Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Nigeria's 6 Richest Billionaires [NEW]

Number 2

1. Aliko Dangote - Aliko is not only Nigeria’s richest - he’s the wealthiest person on the entire continent. That is by a substantial margin too. And while it may be tempting to think he made his wealth from oil, Dangote is a commodities king - a fortune he built over three decades after taking out a loan to start his business. His conglomerate Dangote Group handles cement, sugar and flour, to name a few. But black gold is on the horizon, as the billionaire plans to build a massive - and much needed - oil refinery in Nigeria. His conglomerate recently revealed plans to grow over 750,000 jobs in the next five years, which will make Dangote the biggest employer in Nigeria. Though Forbes estimates his fortune at $16 billion, African Ventures places it above $20 billion. 

2. Mike Adenuga ($8 Billion) -  People love to talk, which is why Mike Adenuga made himself a tidy fortune as owner of Globacom Nigeria’s second-largest telecommunications company. This he founded in 2006 and it has since begun expanding to other West African countries. According to Ventures Africa, he made his early fortune from textiles, then managed several lucrative government contracts in the Nineties. Later that decade Adenuga acquired a drilling permit, which led to launching Conoil Production (not to be confused with Conoil PLC, which he also owns a part of). 

3.Folorunsho Alakija ($7.3 Billion) - Step aside, Oprah - the world’s richest black woman is now Folorunsho Alakija. She also ranks as the fourth-richest person on the continent, dethroning Isabel Dos Santos as Africa’s richest woman. And unlike Dos Santos, daughter of Angola’s strongman President, Alakija’s wealth is easier to trace. Starting as a secretary at a merchant bank, she left the business world to start a career in fashion. After establishing a fashion label, she soon rubbed shoulders with Nigeria’s mighty and powerful in the 90s. This helped Alakija get a drilling license to a lucrative oil block - ownership her company Famfa Oil briefly lost to the government, but regained after a lengthy court battle. 

4. Gilbert Chagoury ($4.2 Billion) - Though Lebanese by descent, Gilbert Chagoury was born in Nigeria and regards it as his home country. And like many of the self-made super rich, he started his empire in a conglomerate that trades commodities and services: the Chagoury Group covers everything from flour to tourism. He is also a real estate magnate and is busy constructing Eko Atlantic, an artificial peninsula extending from Lagos’ Victoria island. Chagoury is very politically connected - he was an associate of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, a former financial advisor to the President of Benin and a diplomat. 

5. Arthur Eze ($3.3 Billion) - Not many people knew much about Arthur Eze - that is until earlier this year, when he made a $12 million donation for a church fundraiser connected to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. Since then he has emerged at the fifth-richest individual in the country - Ventures Africa estimates his worth at $3.3 billion. That fortune is thanks to his oil exploration company Atlas Oranto Petroleum, which has oil and gas assets in Nigeria, The Gambia, Liberia and beyond. Though relatively unknown in public, Eze has long been a mover and shaker in Nigerian politics, especially in his home state of Anambra State.

6. Theophilus Danjuma ($1.8 Billion) - Several of the super-rich on this list have links to Nigeria’s murky past of dictators and military coups. Theophilus Danjuma more so than most: for one, he used to be in the military and played an instrumental role stopping a coup during the late Seventies. Later he would be President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Minister Of Defence and in the Nineties his close ties with Sani Abacha’s regime saw him being awarded an oil block. Numerous more such awards would come towards Danjuma and his company, South Atlantic Petroleum Exploration, and he would grow wealthy by selling off percentages of ownership to other oil outfits. 

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