Dangote, Adenuga, Rabiu, Otedola Emerge Only Nigerians on Forbes’ World Billionaires List 2024

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Forbes Magazine yesterday released the 38th edition of its World Billionaires List for 2024, with Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Abdulsamad Rabiu and Femi Otedola emerging the only Nigerians on the list posted by the platform.

Dangote remained Africa’s richest man, recording $13.4 billion as of April 2, 2024, while Adenuga followed with a net worth of $6.7 billion. Rabiu and Otedola, according to the new report, were worth $5.2 and $1.7 billion respectively.

Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list is a ranking of every person on the planet with a net worth of $1 billion US dollars or more as of March 8, 2024.

Dangote, Africa’s richest person, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer and owns 85 per cent of the publicly-traded cement firm, through a holding company, Forbes stated.

Dangote Cement has the capacity to produce 48.6 million metric tons annually and has operations in 10 countries across Africa, the release said. On the other hand, Dangote’s fertiliser plant in Nigeria began operations in March 2022 and Dangote Refinery is gradually ramping up petroleum refining operations in 2024.

Emerging 144 richest billionaire globally, the 66-year-old businessman, has a Bachelor of Arts/Science from Al-Azhar University.

As of yesterday, Forbes stated that Adenuga, 70, is Nigeria’s second richest man, who built his fortune in telecommunications and oil production. He is now 409th richest person globally.

His mobile phone network, Globacom, is one of the three largest operators in Nigeria, Forbes said, with more than 60 million subscribers, while his oil exploration outfit, Conoil Producing, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta, according to the organisation.

Globacom also built Glo-1, a 6,100-mile-long submarine Internet cable to the UK via Ghana and Portugal.

Adenuga also owns 74 per cent of publicly traded oil firm Conoil and just under 6 per cent of publicly traded Nigerian bank Sterling Financial Holding. He has a Master of Business Administration from Pace University, New York, supporting himself as a student by working as a taxi driver. He made his first million at age 26 selling lace and distributing soft drinks.

Rabiu, 63, who is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining and real estate, emerged Nigeria’s 3rd richest man, by Forbes estimates.

The combined firm, called BUA Cement Plc, trades on the Nigerian stock exchange; Rabiu owns 98.2 per cent of it. He also owns 95 per cent of publicly traded food conglomerate BUA Foods. He set up his own business in 1988 importing iron, steel and chemicals. He’s number 581 globally in 2024.

Also, Otedola, a Nigeria billionaire made his first fortune in commodities before selling his shares in Forte Oil to invest in the energy business, Forbes said.

Otedola, 61, is the chairman of Geregu Power, a power generation business. During 2022 and 2023 Otedola sold down a Geregu stake that was once more than 95 per cent to bring on institutional investors.

He also owns properties in Lagos, Dubai, London and Monaco, and holds shares in Zenith Bank and First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Holdings. He’s number 2,152 in the billionaires ranking.

A record year for 10-figure wealth, Forbes said there are now more billionaires than ever: 2,781 in all, 141 more than last year and 26 more than the record set in 2021.

They’re richer than ever, worth $14.2 trillion in aggregate, it stressed, up by $2 trillion from 2023 and $1.1 trillion above the previous record, also set in 2021. Two-thirds of the list’s members are worth more than a year ago; only one fourth are poorer.

Much of the gains come from the top 20, who added a combined $700 billion in wealth since 2023, and from the US, which now boasts a record 813 billionaires worth a combined $5.7 trillion.

China remains second, with 473 (including Hong Kong) worth $1.7 trillion, despite weak consumer spending and a real estate bust that helped wipe out $200 billion in wealth and knocked 89 billionaires from the ranks. India, which has 200 billionaires (also a record), ranks third.

Bernard Arnault still remains worlds richest man, with $233 billion; Elon Musk is second with $195 billion, while Jeff Bezos ($194 billion); Mark Zuckerberg ($177 billion) and Larry Ellison ($141 billion) emerged 3rd, 4th and 5th richest persons globally.

Besides, Warren Buffett ($133 billion); Bill Gates ($128 billion); Steve Ballmer ($121 billion), Mukesh Ambani ($116 billion) and Larry Page ($114 billion) were 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th richest billionaires in that order globally.

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