15- storey office complex valued at about N4bn.


The gargantuan building called The Civic Center Towers was constructed by G Cappa. It’s on Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, Lagos.

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