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Billionaire Watch

Top Nigerian billionaires and their contributions to the fight against COVID-19

Nigeria’s top billionaires have donated billionaires to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.



Folorunso Alakija,Top 10 Nigerian Billionaires and their contributions to the fight against COVID-19

When Chinese billionaire and co-founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, announced his intention to support Africa’s fight against Covid-19 by donating essential medical supplies, Nigerians reacted with immense gratitude.

And then almost immediately, the attention shifted to Nigeria’s own billionaires. Nigerians wanted to know what the country’s top business elites were doing to support their country which, unfortunately, is one of those hat have been plagued by the pandemic.


A couple of days later, the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 was announced as the umbrella body under which industrialists and corporate organizations would donate funds to support efforts in combating the contagious virus.

Fast-forward to a fortnight later, the donations have grossed N15.325 billion, thanks to the magnanimity of almost 40 donors comprising of individuals and corporate bodies.

Let’s now focus on some of the top Nigerian billionaires who rose to the occasion and contributed to the good cause.

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(READ MORE: COVID-19: CIBN supports Lagos with N20million)

Aliko Dangote

The successful businessman rose to the occasion by collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria to lead the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19. The purpose of the coalition was to mobilise private sector leadership and resources to increase general public awareness and provide support to healthcare facilities during the crisis.

He also teamed up with Access Bank Plc to provide treatment, testing, training and isolation centers across the country.

Aliko Dangote then made a personal donation of N2 billion to support the cause.

The famous industrialist has consistently maintained his position on top of Forbes Africa’s list of richest Africans. As the majority owner of Dangote Industries Ltd, Aliko Dangote is a force to reckon with in the business world.

Aliko Dangote rallies private sector operators against COVID-19,Top 10 Nigerian Billionaires and their contributions to the fight against COVID-19

Alhaji Aliko Dangote


Femi Otedola

Mr. Otedola announced his donation of N1 billion to the relief fund via his Instagram and Twitter handles. According to him, “We must all do what we can to flatten the curve.”

Femi Otedola was the Chairman of Forte Oil Plc (now Ardova Plc) until early 2019 when he divested his stakeholding in the oil and gas company.

With an estimated net worth that is close to $1 billion, Femi Otedola is known for his generosity. Not too long ago, he donated N5 billion to the Save the Children Foundation to support destitute children in Nigeria’s Northeast region.

Abdulsamad Rabiu

Rabiu made a cash donation of 1 billion Naira through the BUA foundation and took it a step further by placing orders for additional equipment and medical supplies including testing kits and protective gear to nine states across the country: Lagos, Kano, Adamawa, Edo, Kwara, Rivers, Abia, Akwa-Ibom and Sokoto.


“Each of these nine states will receive about 100,000 protective facemasks, 1000 high-grade medical protection and isolation gear, 2000 protective goggles, 1000 gloves and 1000 testing kits among other things,” Rabiu stated.”

Abdulsamad Rabiu is the founder of BUA Group, a conglomerate that engages in the sugar refining, cement manufacturing, real estate, and port operations.

He is the third richest man in Nigeria, according to Forbes with $3.13 billion net worth.

Note that BUA Group also made a separate donation of N300 million to Sokoto, Edo and Ogun States to help trigger a coordinated response in the fight against COVID-19. BUA Cement has its major operations in the beneficiary states, even as Ogun State was selected as a beneficiary due to its proximity to Lagos, the epicenter of the Coronavirus in Nigeria. 

CCNN, Top 10 Nigerian Billionaires and their contributions to the fight against COVID-19

Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman CCNN

(READ MORE: Covid-19 Update in Nigeria)

Folorunsho Alakija

Africa’s second richest woman donated the sum of N1 billion. The donation was made through Famfa oil, which she owns, and with the name Modupe and Folorunsho Alakija.

Her tweet provided a breakdown of how the money is to be allocated:

  • N250 million to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Lagos State Government each.
  • The remainder of the funds is to be shared among African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious diseases, frontline health workers in Lagos and Abuja, the supply of medical equipment to the relevant organizations and the Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh (DRASA) health trust.

Folorunsho Alakija is the founder of Famfa Oil. She also has business interests in fashion and printing, and is estimated to be worth $1 billion according to Forbes.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: Figure hits 190 as Nigeria records 6 new cases)


(READ MORE: COVID-19: MTN promises 300 free SMS per month)

Tony Elumelu

This successful businessman and Chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc made a personal donation of N1 billion to support the fight against COVID-19.

Africa needs massive capital investment in power, human resources to drive economic growth – Elumelu at the UK Africa Investment Summit, Tony Elumelu and his knack for appointing women to key positions, Tony Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings unveils plan to launch Falomo Mall, Elumelu named in Ebony Power 100 List for 2020, Top 10 Nigerian Billionaires and their contributions to the fight against COVID-19

This is besides the N5 billion which was donated by UBA Group. While commenting on these donations, Elumelu said:

“We commend the efforts of governments and we are keen to partner and contribute our resources to the collective effort, that will ensure the response to the pandemic is swift and effective.”

The businessman is an economist and entrepreneur with investments in Heir Holdings, United Bank for Africa Plc, and Transcorp. He is also the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. He has a net worth of about $900 million as of January 2020.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: Lagos discharges 11 patients)

Jim Ovia

This billionaire also donated the sum of N1 billion. He is the founder of Visafone Communications Ltd which was later acquired by MTN. He currently serves as the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc and has a net worth of $870 million.

Oba Otudeko

The chairman of FBN Holdings Plc and founder of Honeywell Group donated the sum of N1 billion to the CACOVID relief fund. The man has a net worth of over half a million dollars.

Segun Agbaje of Guaranty Trust Bank  Plc and Herbert Wigwe of Access Bank have also donated N1 billion each.

Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via



  1. Bunmi obakoya

    April 8, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    God bless you all

  2. Esomchi

    April 9, 2020 at 7:03 am

    Now the office has been burnt by fire.Thank God that none of my Brother’s sweat is among,south east be wise.


    April 9, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    What really happened to the money, that our good citizen had donated to help our country,

  4. Anonymous

    April 12, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks may God pay you people double upon double. Amen

  5. Matthew

    April 13, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    God bless you all in Jesus name

  6. Anonymous

    April 13, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    But we’ve not really seen the effect of this generosity, please what is happening to the money, Nigerian’s need an explanation.

  7. Matthew

    April 13, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    But we’ve not really seen the effect of this generosity, please what is happening to the money, Nigerian’s need an explanation.

  8. Amao opeyemi

    April 13, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    pls kindly save nigeria, we are hungry

  9. Fortune

    April 14, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    All I see is AUDIO DONATIONS..

  10. E.M George

    April 14, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    Pls where are the billions of Naira donated by our billionaires? People are hungry, the monies not getting to the people. What is happening?

  11. Mike Olaleke

    April 15, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Kindly give us something to eat from all this donations we’re hungry

  12. Ismail Abdur Razaq Arikeusola

    April 15, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    I’m still worried about nigerian’s hunger despite all these huge amounts donated….!

  13. Anonymous

    April 15, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Abeg oo oo oo na to go rub na wetting remain be dat

  14. Ojochona Sunday Godwin

    April 15, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Good bless you abundantly as you assisting the peoples of Nigeria,this are the good leaders

  15. MUktar umar kanya

    April 17, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Comment:Thnk u all for ur donation,but u ar advs 2 giv to those needed.but not govt,they prepare 2 liv themselve nd their childreen.but not we the citizen.

  16. Mustapha shaibu

    April 20, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks you all for your donate to help Nigerian may Almighty God bless you all.
    Am use this opportunity to plead you all no any amount is too small please am very hungry 2218357718

  17. panas Denis

    April 20, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Comment:please nigeria leaders hungry will kill us not covid-19 please help

  18. Anonymous

    April 20, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    Thanks you all, let me not hide my feelings my fellow Nigeria, help hungry Don finish my family, no amount is small,, 0028133066 access, Jon ogb i

  19. Concerned citizen

    April 20, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    There is something I want to tell our so-called billionaires and banks. If you people don’t pay attention to the people’s cries of hunger, they will keep coming out and the virus will keep spreading, and guess what- your businesses will fail! Bet me.

  20. Friday N Stanbic

    April 22, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    A man who act is likely to excel.From your benevolent spirit and generosity push in mind to contribute big in our government account to combat covid19,God will through…

  21. thomas dennis

    April 23, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Comment: thank us for our people in nigeria d almight god we bless us double double.

  22. Okodi pretty

    April 25, 2020 at 9:47 am

    God bless you all and keep you.

  23. Femi Omodara.

    April 26, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    The donated money should be spent on provision of medical infrastructure to enable people receive treatment in should not be put where snakes and rats will swallow.
    Kudos to our public spirited men and ladies who helped the Masses.
    Femi Omodara.

  24. DARA

    May 2, 2020 at 11:37 pm


  25. Chuks

    May 12, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    If Oba has a net worth of half a million dollar, then where did he get the N1 billion he donated?

  26. T M Mathai

    May 16, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    We comment policies of CBN Governor not allocating forex for importation of about 42 items which can be produced in this country. FG should encourage local production. So many items like Pharmaceutical products, food, sanitizer, mask etc. can be produced locally. Nafdac as a regulatory body has failed to encourage local manufacturers. There is so much delay in Nafdac for processing by manufacturers. We should not depend on other countries like China n India for finished goods. Only raw materials should be allowed to be imported. Now rice is produced locally bec of CBN initiative in time. Why not extend this to other products like Pharmaceuticals to generate employment and saving foreign exchange.

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Billionaire Watch

Nigerian billionaires lose billions amid COVID-19 pandemic

Nigerian billionaires recorded more losses than gains amid COVID-19 due to the volatility of the stock market occasioned by the killer disease.



Nigerian billionaires lose billions amid COVID-19 pandemic

The year 2020 began with lots of predictions and promises, but the volatility in the stock market (which was occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic) was not top on the list.

On February 27, Nigeria recorded the index case of the Coronavirus pandemic, an Italian who visited the country for business reasons. A month later, the federal government was preparing to announce a lockdown of the economy as part of measures to curb the seemingly unpredictable increase in the spread of the Coronavirus.


The lockdown which commenced 2 days after the announcement brought a lot of uncertainty into the financial markets, and this definitely comes with huge consequences for individual and corporate investors.

For many investors around the world, the first four months of the year was a bad one. There were fluctuations and sudden declines in stock prices. And for top Nigerian billionaires, it was definitely more of the losses than the gains. This article examines how they performed in the last two months, from February 29 after the index case was Q1 2020.

Alhaji Aliko Dangote 

Being the richest man in Nigeria is no mean feat, yet Dangote has been able to maintain this title for years without breaking a sweat. However, the Coronavirus pandemic has taken a bite out of the billionaire’s billions.

GTBank 728 x 90

By the end of February 2020, Dangote’s 14,500,315,501 direct shares in Dangote Cement Plc worth N2,465,053,635,170 at the share price of N170 per unit, while the 27,642,637 shares which he controls through Dangote Industries Limited were worth N4,699,248,290 at the same share price.

By implication, the total worth of his shareholding in Dangote Cement Plc as at February 29, 2020, was N 2,469,752,883,460‬—over N2.4 trillion.

(READ MORE: 10 fantastic things Aliko Dangote has done in the last 10 years)

Deal book 300 x 250

The value slid downwards hitting N129.70 at the end of March, before rising slightly to N130 at April 30.

At this time, Dangote’s indirect shares were worth N3,593,542,810 while his direct shares were worth N1,885,041,015,130 summing up to N1,888,634,557,940 (over N1.8 trillion).


By comparing N 2,469,752,883,460‬, the value as at February 29, with N1,888,634,557,940 as at April 30, we can see that the billionaire’s assets in Dangote Cement Plc crashed by N 581,118,325,520 (N581 billion).


By any standards, this was no small loss.

Stock prices at Dangote sugar also suffered a similar fate. Starting at N14.00 per unit on January 1, the stock experienced fluctuations before closing the quarter at N10.00 per unit. Dangote’s 8,775,541,295 direct and indirect shares were valued to be worth N122,857,578,130.00 (N122.85 billion) at a share price of N14.00 on January 1.

Twelve weeks later, with the stock price down to N10.00 per unit, the worth of the same shares had dropped to N87,755,412,950.00 (N87.75 billion), a heartbreaking loss of N35,102,165,180.00 (N35.1 billion).

READ ALSO: Remdesivir has received FDA’s emergency approval to treat COVID-19, according to Trump

Stock prices at Dangote sugar, however, took a different trend for this period, starting at N12.1 on February 29 and appreciating almost 3% to 12.45 at the end of April.  


The billionaire directly owns 653,095,014 shares and indirectly owns 8,122,446,281 shares through the Dangote Industries Limited.   Dangote’s 8.77 billion shares were valued to be worth N106,184,049,669.5 (N106.84 billion) at a share price of N12.1 on February 29. 

Twelve weeks later, with the stock price up to N12.45 per unit, the worth of the same shares had increased to N109,255,489,122.75.  This gain of about N3 billion was recorded during the pandemic period, and on surface value, it can be attributed to the food products which the company produces. People eat even during a crisis. 

Adding up the figures with that of Dangote cement, one can see that the little gain of N3 billion cannot be compared to the loss of N581 billion, as the mogul still lost over half a trillion. 

We have not made any calculations for NASCON, as there is no way to confirm the stocks Aliko Dangote has with the company since he is not listed on the board.

However, NASCON shares closed at N13 on February 29, and slid down to N10.05 on April 30, dropping by 23%.

Tony Elumelu  

Entrepreneur billionaire and Chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc, Tony Elumelu also had some losses during the two months in review.

TOE, as he is called, directly owns a total of 190,100,234 units of shares in the bank, and 2,114,110,884 units of indirect shareholding in the company. This brings his total shareholding to 2,304,211,118 units of shares. By the close of trading on February 29, UBA’s shares were worth N6.7, meaning Elumelu’s total stocks in the bank was worth N15,438,214,490.6 (N15.43 billion).

There was not much movement in the share values for UBA plc as it started N6.7 on February 29 and ended April at N6.05. This means that by April 30, Elumelu shares (multiplied by the share price of N6.05 per unit) were worth N13,940,477,263.9 (N13.94 billion), showing a loss of N1,497,737,226.7 (N1.49 billion). This loss was a 9.7% depreciation of his share value, but N1.49 billion was no small loss for TOE.

READ MORE: Asteroids hit hard on Nigerian top stocks, investors lose N161billion

Jim Ovia

The founder of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia is one of Nigeria’s top billionaires. He directly owns 3,546,199,395 units and indirectly owns 1,513,137,010 units of shares. With over 5 billion units of direct and indirect shareholding in the bank, he is the biggest shareholder. Zenith Bank’s shares closed at N18.5 on February 29, danced a little way up and a little way down, before sliding continuously to close at N14.3 as at April 30.

As at February ending, Ovia’s total 5,059,336,405 units of shares were worth N93.59 billion (N93,597,723,492 at the share price of N18.5 per unit. By April 30, following the crash in prices, the worth of the same shares had dropped to N72,348,510,591.5 (N72.35 billion). Subtracting the latter value from the first, one can see that the worth of Jim Ovia’s stocks dropped by a whopping N21.2 billion (N21,249,212,901).

Among all the billionaires, Jim Ovia suffered the greatest percentage loss in the worth of his assets, 22.7%.

A heart-rending drop for him!

[READ FURTHER: Meet Elochukwu Umeh, founder of Africa’s digital powerhouse)

Herbert Wigwe  

Access Bank’s Group CEO, Herbert Wigwe had a total shareholding of 1,441,522,910 units as at December 2019, before selling off a total of 55,611,001 indirect shares in four transactions, all in January 2020.

The depletion of his indirect holding through Trust and Capital Limited left him with 1,385,902,910 total shares made up of 1,184,680,195.5 units indirect holding and 201 million (201,231,713) direct shares. ‬

Share prices of Access bank closed at N8,2 on February 29 and dropped to N6.6 on April 30. His 1.39 billion shares were worth N 11,364,477,653.80 on February 29, and crashed by 19% to become N 9,147,018,599.40 on April 30.

Wigwe is N2.22 billion poorer because of the COVID-19 induced stock crisis.

Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu

According to the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc (CCNN) 2018 financials, Abdulsamad Rabiu had 12,752,801,231 units of shares. However, CCNN has since then been merged with the Obu Cement to give birth to BUA Cement. Since the merger, the new entity BUA cement has not released any financial statement so there was no way to confirm what Rabiu’s stakes are in the company presently.

However, BUA cement had its stock close at N37.15 at the end of February 29, 2020. This value dropped by 12.25% over the weeks to hit N32.6 by 30 April.

By implication, whatever the number of shares the billionaire had with the company, the value has dropped by over 12% in the COVID-19 dominated weeks.

Note that the stocks started the year at N18.10, meaning that the billionaire has lost even much more than we have captured.

READ MORE: Reasons Nigerian Breweries was moved to medium price segment

Austin Avuru 

Having dispensed of a few shares in 2019, co-founder of Seplat Austin Avuru ended the year with 58,970,463 indirect shares in the oil and gas company.

Avuru’s shares, when multiplied by the share price of N605 gives a naira value of N 35,677,130,115 as of February 29.

Taking it two months forward, a stock price of N494.4 as at April 30 shows that the value had depleted to N29,154,996,907.20

Avuru lost about N6.5 billion (N 6,522,133,207.80) to the stock price decline.

[READ ALSO: Top 10 CEOs and how they spent 10 days in lockdown)

Mike Adenuga

Mike Adenuga is the Chairman of Conoil Nigeria Plc, and directly owns 516,298,603 units of shares. He also has 103,259,720 units of indirect shares through Conpetro Limited, making for about 74.4% of Conoil’s issued share capital.

Conoil’s stock prices started at N18 per unit and only dropped a little to close at N17.4 on April 30.

Multiplying Adenuga’s 103,259,720 indirect shares by the stock price of N18 gives us a naira value of N1.86 billion (N 1,858,674,960) as at February ending, but the slight decline in stock value reduced the worth of these shares to N1.79 billion (N1,796,719,128).

Adenuga lost N61.9 million (N61,955,832) in his indirect shares to the COVID-19 crisis.

The 516,298,603 direct shares fell from N9.29 billion (N9,293,374,854) to N8.9 billion (N8,983,595,692.2) by end of April—a difference of N309 million.

From these figures, we can see that Adenuga’s had a loss of N371 million (N371,734,993) within the period under review.

Table of losses

Billionaire Losses (N’billions)
Aliko Dangote                    581.0
Tony Elumelu                        1.5
Jim Ovia                      21.2
Herbert Wigwe                        2.2
Austin Avuru                        6.5
Mike Adenuga                        0.3

Understanding the trend

A lot of factors affect the stability or otherwise of a company’s stock price and one of them is the volume of shares being traded.

A Council member, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Adebayo Ajayi, explained that the more shares owned by an individual investor, the fewer number of shares being traded and the more stable the price can be.

Investors often rush to sell when they sense uncertainty in the market. This results in a larger volume of shares being traded and directly impacts share values.

According to Ajayi, the stocks in Dangote group of companies, for instance, float more as the billionaire has gradually let in more investors over the years.

Note: The stock figures used in the analysis above was sourced from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) website, using the most recent figures from the companies’ financials.

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Billionaire Watch

Aliko Dangote donates mobile COVID-19 testing lab to Kano State

Recall that Aliko Dangote had already made other donations prior to this time, including his donation of N2 billion to CACOVID.



Dangote finally addresses how he amassed his wealth without father’s money, Dangote talks about when he will buy Arsenal , Aliko Dangote defends border closure, reacts to Dangote Cement result, Can Nigeria's King Cement maker Dangote Cement withstanding COVID-19?, Aliko Dangote and his slide from $25 billion to $7 billion

Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has donated a 400 capacity mobile COVID-19 testing centre to the Kano State Government. This is expected to support the state’s ongoing efforts to combate the spread of the virus.

The Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, announced this in a tweet on Saturday evening.


Dangote’s donation is coming at a critical time, as the figure of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kano state has risen dramatically in the last few days. The State Government recently admitted to being overwhelmed by the sudden rise of confirmed cases, a situation that has necessitated the conversion of certain facilities in the state to isolation wards.

READ ALSO: Sterling Bank CEO advises business owners, employees on surviving COVID-19

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According to a tweet from the State Governor, Umar Ganduje, the Sports Institute at Karfi, the Nigerian Air Force Hospital Kano, the Abubakar Imam Urology Hospital, Murtala Muhammed Library Complex, and the Hospitality and Tourism Institute, formerly Daula Hotel, will all serve as isolation facilities to house patients confirmed to be Coronavirus positive.

READ MORE: IDB to support 1.26 million farmers with $95 million

He also stated during a press briefing on Saturday that medical equipment is expected to arrive Kano on Monday.

Recall that Aliko Dangote had already made other donations prior to this time, including his donation of N2 billion to the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) relief fund.


READ ALSO: Lagos increases health workers’ allowances, commissions local production of face masks


The Federal Government’s Flood Committee, which is led by Aliko Dangote, had also recently donated N1.5 billion to further aid the fight against COVID-19.

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Billionaire Watch

Aliko Dangote and his slide from $25 billion to $7 billion

Not many can claim ignorance of the fact that Aliko Dangote is Africa’s richest man for almost a decade, he is not worth half as much as he was in 2014. 



Dangote finally addresses how he amassed his wealth without father’s money, Dangote talks about when he will buy Arsenal , Aliko Dangote defends border closure, reacts to Dangote Cement result, Can Nigeria's King Cement maker Dangote Cement withstanding COVID-19?, Aliko Dangote and his slide from $25 billion to $7 billion

Not many can claim ignorance of the fact that Aliko Dangote is Africa’s richest man and has been for almost a decade.

What many do not know, however, is that despite remaining the richest man in Africa for nine consecutive years, Aliko Dangote of 2020 is not worth half as much as he was in 2014.


Dangote had been in business for more than a decade before deciding to transit from merely importing products to resell in the Nigerian market, to actually producing them in 1997. This was the year he set up a plant to produce what he had been importing in the previous years – sugar, salt, flour and pasta.

He also acquired a state-owned cement company – Benue Cement Company (BCC) – and set about expanding its operations. This marked the turn-around in his fortunes and that of Nigeria.

(READ MORE: Dangote: The King cement maker moving against all odds)

GTBank 728 x 90

The next step was to list the companies in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and this started in October 2010 with the listing of Dangote Cement. This must have been the game-changer for Dangote because, by the next year, his name was listed as number 1 in Forbes list of African billionaires.

By August 2014, Dangote Cement stocks were accounting for 20% of the total market capitalization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the value of the stocks was growing astronomically.

Since then, Dangote has remained number 1 on the list, even though his position on the global ranking has not been too predictable.

The rest, as they say, is history.

But why don’t we take a look at history and see how the Billionaire’s fortunes have fared over the years.  



Dangote first became richest African in 2011, with a net worth of $13.8 billion, a major increase from $2.1 billion the previous year.

(READ MORE: 10 fantastic things Aliko Dangote has done in the last 10 years)

This placed him in the 51st position on the global ranking, and second in the Middle East and Africa, second only to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Alsaud who was worth $19.6 billion.

In March 2012, there was a slight decline to $11.2 billion.

In March 2013, his worth had risen to $16.1 billion, and by June 2013 Dangote went down in history as the first African entrepreneur to hit a personal net worth of $20 billion.


In February 2014, Aliko Dangote’s worth hit the highest ever at $25 billion.

Then the decline started.

In February 2015, his net worth dropped to about $22 billion.

In January 2016, Forbes reported that Dangote’s worth had dropped by $3 billion dollars between December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2015, placing his worth at $17 billion. Two months later, it dropped further to $14.4 billion.

(READ MORE: Lafarge, Wema, UBA, Dangote Sugar lead weekly gainers’ chart)

By end of December 2016, Forbes reported that based on the stock prices and exchange rates at the time, Dangote was only worth $12.4 billion, making him one of the biggest billionaire losers for the year.

Dangote’s multi billion-dollar refinery is 75% complete, Otedola says. Aliko Dangote and his slide from $25 billion to $7 billion

In February 2017, the mogul’s worth was put at $12.1 billion; still first on Africa’s list of billionaires.

In January 2018, Dangote’s net worth was $12.2 billion, about $100 million dollars up from the previous year. At this time, he had started moving away from cement gradually and had made investments into fertiliser production as well as the oil refinery which is soon to start operations.

In March 2019, Dangote was worth $10.8 billion, after pocketing $650 million dividends from Dangote Cement Plc.

In February 2020, Forbes estimate and ranking showed that Dangote’s net worth had dropped by another $200 million from $10.3bn in the previous year to $10.1bn.

On 11th of April 2020, Forbes again announced that the billionaire’s worth had dropped to $7.4 billion, even though he was worth $8.3B only four days earlier. (Dangote currently worth $8 billion, as at April 16, 2020).

NOTE: Net worth of billionaires on Forbes, which reflects changes since 5pm EST prior trading day, changes based on their share values.

(READ MORE: Dangote Cement woos investors with N100 billion issue)

One has to wonder how the genius businessman has stayed as the richest man in Africa despite the several drops in his worth over the years.

Dangote Cement reveals share buyback plans, Dangote Cement Plc: Frail macro conditions to pressure earnings in 2020, Aliko Dangote and his slide from $25 billion to $7 billion

Dangote Cement factory

He is currently number 162 on Forbes list of billionaires around the world, and number 1 in Africa.

Why the fluctuations?

When Dangote’s net worth is to be calculated, the first thing to be considered apart from his personal stocks is stocks owned by the Dangote Industries Limited which he is a beneficial owner of. The DIL owns majority stocks across all subsidiaries in the Dangote Group, and added to Aliko Dangote’s personal stocks, one can see that Dangote’s net worth is largely reflective of the value of the stocks of the company in the Nigerian stock exchange.

For instance, as of March 2014 when his worth hit $25 billion, Forbes attributed it to the increasing value of the stock price of Dangote Cement Plc, making him $9 billion richer than he was a year earlier. The company had moved to become present in 15 African countries and its stock was up by 65%. However, this has changed in recent times, as the company’s stock price has also been on the decline.

According to our research findings,  the decline in this networth is due to the drop in the price of his shares in the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Nigerian stocks have largely falled over the years mostly due to the crash in oil prices that began in 2014.

(READ MORE: Dangote, Otedola, Elumelu, Ovia, others donate N19.48 billion to COVID-19 relief fund

Exchange Rate. 

Though the value of his stocks in the Nigerian bourse is an important factor, a more important and probably overriding determinant would be the exchange value of the naira to the dollar. Since the Forbes makes its estimates for global ranking purposes, the values have to be converted into the US Dollars for all the world billionaires.

According to Ajayi, the devaluation of the naira has played a critical role, because while he earns his money in naira, the ranking is done in dollars.

Ajayi was, however, optimistic that this trend would change for the billionaire as soon as the refinery kicks off operations.

“The refined products are going to be sold in dollar and I believe this would have a significant impact on his net worth. The oil refining business has a lot of dollar components and I think that is one of the attractions for him to go into that market,” he said.

(READ MORE:Dangote Cement Plc: Frail macro conditions to pressure earnings in 2020)

Over the years, the exchange rate of the naira to the dollar has been quite volatile, and Dangote finds himself on the receiving end of this volatility since his stocks are in the naira market.

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A quick peek

  • In 2011, a dollar exchanged for N154.50, at about the same time Dangote’s net worth was $13.8 billion.
  • In 2012, an exchange of N157 to a dollar put his worth at $11.2 billion.
  • A dollar exchanged for N160 in 2013. At this time, Dangote was worth $20 billion.
  • In 2014, a dollar exchanged for an average of N164 and Dangote was worth $25 billion.
  • In 2015, the exchange went up to N199 to a dollar, while Dangote’s worth dropped to $22 billion.
  • In 2016, exchange was up to N300 to a dollar, and Dangote’s worth dropped again to $14.4 billion.
  • In 2017, exchange averaged between N359 to N362, while Dangote’s net worth was $12.1 billion.
  • In 2018, it was N364, and Dangote’s worth was $12.2 billion.
  • In 2019, it went as high as N391 to a dollar, while his net worth dropped to $10.8 billion.

The year 2020 has probably seen the most fluctuations in one quarter, as the first quarter of the year has seen the exchange rate sometimes soaring over N400 to a dollar, but never going below N360.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: President salutes Dangote, Elumelu, Atiku, Banks, others for support)

Aliko Dangote’s net worth started the year at $10.1 billion, declining later to $8.2 billion and currently $7.4 billion. The trend shows clearly that an appreciation in the value of the naira is more likely to give this billionaire a better ranking in the list of world’s billionaires.

Another investment expert, Mr Abimbola Olaniyi, opines that the decline of the billionaire’s net worth is significantly linked with the removal of some concessions which he enjoyed from the government before 2015.

According to Olaniyi, the billionaire had certain concessions in the area of cement production for the backward integration adopted by the government, which only allowed those with cement manufacturing plants to import cement. However, this concession was removed alongside others, putting Dangote at par with competitors and significantly affecting his net worth.

Well, considering that Dangote has investments in several unlisted firms, as well as some real estate investments which are not included in the net worth calculation since their value cannot be universally verified, one can safely conclude that his worth is well above yearly estimates drawn by Forbes.

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