Leadership (Abuja)

5 March 2013

Nigeria: Up 33 Steps, Dangote Now 43rd Richest in the World

Photo: This Day
Aliko Dangote

Nigeria's business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, is the 43rd richest man on earth today, according to the 2013 list of world's billionaires, compiled by Forbes Magazine.

He is worth $16.1 billion, with assets from his cement, sugar, flour and other businesses. He is number one in Nigeria and Africa. LEADERSHIP recalls that Dangote was number 76 on the list last year.

Mexico's Carlos Slim, who has taken a hit from the slump in the share price of his America Movil telecoms group since the list was calculated as of February 14, remained the richest person with a fortune of $73 billion, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates held on to the No. 2 spot with a net worth of $67 billion.

Spain's Amancio Ortega, the co-founder of the Inditex fashion group, leapt over Warren Buffett and France's Bernard Arnault to become the world's third richest person on Forbes' 2013 annual ranking of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $57 billion.

Ortega's fortune increased $19.5 billion, the biggest gain for any of the billionaires, from the report in 2012. He jumped two places and bumped Buffett, chairman and chief executive of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc, with a fortune of $53.5 billion out of the top three to the No. 4 spot for the first time since 2000.

"Warren had a great year, it's just that Amancio Ortega had a better year," Forbes magazine editor Randall Lane said of the co-founder of Zara. "He has one of the dominant apparel lines in Europe."

Arnault, of the LVMH luxury goods group, dropped to 10th place with $29 billion.

Slim, 73, made much of his fortune in telecommunications but also branched out into retail, commodities, finance and energy.

"To see Carlos Slim again broaden his lead and certify himself as the richest man in the world is a statement that wealth truly is global and not an American monopoly like it sometimes felt for many decades," Lane added in an interview.

Dangote, 55, retains his position as Africa's richest man for the third year in a row. The past year has been eventful for him. In October, he sold off a controlling stake in his flour milling company to Tiger Brands of South Africa. He pocketed $190 million in cash.

In February, his Dangote Sugar Refineries acquired a 95 per cent stake in Nigerian sugar producer Savannah Sugar in a bid to maintain its dominant position in the Nigerian sugar industry.

Dangote stepped up his philanthropy in the past year, giving over $100 million to causes ranging from education to health, flood relief, poverty alleviation and the arts. He also acquired a yacht, which he named after his mother Amiya.

The second Nigerian on the list is Otunba Mike Adenuga, who is 267th richest on earth, second in Nigeria and 5th in Africa. Adenuga, 59, owns Globacom - Nigeria's second largest telecommunication's firm, Conoil and some stake in Sterling Bank Nigeria. He founded Globacom in 2006.

It has 24 million customers in Nigeria, operates in the Republic of Benin and recently acquired licences to start businesses in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. His Conoil Producing is one of Nigeria's largest independent exploration companies, with a production capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

The Forbes billionaire's list of 2013 has newcomers. There's also upward and downward shift for some. Carlos Slim Helu, 73, of Mexico and family remains the richest in the world with $73 billion; Bill Gates, 57, is second with $67 billion. Amancio Ortega, 76, of Spain leapt to third place, with $57 billion, keeping famous investor Warren Buffet, 82, at 4th place, with 53.5 billion. Oracle founder, Larry Ellison, 68, is 5th with $43 billion.

Other famous people on the list include Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page, 39, who, with $23 billion, is 20th on the list. Fellow co-founder Sergey Brin, 39, is 21st with $22.8 billion. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 28, is 66th on the list with $13.3 billion. Oprah Winfrey, 59, is the 503rd person with $2.8 billion. Many of the billionaires give millions in philanthropy every year.

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Business mogul and president of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has maintained his position as Africa richest, according to a list of the world's richest people released ... Read more »