HomeNewsNigerian Tycoons Shine on Forbes' Billionaire List Despite Economic Hurdles

Nigerian Tycoons Shine on Forbes’ Billionaire List Despite Economic Hurdles

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Despite the naira’s devaluation, four Nigerian tycoons—Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Mike Adenuga, and Abdulsamad Rabiu—have secured their spots on Forbes’ list of global billionaires, showcasing their enduring financial prowess and resilience. This year’s Forbes list not only features a record number of billionaires but also highlights the wealthiest individuals amassing greater fortunes than ever before, with the total count reaching 2,781 billionaires worldwide, their collective net worth surging to $14.2 trillion.

Femi Otedola makes a notable comeback to Forbes Africa’s list in 2024, having last been featured in 2017. This re-entry is significant, considering the financial landscape and Otedola’s strategic shift in business interests, particularly his move away from oil investments to focus on the energy sector’s privatisation in Nigeria. His majority stake in Geregu Power Plant, listed on the Nigerian exchange in 2022, plays a pivotal role in his $1.1 billion fortune, underscoring his successful pivot and strategic investment decisions.

The global billionaire scene remains dominated by Bernard Arnault and his family, with a staggering net worth of $233 billion, followed by Elon Musk with $195 billion. The United States leads with the highest number of billionaires at 813, while China and India follow with 473 and 200 billionaires, respectively, setting records in their nations.

Aliko Dangote retains his title as Africa’s richest person for the 13th consecutive year, with a net worth of $13.9 billion. The slight increase in his fortune, despite Nigeria’s economic challenges, attests to his enduring business acumen, particularly in the cement industry. Mike Adenuga and Abdulsamad Rabiu also continue to feature prominently on the list, ranked fifth and sixth in Africa, with fortunes of $6.9 billion and $5.9 billion, respectively.

Forbes’ methodology for curating this list involves a meticulous evaluation of wealth, considering both publicly traded and privately held businesses. The assessment employs stock prices and currency exchange rates as of January 8, 2024, providing a snapshot of each billionaire’s financial standing. This approach ensures a comprehensive and accurate representation of wealth across the African continent, excluding those whose primary business or residence is outside Africa.

This year’s list of Africa’s billionaires, now totaling 20, marks a slight rebound in fortunes following a downturn in the previous year, with a combined worth of $82.4 billion. This uptick, albeit modest, reflects the dynamic and evolving nature of wealth in Africa, influenced by market trends, investment decisions, and economic policies. The inclusion of African billionaires such as Otedola, alongside stalwarts like Dangote, Adenuga, and Rabiu, illustrates the continent’s rich diversity of entrepreneurial talent and the potential for further growth and innovation in the years to come.

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