By Oluwafunke Ishola
Lagos – The President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has retained Africa’s richest man title in the 2019 Forbes Africa’s Billionaires list for the eighth consecutive year, with a current net worth of $10.3 billion.
Anthony Chiejina, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Dangote Industry, said that the industrialist emerged as Forbes’ the continent’s richest man for the first time in March 2011, with a net worth of $13.8 billion.
He noted that analysts had predicted that the business mogul’s fortune would increase in the next few years, when his Group’s refinery, petrochemical and fertiliser plants, which have so far gulped more than $12bn finally come on-stream.
“The refinery project is expected to boost Nigeria and Africa’s crude oil refining and supply, with thousands of jobs expected to be created by the conglomerate.
“Dangote, in a citation by Forbes, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer and the biggest stock on the Nigeria Stock Exchange.
“He owns nearly 88 per cent of the publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company.
“The cement giant produces 44 million metric tonnes annually and plans to increase its output to 33 per cent by 2020.
“Dangote also owns stakes in publicly-traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.”
Chiejina recalled that Dangote, who is also the Chairman of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, was also ranked by Forbes as the 66th most powerful person on earth, ahead of Mike Pence, US Vice-President in May 2018.
“Dangote moved up five places from his 2017 ranking of 71.”
Also, in the American business magazine’s 75-person list, Dangote clinched the second position in Africa, trailing President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, who was ranked 45th, both men were the only Africans on the list.
“Notably, he was also ranked 100 among the record 2,208 billionaires in 72 countries across the world in a Forbes publication released in March 2018.
“In confirmation of his ever-bludgeoning status, Dangote was also named as the sixth most charitable man in the world.
“The philanthropist, who endowed his foundation to the tune of $1.25 billion, was recently recognised and highlighted by Richtopia, a digital periodical that covers business, economics, and financial news, based in the United Kingdom.”
Chiejina recalled that Dangote was quoted to have once said that, beyond being known as Africa’s richest man; he would also like to be known as the continent’s biggest philanthropist.
Dangote, according to Forbes magazine, was closely followed on the rich list by another Nigerian – the Chairman of Globacom, Mike Adenuga, who was ranked the second richest person in the continent, with total net worth of $9.2 billion.