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Arthur Eze And Atlas Oranto Petroleum: The Largest Privately Held Nigerian Exploration And Production Group


Arthur Eze is a Nigerian oil mogul, philanthropist, politician, and CEO of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, the largest privately held Nigerian exploration and production group. In Igboland, he is referred by the title of Ozoigbondu and he is said to be the 8th wealthiest man in Africa.

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Arthur Eze was born on the 27th of November 1948 in Ukpo village, Dunukofia Local Government Anambra State, Nigeria. He is popularly known as ‘Prince Arthur Eze na Ukpo’ because he is from a royal family, and his elder brother is the traditional ruler (King) of Ukpo kingdom.

Arthur attended St. Augustin Secondary School in Nkwere, Imo state in 1970. After his secondary education, he then went to California State University, Long Beach, California to study mechanical and chemical engineering from 1974 to 1978.

Atlas Oranto Petroleum

Atlas Oranto Petroleum was founded by Arthur Eze in 1991. The company currently has 22 oil and gas licenses in 12 jurisdictions across Africa. It has assets in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and several Atlas Oranto operated blocks.

To date, the company is the largest holder of oil exploration blocks in Africa. Atlas Oranto has regional offices and representatives across core investment locations in West Africa with its technical base located in Lagos, while its headquarters is at Abuja.

The chairman chose Abuja as its headquarters so that the management of the company can have direct access to African policy-makers in the region. The Eze family has ownership of the company stock and all the shareholders are involved in the company’s operation.

Arthur Eze and Politics

Arthur Eze has always donated generously to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he gave almost $100 million to support politicians in Anambra State. He is called “the godfather” by most highly placed politicians in his state, as he is seen as an authority in political matters.

Although Arthur continuously donates to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he supports other political parties as well, as long as he believes in the person contesting.

Some people argue that “godfatherism” in Anambra State started when Arthur Eze sponsored Senator Joy Emordi in 2005, after the annulment of Emmanuel Anosike’s election. It is also worthy of note that the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) was formed in his sitting room.

Arthur Eze Philanthropic Activities

  • Donation of $12 million for the construction of St. Stephen’s Anglican Deanery and Youth Development Center in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria in 2013.
  • Arthur Eze donated $800,000 for the construction of two primary schools in Yirol and Rumbek communities in central South Sudan.
  • 10 million Naira donated to the elderly people of the Ukpo community.
  • The Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder (APLSCD), received the sum of N5 million for a standard sickle cell clinic at the Ukpo, Dunukofia Council Area of Anambra State.
  • He was part of those that contributed to the relief needs of the victims of Boko Haram insurgencies, of which he donated the sum of $800,000 at a fundraiser in Abuja.
  • Arthur Eze gave 25 million Naira of the total funds raised for the ‘Russia 2018’ FIFA World Cup in 2018.
  • Eze donated $6.3-million to the flood relief efforts in Nigeria in the year 2013.
  • A church in Abagana community benefited from his cheerful giving as he gave them the sum of 20 million naira for musical instruments and renovations in 2015.
  • Arthur singlehandedly built a medical research unit for the Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
  • He modernized the local market near the Ukpo palace and also created road networks linking the Dunukofia clan with neighbouring towns like Abba, Awkuzu, Ifite-Dunu, and Abagana.
  • Arthur constructed the overhead bridge in Ebonyi State with his funds, without asking for government intervention.

Arthur Eze’s Awards and Recognitions

  • ‘Patron of Ndigbo Lagos’ and adoption into the Ndigbo Lagos Patron Hall of Fame at his 70th birthday.
  • The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr Dave Umahi, named a major road after Arthur Eze, and also appointed him as the Chancellor of Ebonyi State University.
  • Former President Goodluck Jonathan conferred him with the distinguished award of the ‘Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR)’ in recognition of his contribution towards the development of the nation’s economy and humanitarian gesture to the Nigerian people at an event in Abuja on the 14th of November 2011.
  • Enugu City Centre Rotary District 9142 named him “Outstanding Citizen of the World” in 2015.
  • The Zik Prize in leadership awards honoured him with the ‘Zik Leadership Awards’ in the business category in 2018.
  • ‘Africa Value Award’ by Value Reorientation and Developmental Initiative Africa (VARDIAFRICA) in 2018.

Arthur Eze is a man that gives in both millions and billions. According to, his net worth is estimated at $5.8 billion.



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Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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