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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. 



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)

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

Dangote Flour Mills shareholders unanimously approve company acquisition, Aliko Dangote and his slide from $25 billion to $7 billion   

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.

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 [email protected]



  1. Anonymous

    April 16, 2020 at 7:45 am

    Need financiers business partners for cement n steel factory in fiji

  2. Okei Emmanuel

    April 16, 2020 at 7:59 am

    In every thing we do we aim at the jugular. I don’t know why someone would not want seek to end up in life as the greatest financial advisor in Africa.
    People want to be in competition with him, and and so a policy somersault is not often missing in his system.

    • Anonymous

      April 17, 2020 at 5:11 am

      I cannot comprehend your position.

  3. Pastor Anthony Anayochukwu Victory

    April 17, 2020 at 3:46 am

    For everyone that has attained greatness, they’re possibilities of he/she holding the stage for a period of 10 years (1decade) for another to surface (topple him/her).
    Meanwhile, it does not ends the person’s opportunity to bounce back to limelight, but coming to the level of the former greatest glory will require him/her springs up from another direction.
    Take or leave it, that’s the true principle of life.

  4. Anonymous

    April 17, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Dangote still the richest man in African

  5. Ibrahim

    April 17, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Yeah can be, because it was Dangote group before, but now is Dangote on his own.

  6. Tipa Mary Helen Ma-nyoh.

    April 17, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Dangote is a GEM.
    An example of CHRIST.

  7. Jim Larry Ogueri Okeji

    April 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    He can still bounce back

  8. Octomom Net Worth

    April 18, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    God Help Us….. COVID 19 has destroyed alot

  9. Anonymous

    April 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    His winning card is most likely the refinery.

  10. Joseph Oduma

    April 28, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    Insightful. The truth is that dangote is not after being the richest man in Africa or in the world. As long as his business keeps rolling and new opportunities keeps flooding in,he won’t and can’t have any issue

  11. Anonymous

    June 23, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    I have less respect for government-backed businesses and entrepreneurs who the government shield from the competition. Rebranding yourself after years of enjoying sole importation license for different items into Nigeria is not impressive. I’m not sure why Nigerians love to hail people who with all their “wealth” have not systematically and significantly improved the lives of his people. I know of several people here in Europe and North America who are just millionaires but have significantly changed lives back in Africa – Hey! and they are not blacks!

    For those who wish to argue with me, keep hailing the richest man in Africa from the poorest region of the most populous country in Africa.

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Billionaire Watch

Elon Musk surpasses Bill Gates’ wealth, now worth $128 billion

Elon Musk has just hit a new apex by surpassing Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person.



Elon Musk surpasses Bill Gates' wealth, now worth $128 billion

The founder of the most sought automaker company Elon Musk has just hit a new apex by surpassing Microsoft, founder, Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person.

Data retrieved from the Bloomberg billionaire index shows the 49-year-old whiz entrepreneur net worth is now pegged at $128 billion, driven by yet another surge in Tesla’s share price.

Musk has gained $100.3 billion to his net worth just in 2020, the most by anyone in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index – a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.

What you must know: Musk is the CEO of Tesla, a maker of electric vehicles. The California-based company sells electric vehicles. He’s also CEO of Space Exploration Technologies, a rocket manufacturer tapped by NASA to resupply the space station

His wealth gain is largely attributed to Tesla, the electric car automaker, which has gained 500% in 2020 and has become by far the world’s most valuable automaker in the world, despite it producing far less than Volkswagen, Toyota, or General Motors.

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About a fifth of the car company’s shares is owned by its Chief Executive, Elon Musk, and other insiders.

Recall Nairametrics, some months ago highlighted major reasons why Nairametrics believed the stock was a strong buy and could surpass the present most valuable listed technology company.

  • Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who wanted to prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker, and more fun to drive than gasoline cars.
  • Today, Tesla builds not only all-electric vehicles but also infinitely scalable clean energy generation and storage products. Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.
  • Tesla remains the only major carmaker to have a huge physical presence in the world’s second-largest economy. With the electric-car maker’s launch of a new factory in China in 2019 and, the beginning of its Model Y models earlier this year, investors may want to continue holding.

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Billionaire Watch

Billionaires that can triple the value of Bitcoin

Michael Saylor has disclosed billionaires who could turn the price of Bitcoin up, at least three folds.



Billionaires that can triple the value of Bitcoin

The Founder and Chief Executive officer of the popularly traded business intelligence firm, Michael Saylor, recently disclosed billionaires, who could turn the price of Bitcoin up at least three folds. His bias was based on the aurora these billionaires bring notably in the global financial world.

In his most recent Youtube interview, he started his narrative by explaining deeply the effect such billionaires would have on the flagship crypto market,

READ: Germany’s biggest bank says more people now prefer Bitcoin over gold

“It’s important that 100 million people embrace Bitcoin but there are 10 people that can triple the price of Bitcoin. This is not like Facebook, nobody ever brought a billion friends to Facebook. This is like when a person with $10 billion decides that they want to adopt this network and they put $2 or $3 billion on the network, that’s going to be more monetary energy that flowed into the network than the first 10 million people put into the network. It’s ten million to one gain.”

He went on by revealing the names of such billionaires, amid their stronghold seen on global finance.

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READ: Most profitable asset in a decade, Bitcoin up over 26,600,000%

“Here’s the other thing. When a person with $10 billion puts $10 billion on the network, they’ve got a friend with $10 billion. Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway CEO) plays bridge with Bill Gates (Microsoft founder) and then they talk with Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO and founder).

“So when this hits that social network, it’s like a billion to two billion to four billion to eight billion and those four decisions, those four blocks have more impact on the network than the first 10 million blocks.”

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READ: Crypto; Tron’s founder offers $1 million bounty in finding BTC Twitter hackers

What you should know

Sequel to these macro, Nairametrics some days ago revealed key insights coming from DeVere Group discovering that 73% of poll participants (millionaires) are now already invested or are preparing to invest in digital assets, such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, and XRP, before the end of 2022, showing a significant amount of interest by the world’s top earners.

READ: Apple market capitalization nears $2 trillion, as Apple’s CEO becomes a billionaire

  • The findings come as the price of Bitcoin rallied close to $18,000, almost close to the $19,763 all-time record reached in December 2017.
  • Most of the high net worth individuals polled by the financial firm got triggered into planning to buy cryptos by the latest institutional buying.
  • Those classified as millionaires in the study include ‘High Net Worth’ having more than £1m (or equivalent) in investable assets.

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Billionaire Watch

Many millionaires plan to buy Crypto before 2022

DeVere Group, a financial consulting firm discovered that 73% of poll participants are now already invested or are preparing to invest in digital assets.



IMF calls crypto "special currency" and educates the public, Crypto: Why investors are rushing to DeFi assets, total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies, Crypto, Whales move 100,000,000 Tether, USDT in less than 24 hours

As Bitcoin hits the flagship crypto trade slightly below $18,000, a significant number of millionaires have disclosed they will invest in cryptos before the end of 2022.

DeVere Group, one of the world’s most notable independent financial advisory firms, discovered that 73% of poll participants are now already invested or are preparing to invest in digital assets, such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, and XRP, before the end of 2022.

READ: Dangote Group’s $2 billion fertilizer plant to start operations in December 2020

  • The findings come as the price of Bitcoin rallied close to $18,000, almost close to the $19,763 all-time record reached in December 2017.
  • The methodology for such research used include, interviewing over 700 of its clients who are presently based in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, United States, United Kingdom, East Asia, Latin America, Australasia.
  • Those classified as millionaires in the study include ‘High net worth’ having more than £1m (or equivalent) in investable assets.

READ: Afreximbank posts $217m net income in 9M 2020

What this means

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DeVere Group CEO and founder, Nigel Green, explained why the world’s millionaires are attracted to financial assets as cryptos.

READ: Jeff Bezos becomes first person to cross $200 billion net worth, as Zuckerberg crosses $100 billion

“As the survey shows, this impressive performance is drawing the attention of wealthy investors who increasingly understand that digital currencies are the future of money and they don’t want to be left in the past,” he said.

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Most of the high net worth individuals polled by the financial firm got triggered into planning to buy cryptos by the latest institutional buying.

READ: Bitcoin on high demand, hits 2-year high, trading $17,000

“No doubt that many of these HNWs, who were polled, have seen that a major driver of the price surge is the growing interest being expressed by institutional investors, who are capitalizing on the high returns that the digital asset class is currently offering,” Green added.

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

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