5 March 2014

Nigerian Millionaires to Soar 47 Percent in Next Four Years, Study Says

Photo: Leadership
Bank lending money.

Against the belief in some quarters that income inequalities are widening between the haves and have nots, a new report has indicated that many more Nigerians will become millionaires in the next four years.

According to the report, Nigerian millionaires will increase in number by almost 47 per cent over the next four years as higher house and stock prices in the country complement a booming economy, according to New World Wealth. The number of people in Africa's top oil producer with investable assets of at least $1 million will jump to 23,000 by 2017, after increasing by 44 per cent over the past six years to 15,700 in 2013, Johannesburg-based New World Wealth wrote in a report published yesterday.

About 26 per cent of their $82 billion wealth was held offshore last year, with the bulk of private-banking funds deposited in the U.K., Switzerland and the Channel Islands, the report said.

"Growth in the wealth of high net worth individuals is linked to a number of factors including the country's GDP, the local real estate market and the local equity market," Andrew Amoils, senior analyst at New World Wealth, said in the report. Nigeria, where the economy expanded at an average of 8.2 per cent annually since 1999, has the third-highest number of millionaires on the continent after South Africa and Egypt, according to the report.

Economic growth has increased per-capita income in Africa's most populous nation by more than fivefold to $1,725 over that period. Lagos, the commercial capital, was home to 9,500 millionaires, or 61 per cent of Nigeria's total. Next comes the oil industry hub Port Harcourt with 1,300 and the capital Abuja with 600, according to New World Wealth. The oil and gas industry is the source of 24 per cent of this wealth.

Nigeria is home to five billionaires, according to the report, as published by Bloomberg, including Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, whose businesses range from cement to sugar. Dangote has a net worth of $25.2 billion, ranking him 24th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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