By Hazeem Mina, Lagos
The combined net worth of three of Nigeria’s richest persons increased by $5.7bn in one year to $22.5bn, according to Forbes’ 2021 World’s Billionaires list.
The list, which was released on Tuesday, includes 14 African billionaires, with the President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, leading the pack.
Dangote, Africa’s richest person, saw his net worth jump to $11.5bn from $8.3bn in 2020, making him the 191st wealthiest person in the world.
The Chairman of Globacom and Conoil Plc, Dr Mike Adenuga, who is Nigeria’s second richest person and the fifth on the continent, was ranked 440th as his fortune rose to $6.1bn from $5.6bn last year.
The wealth of the founder of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, surged to $4.9bn from $2.9bn in 2020, making him the 574th richest person in the world and the sixth in Africa.
The other Africans on the list comprise five South Africans, five Egyptians and one Algerian.
The second richest African, Nassef Sawiris, was ranked 297th on the list with a net worth of $8.3bn.
He is an investor and a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, with his most valuable asset being a nearly six per cent stake in sportswear maker Adidas, according to Forbes.
Other Egyptians are Naguib Sawiris (worth $3.2bn and ranked 956th); Mohamed Mansour ($2.5bn, 1,249th); Youssef Mansour ($1.5bn, 2,035th), and Yasseen Mansour ($1.1bn, 2,524th).
The South Africans are Nicky Oppenheimer and family (worth $8bn and ranked 308th); Johann Rupert and family ($7.1bn, 358th); Koos Bekker ($3bn, 1,008th); Patrice Motsepe ($2.9bn, 1,064th); and Michiel Le Roux ($1.1bn, 2,524th).
The founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cevital, Algeria’s biggest privately-held company, Issad Rebrab, and his family were ranked 589th with a net worth of $4.8bn.
The founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is the world’s richest for the fourth year running, worth $177bn, while Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, rocketed into the number two spot with $151bn, as their shares surged.
“It’s been a year like no other, and we aren’t talking about the pandemic. There were rapid-fire public offerings, surging cryptocurrencies and skyrocketing stock prices,” Forbes said.
According to the American business magazine, the number of billionaires on Forbes’ 35th annual list of the world’s wealthiest exploded to an unprecedented 2,755 – 660 more than a year ago.
“Of those, a record high 493 were new to the list — roughly one every 17 hours, including 210 from China and Hong Kong. Another 250 who’d fallen off in the past came roaring back. A staggering 86 per cent are richer than a year ago,” it said.
Altogether, the billionaires are worth $13.1tn, up from $8tn in 2020.
“The United States still has the most, with 724, followed by China (including Hong Kong and Macao) with 698. We used stock prices and exchange rates from March 5 to calculate net worth’s,” Forbes added.