Wahab Iyanda Folawiyo’s biography, fact, career, awards, net worth and life story

Intro Nigerian businessman
Was Businessperson
From Nigeria
Type Business
Gender male
Birth 16 June 1928
Death 8 June 2008
(aged 80 years)

Wahab Iyanda Folawiyo (June 16, 1928 – June 6, 2008) was a Nigerian businessman and philanthropist. In 1957, he founded Yinka Folawiyo & Sons, which has become the parent company of the Yinka Folawiyo Group of Companies.

He was born in Lagos to Pa Tijani, a wealthy local merchant, during the British colonial era. He attended the University of North London in 1951, where he read Management, specialising in Ship Brokerage. He returned to start Yinka Folawiyo & Sons, an import and export business. Folawiyo was also the first African-descended Principal Member of the Baltic Exchange in London.



As a philanthropist, he was active in several social and religious (particularly Muslim) endeavors. He funded the establishment and construction of mosques throughout the country, including both the Lagos Central and Surulere Central mosques in Lagos and the Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna. He also funded the Bab Es Salam Home for orphans in Lagos.

In sports, he was the sole philanthropist of the Yinka Folawiyo U 15 Athletics Championships and the National Amateur Wrestling Championships. In education, he endowed the professorial chair in Physics at the University of Lagos, and contributed to virus research at the University of Ibadan. Folawiyo, in June 1998, also became the first private individual to put together a physical structure at the University of Lagos when he upgraded the University’s Health Centre to a full-fledged hospital complete with an X-ray Unit.


He died in the early hours of June 6, 2008, at his residence in Queens Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos, at the age of 79 surrounded by his family; he was to have celebrated his 80th birthday on June 16. He was buried, by Muslim dictates, on the same day (at 4:45 p.m.) in the Central Mosques’ burial ground meant for imams of the mosque; only two other people besides Folawiyo, Imam Ibrahim Otun and Imam Murah, are buried in the cemetery. Former members of government rushed to the mosque to pay respects, including former president Olusegun Obasanjo and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, while state governors sent their condolences.


  • Doctor of Law by the University of Cross River State, Uyo, 1991,
  • Doctor of Letters by Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 1992
  • Doctor of Science by the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, 1998
  • key to Dade County, Florida, in the U.S.
  • Millennium Award of Doctor of Science, University of Lagos


  • Baba Adini of Nigeria, a chieftaincy title
  • Grand Patron of Nigerian Muslim Council
  • Chairman, Executive Council of the Lagos Central Mosque
  • Honorary Fellow, Chartered Institute of Transport
  • Fellow of the Commonwealth Journalists Association
  • Chairman, Maize Association of Nigeria and Patron
  • Institute of Freight Forwarders of Nigeria
  • Order of Federal Republic, OFR, conferred on him in 1982
  • Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON, on Nov. 16, 2000.
  • Chancellor, Lagos State University on April 17, 1999.
  • Patron of the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce.

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