Forbes 2017 list shows declining net worth of Nigerian billionaires

22 Mar 2017
Financial Nigeria


Forbes said the plunge in the price of oil and commodities has continued to impact the fortunes of Africa’s richest people.

Aliko Dangote, President/Chief Executive, Dangote Group

The Forbes 2017 Billionaires List of the richest people on the planet was published earlier this week showing declining fortunes of Nigeria's wealthiest people on the ranking, owing to the depreciation of the naira over the last one year. Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, remains the richest man in Africa, although he dropped on the global ranking from 51st in 2016 to 105th in 2017, as his net worth fell to $12.2 billion, compared to $15.4 billion a year ago.   

According to the definitive list of the world’s wealthiest people, Mike Adenuga, Chairman of Globacom, is ranked 250th as his net worth declined from $10 billion in the previous year to $5.8 billion this year.

Folorunsho Alakija, Nigeria’s richest business woman and Executive Chairman of Famfa Oil Limited, however, recorded no decline in wealth. She retained her net worth of $1.6 billion from last year, although she fell on the ranking from No. 1,121 in 2016 to No. 1,290 this year.

Femi Otedola, Chairman of Forte Oil, and Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman of BUA Group, who both featured on the 2016 ranking of the world's billionaires were absent on this year’s list, leaving only three Nigerians on the Forbes list.   

“The continent’s wealthiest are facing a number of headwinds, and the plunge in the price of oil and commodities has continued to impact the fortunes of Africa’s richest people,” the American business publication said.

The naira has fallen by 55% since the Central Bank of Nigeria launched the flexible interbank forex market in June 2016. The local currency dropped from N199 against the dollar, as the CBN removed the currency peg, to N307.50 per dollar on Monday.

Bill Gates retained the number one spot as the World's richest man for the fourth consecutive year. Forbes said he has been the richest person in the world for 18 out of the past 23 years. His fortune grew from $75 billion last year to $86 billion as of March 20th, 2017.

According to Forbes, the number of billionaires jumped 13% to 2,043 from 1,810 last year, the highest one-year increase since they began tracking billionaires 31 years ago. Their total net worth rose by 18% to a record $7.67 trillion.

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