Following the Nigeria’s Naira float, Aliko Dangote, the Chairman of Dangote Group, a leading conglomerate in Africa, is is no longer the richest man in Africa, according to Forbes.
How Tinubu Naira Float Axed Dangote Wealth by a whopping $3.4 billion in 24 Hours
In a billionaire list updated recently by the Magazine, Dangote lost his long-held position to South African billionaire Johann Rupert, after the wealth of the Nigerian plummeted by a whopping $3.4 billion in a day, following the decision of the Nigerian government to float the naira, the nation’s currency.
Rupert’s staggering $12 billion fortune saw him climbing to the first spot, usurping Dangote’s 10-year reign. The Nigerian serial entrepreneur has occupied the throne since 2013.
But Billionaire Africa noted that Dangote remains Africa’s richest man judging by Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, which puts his fortune above Rupert’s. While Forbes estimates Dangote’s fortune at $10.8 billion, Bloomberg places his net worth at $16.8 billion, positioning him as the wealthiest individual on the African continent. Meanwhile, Johann Rupert’s net worth remains steady at $13.3 billion.
Dangote’s fortune has faced storms since 2014, when he reached an unprecedented financial milestone with a groundbreaking $20 billion mark, making him the first African entrepreneur to reach the threshold.
The billionaire’s fortune has been in decline over the past decade, according to Forbes records. Starting at $25 billion in 2014, his fortune gradually declined to $14.2 billion, largely influenced by currency devaluations that have negatively impacted the wealth, income, and purchasing power of Nigerians, per the record.
The latest decline to Dangote’s fortune follows Wednesday’s announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria that the nation’s forex market has been fully deregulated. The naira depreciated as much as N750 per dollar – a major drop from the N4669 per dollar traded in the Investor and Exporter window previously. The development wiped off enormous fortune from the coffers of Nigerian billionaires, not only Dangote.
The floatation of the naira had a severe impact on his assets, including his substantial 86 percent stake in Dangote Cement, his holdings in Dangote Sugar Refinery, and his private interests in Dangote Industries, per Billionaire.
However, the floatation saw other Nigerian billionaires, including industrialist Abdul Samad Rabiu, and telecom and oil mogul Mike Adenuga lose huge fortunes.
Rabiu’s net worth experienced a $2 billion decrease, falling from $8.2 billion to $6.2 billion, causing him to lose his position as the fourth-richest person in Africa to Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris, who currently boasts a net worth of $6.9 billion according to Forbes.
With the deregulation of the Nigerian forex market, which means that market forces will hence determine the value of the naira against the US dollar, Dangote and other Nigerian billionaires will likely see their fortune plunge further.