Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony (1907-1991)
Businessman and philanthropist Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony started from the bottom to become one of the richest men in Africa during his time. He has a major road named after him in the heart of Lagos for the contributions he made to the development of Lagos and entire Nigeria.
Born on June 11, 1907, Bank-Anthony’s parents were business people. At that time, his father ran an undertaker business with the company – A. Bank Anthony and Sons Ltd.
In 1923, he started work as a junior clerk in the correspondence section of the Post and Telegraphs Department. He ventured into business by 1931, making a voyage to Germany and England to study how to produce palm oil and later established M.de Bank Brothers—a general merchant firm originally trading in Palm oil and then patent medicine.
Both businesses failed and he switched into the importation of watches, clocks and fountain pens. He was said to be a man who believed that failure is nothing but a propeller to attain greatness, he also owned a tanker fleet and a charter airline.
Bank-Anthony was said to be one of the earliest Nigerians to become chairman of a European company in 1950—the Italian Construction firm, Borini Prono and Company. He was also a director of Mobil Oil and Friesland Foods back then.