Nigeria’s harsh economic climate took a dangerous toll on the fortunes of its leading business executives as only three entrepreneurs made the billionaires’ club list released yesterday by Forbes financial magazine.
According to the magazine, there are only three dollar-billionaires left in Nigeria, which include Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man; Folorunsho Alakija, the world’s second richest black woman, and Mike Adenuga, founder of Globacom.
For its 2017 rich list, Forbes upheld Dangote as Africa’s richest man, despite losing nearly $3 billion to devaluation of the Nigerian naira. Among those that dropped off the list are Femi Otedola of Forte Oil, and Abdulsamad Rabiu, founder of BUA Group, who fell off the billionaire list due to the fall in oil prices and devaluation of the naira.
“While Otedola fell off the list as a result of the crash in share price of his oil company, Forte Oil, a devaluation of the Nigerian currency, was blamed for Rabiu’s ousting,” Forbes said.
Alakija and Oprah Winfrey, American media mogul, are the only black female billionaires on the list, as the number of black billionaires shrank from 12 in 2016 to 10 in 2017.
In 2016, apart from Dangote Nigerians who made the list were Adenuga ($10 billion), Otedola ($1.8 billion), Alakija ($1.6 billion) and Rabiu ($1.1 billion), and they came in at 103, 1,011, 1,121 and 1,577 respectively.
The only Nigerians left on the list in 2017, however, include Dangote ($12.2 billion), Adenuga ($5.8 billion) and Alakija ($1.6 billion), who came in at 105, 250, and 1,290 on the global ranking. The rankings also show that Dangote and Adenuga remain richer than US President, Donald Trump, who lost about $1 billion in last year’s rating – three times less than what Dangote lost.
On the other hand Alakija upstaged Mo Ibrahim, Africa’s “leadership” billionaire, and Michael Jordan, one of the world’s finest basket ballers, to the 1,290 spot. With $1.1 billion, Ibrahim came in at 1,795, while Jordan clinched the 1,567 spot with $1.3 billion.