It has been revealed that the net worth of Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote, grew to $14.8 billion in 2019 after raking the sum of $4.3 billion from his various investments during the year.
Business Post gathered that the industrialist increased on the back of investments in cement, flour and sugar, with more expected to come from his foray into the oil and gas industry.
The billionaire businessman is close to completing one of the world’s largest oil refineries in Lagos, Nigeria. The plant has the capacity to meet more than the country’s entire fuel consumption and could transform an economy that currently imports all its refined product needs. Mr Dangote is also constructing a fertilizer factory on the same site.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the 62-year-old Nigerian businessman and Africa’s most prominent industrialist ended the decade as the 96th wealthiest man in the world.
Mr Jeff Bezos remains the richest in the world with $115 billion in his kitty while Mr Bill Gates and Mr Bernard Arnault followed as 2nd and 3rd respectively with $113.7 billion and $105 billion. Mr Warren Buffett was the fourth with $89.3 billion on the world billionaires’ chart.
Mr Dangote’s estimated worth in the latest Bloomberg ranking far outstrips an earlier ranking by the Forbes Magazine, another elite publication which placed his fortune at $10.8 billion in the 2019 Forbes Africa’s Billionaires’ list released in January, although he retained the rank as the richest African for the 8th consecutive year in the latter ranking.
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Born into a wealthy Muslim family of traders in the north, Mr Dangote incorporated his own business selling cement at 21. He shifted to manufacturing the building material in the 1990s, helped by government policies that encouraged ways to reduce the need for imports.
His critics still accuse him of taking advantage of his closeness to the government to gain an unfair market advantage, a claim he has repeatedly dismissed.
His conglomerate, Dangote Industries, includes the biggest cement company on the continent, the Lagos-listed Dangote Cement Plc. That’s one of four publicly traded companies under the Dangote umbrella that account for more than a fifth of the value of the Nigerian stock exchange.