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Billionaire Watch

Nigerian billionaires and what happened to them in 2019

For Nigeria’s wealthiest individuals, the twelve months of 2019 have been quite eventful. Some of these billionaires made more money this year.

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Nigerian billionaires and what happened to them in 2019

As you already know, a lot can happen in one year. For Nigeria’s wealthiest individuals, the twelve months of 2019 have been quite eventful. Some of these billionaires certainly made more money this year, even as a few of them divested some parts (if not all) of their business empires. Others started new businesses, travelled the world, and enjoyed their wealth.

As 2019 gradually comes to an end, Nairametrics has decided to look back at some of the major events that happened in the lives of these billionaires. What have they been up to and what are their plans for 2020? Now, let’s start with the major ones.

billionaires, holiday, Otedola extols Dangote’s multi-billion dollars refinery project

Otedola and Dangote

Femi Otedola charmed 2019

Talks about Femi Otedola’s proposed divestment from Forte Oil Plc became public knowledge in as early as December 2018. However, the deal did not get finalised until around June 2019. This was three months after the Q1 deadline that was initially planned. It was one of the biggest deals in corporate Nigeria this year, and it saw the billionaire and former Chairman of the downstream oil and gas company selling his entire majority shareholding to Prudent Energy Limited.

Walking away with his billions, Femi Otedola later announced via Instagram that he was shifting focus to his power generation company, Geregu Power Plc. He currently serves as the company’s Chairman of Board.

Besides his business moves, Otedola was also very active on the social scene. Now mind you, we are not just talking about him attending high-class events with his classy wife or even being invited to Buckingham Palace a number of times this year; no. We are talking about him being very active on social media. That’s right, we might as well call him the Instagram Billionaire of 2019! Indeed, the man lived life in 2019. And what else can we say if not that he deserved every bit of it.

But then again, Femi Otedola did more than just wear designer clothes and flaunt his wealth on social media. On many occasions, he demonstrated his altruism by offering scholarships and taking care of the medical bills of two Nigerian famous actors. He even gave out $25,000 to the Super Eagles of Nigeria as part of a promise he made to encourage them to perform at the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

Femi Otedola certainly did have very defined moments in 2019. It is expected that 2020 will be as interesting. Hopefully, his book, which he hinted was in the works, will finally be ready next year.

MTN Nigeria

MTN Nigeria’s chairman, Pascal Dozie

Pascal Dozie retired

There are some billionaires that all we ever hear about them doing is working and making money. Pascal Dozie is one of such billionaires. The man did everything from starting and building Diamond Bank Plc to serving as MTN Nigeria’s Chairman for nearly two decades. So, when it was announced in July this year that he was retiring, everyone knew that he deserved the rest.

The 80-year old is probably the most prominent business executive that retired in 2019. However, despite his retirement, we bet his money is still streaming in, thanks to his billions and many investments, including shareholdings in MTN Nigeria.

Allen Onyema’s rise and fall?

[READ MORE: World billionaires’ wealth drop by $388 billion in 2018)

Earlier in September when the CEO of Nigeria’s Air Peace, Allen Onyema, volunteered to bear the cost of repatriating hundreds of Nigerians who were stranded in South Africa following a wave of xenophobic attacks, millions of Nigerians were really impressed. They even declared him as a national hero, which in fact he was. The altruistic move even turned out to be very beneficial to the airline in terms of publicity, thereby positioning the company for even greater exploits in the Nigerian aviation sector.

bitcoin train

Fast-forward to November, the story changed for the billionaire when the US Government surprisingly accused him of fraud. Many Nigerians were just as shocked to hear the news as they were surprised by his generosity earlier in September. He has since maintained his innocence, despite the allegations. And as it seems, a lot of the Nigerian public is in support of him.

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In the meantime, it is unclear whether the accusations against him hold any merit. The case is still pending and until there is a definitive court ruling, we really cannot be vocal with our commentary. One thing that is however clear is that the indictment was a major blow to Mr Allen’s almost perfect businessman’s image. Hopefully, he will be able to clear his name soon.

Air Peace gets rights to commence daily flights to South Africa , Air Peace Founder, Onyema indicted for bank fraud, money laundering , Air Peace’s Onyema saga: EFCC seizes passport, as Northern Youths plan rally at US embassy

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Austin Avuru prepares for departure

The Co-founder and CEO of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Austin Avuru, oversaw the completion of one of the biggest corporate deals in Nigeria this year. We are talking about Seplat’s acquisition of Eland Oil and Gas. The deal, which was valued at $484 million, will probably be the last deal the billionaire will broker for the indigenous oil major. This is because it was announced earlier this year that he will be retiring from the company by mid-2020.

Recall that in December 2018, the billionaire disclosed that he would be retiring from the company after his 62nd birthday. He is currently 61 years old and will be 62 sometime next year. By the time he steps down in July next year, he would have served as the company’s CEO for ten years.

Luckily for him, he is certainly going to have an amazing retirement. This is because first of all, he is a billionaire. Moreover, he has enough investments to last a lifetime.

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Tony Elumelu got decorated by a VC

As one of Nigeria’s most prominent billionaire businessmen, it is not surprising that Tony Elumelu dominated the business narrative throughout much of 2019. However, the most memorable moment happened in June this year when he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Bayero University, Kano.

As Nairametrics reported, the well-deserved honour was in recognition of the billionaire’s many contributions to the country’s economy, as well as his many philanthropic gestures which are all aimed at eradicating poverty in Nigeria and beyond. Recall that earlier in the year, the billionaire organised the annual Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme which saw hundreds of entrepreneurs receive seed funding for their businesses.

Much like Femi Otedola, Tony Elumelu was equally very active on social media. As a matter of fact, he is also a good contender for the Instagram Billionaire title. His corporate fashion sense was top-notch throughout the year. We bet he inspired a whole lot of young men (and women) to become just like him when they grow up.

Tony Elumelu and Ivanka Trump

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Folorunsho Alakija maintained her money

The 68-year old Nigerian businesswoman retained her position as one of the only three black female billionaires in the whole world. According to Forbes Magazine, Alakija’s net worth as at January 2019 is $1.1 billion. Chances are that this net worth increased in the course of the year due to her many business ventures, including a majority stake in  Fanfa Oil Ltd and DaySpring Property Development Company.

Mike Adenuga remained wealthy and private

The prominent businessman, who founded Globacom and currently sits on the board of ConOil Plc as Chairman, was ranked the second richest person in Africa by Forbes. According to the ranking, the billionaire’s net worth stood at $9.2 billion as at January this year, after jumping by nearly $4 billion up from $5.3 billion in the course of 2018. However, nothing much was heard about Mr Adenuga’s private life, no thanks to his extremely reclusive nature.

Folorunso Alakija

Jim Ovia was also mostly private until September…

The Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc was quietly making his money throughout much of 2019. And then in September 2019, he was almost immersed in controversy when he briefly attended the World Economic Forum Africa 2019 in Cape Town. His brief appearance was met with criticisms by Nigerians, many of whom were still enraged over the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals by South African.

Meanwhile, upon realising the sensitive nature of the matter, the billionaire quickly withdrew from the event and returned to Lagos. He also issued a statement explaining his reason for withdrawal, whilst expressing support to those who were affected by the attacks.

[READ ALSO: 5 habits of Nigeria’s business billionaires you should emulate)

Aliko Dangote dominated the year

It would be impossible to conclude this article without mentioning Africa’s richest man and what happened to him during the course of the year. As expected, a lot was reported of him, most of which had to do with money moves. For one, he continued with the construction of Dangote Refinery, importing and installing some of the biggest refinery equipment in the world, including the largest single crude distillation column which was installed earlier this December. The refinery project has gulped a lot of billions and is expected to be ready soon.

In the meantime, Aliko Dangote equally sold off a major part of the Dangote Group – Dangote Flour Mills Plc. As Nairametrics reported, Dangote Flour was sold to Olam in a deal valued at billions of naira.

But beyond his business moves, Dangote was very active on the Nigerian social scene. Along with his friend Femi Otedola, Dangote ensured to have fun and not take everything seriously. Whether he was dancing Teni’s mega-hit song “Case” or he was enjoying some gelato with a group of friends, he did ensure to enjoy 2019.

Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Billionaire Watch

Elon Musk takes back world’s richest man title after gaining $10 billion in a day

Elon Musk bounced back strongly to become the world’s richest man amid a daily gain of $9.81 billion.

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49-year-old self-made billionaire, Elon Musk bounced back strongly to become the world’s richest man amid a daily gain of $9.81 billion.

Tesla chief’s wealth surged back to $190 billion, as the electric car company’s shares recorded impressive gains of 6.18%, thereby putting the market value of Tesla at $712 billion coupled with the SpaceX he founded completing another funding round, pushing him atop the Bloomberg Billionaires Index for the third time in 2021.

Such record gains pushed Musk past Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, who is now worth $185 billion and had a few days ago reclaimed the title as the world’s richest person after Tesla shares plunged to record levels.

READ: Aliko Dangote’s net worth falls by $840 million

Tesla Inc stocks were on a record buying spree at Wednesday’s trading session, indicating that global investors are buying the dip following a four-day plunge that erased the world’s most valuable car company year-to-date gains.

That being said, MicroStrategy CEO, Michael Saylor, has revealed that SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk, is exploring the merits of buying Bitcoin.

READ: World richest man, Jeff Bezos holds 5% of his wealth in cash

Saylor revealed that top representatives from SpaceX were among 7,000 companies represented at MicroStrategy’s recent Bitcoin seminar, which the leading business intelligence company organized to aid companies interested in buying Bitcoin as a treasury asset.

  • Recent reports suggest SpaceX raised another $850 million this month from a group of leading institutional investors led by Sequoia Capital.
  • Such investment now puts SpaceX’s valuation at $74 billion, a 60% jump from August, and helped boost Musk’s net worth by about $11 billion, according to the index.
  • A November 15, 2016 filing with the Federal Communications Commission revealed that the tech billionaire owned 54% of SpaceX.

READ: Tesla loses $200 billion in market value following Bitcoin investment

Elon Musk’s current net worth of $190 billion can currently buy 106 million troy ounces of gold or 2.82 billion barrels of crude oil.

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Billionaire Watch

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is exploring the merits of buying Bitcoin

SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk is exploring the merits of buying Bitcoin, according to MicroStrategy CEO, Michael Saylor.

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Elon Musk needs $20 billion wealth gain to clinch world's richest man title

MicroStrategy CEO, Michael Saylor, has revealed that SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk, is exploring the merits of buying Bitcoin.

Saylor revealed that top representatives from SpaceX were among 7,000 companies represented at MicroStrategy’s recent Bitcoin seminar, which the leading business intelligence company organized to aid companies interested in buying Bitcoin as a treasury asset.

READ: Bitcoin bounces back after losing $13,000 in a space of 2 days

“We had people from SpaceX there. We had people [from] some of Elon Musk’s companies. We had people from Marathon there.

“The ones you would expect were there, but of course, there’s an avalanche of private companies, and there were a decent number of public companies and treasurers and CFOs that were lurking.

“Some don’t want to have their names mentioned, as you can imagine, because it’s a sensitive topic,” Saylor said.

READ: Panic in crypto market as over $140 billion got wiped off

However, a significant number of traditional finance experts are not buying into the flagship crypto bullish run, as they see little value in the digital currency on the account that they believe Bitcoin, and other leading cryptos are just part of a larger speculative bubble.

Recent reports suggest SpaceX raised another $850 million this month from a group of leading institutional investors led by Sequoia Capital.

  • Such investment now puts SpaceX’s valuation at $74 billion, a 60% jump from August, and helped boost Musk’s net worth by about $11 billion, according to the index.
  • A November 15, 2016 filing with the Federal Communications Commission revealed that the tech billionaire owned 54% of SpaceX.

READ: Tesla loses $200 billion in market value following Bitcoin investment

Micheal Saylor has always been a strong fan of the world’s most popular crypto asset and he thus shares the bias that companies can use Bitcoin to hedge against future fiat inflation and allow them to plug into a revolutionary and superior monetary network.

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