Three Nigerians of Igbo origin, one from Abia State, former governor of the state, Orji Uzor Kalu, and two bank owners in Anioma, Delta State, Jim Ovia and Tony Elumelu, were among the ten richest Nigerians listed among the 50 richest persons on the continent in the Forbes Africa’s 50 Richest 2015.
Others are Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Folorunsho Alakija, Femi Otedola, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Theophilus Danjuma and Mohammed Indimi.
The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, retained his spot as the richest African for the fifth year in a row, with a $16.7 billion net worth. However, his net worth was about $5 billion lower than a year ago, a result of a drop in the stock price at his Dangote Cement and the depreciation of the naira.
Also, while the Chairman of Globacom Chairman, Chief Mike Adenuga, was listed as the seventh richest Africa, with net worth of $3.5 billion, another Nigerian, Alakija, with a net worth of $1.7 billion was 13th on the list; Femi Otedola, with a net worth of $1.6 billion was the 16th richest African and Abdulsamad Rabiu , who with a $1 billion net worth was adjudged the 23rd richest African.
Other Nigerians who featured on the Forbes 2015 Africa’s Richest list included Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) who with a $750 million net worth was named the 30th richest African; Tony Elumelu with a $700 million net worth at number 31; Jim Ovia with a net worth of $550 million emerged the 37th richest African; Mohammed Indimi, with a $500 million net worth was 39th on the list and Orji Uzor Kalu, was placed 49th with a net worth of $330 million.
However, the report by Forbes on Wednesday revealed that after several years of steady growth in Africa, some sectors on the continent hit a wall.
“Lower prices for oil and other commodities led to a smaller number of African billionaires than a year ago on Forbes new list of Africa’s 50 richest – 23 billionaires this year, down from 28. As a group, the continent’s wealthiest 50 are worth $95.6 billion, a decline of $15 billion from a year ago,” the report added.
Meanwhile, the second richest person in Africa on the list was Nicky Oppenheimer, whose estimated $6.6 billion fortune stems from the stake he inherited in diamond miner and marketer DeBeers. In 2012, Oppenheimer sold the DeBeers stake to mining giant Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash. He moves up the ranks from the number three spot in 2014.
Seven members of the 2014 list dropped off, including mining mogul, Desmond Sacco of South Africa, and telecoms tycoon Strive Masiyiwa of Zimbabwe. Six previous list members returned to the list after dropping off, including South Africans Michiel Le Roux, CEO of Capitec Bank, and Raymond Ackerman, founder of retailer Pick N Pay Holdings. The minimum net worth required to make the list this year was $330 million, down from $510 million a year ago.
“South Africans made the best showing on the Africa’s richest list this year, occupying 16 spots, up from 11 last year. Nigerians had a smaller representation, with 10 members of the list, down from 13. Eight members hail from Morocco, seven from Egypt, three from Tanzania and three from Kenya. There was one each from Algeria, Angola and Uganda.
“The one newcomer on the list this year is Kenya’s Narendra Raval, with a net worth estimated at $400 million. A former assistant priest at a Swaminarayan temple – a Hindu sect –Raval was expelled from the sect when he married a Kenyan. He then got a job in the steelmaking business and later started Devki Group, which makes cement, reinforcement bars, and barbed wire.
“There are once again two women list members: Isabel dos Santos of Angola and Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria. Dos Santos, the eldest daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, sparked four members of the European Parliament to request an investigation in October into her investments in Portugal following a purchase in Dos Santos made in May 2015 of a roughly $200 million stake in Portuguese equipment supplier Efacec Power Solutions. The members of Parliament point to what appears to be the use of Angolan government funds for the purchase. A spokesperson for Dos Santos did not reply to a request for comment.
“The oldest African tycoon on the list is Miloud Chaabi of Morocco, age 86. His Ynna Holding develops real estate, operates hotels and supermarkets, and is the majority owner of SNEP, a chemical manufacturer in Morocco. The youngest is Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania, age 40. Dewji is CEO of METL, a Tanzanian conglomerate his father founded in the 1970s. It is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils,” it added. (The Easterner, Thisday)