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Amidst FG’s Plans to Cut His Edge, Dangote Begs Tinubu for Help



Amidst FG's Plans to Cut His Edge, Dangote Begs Tinubu for Help

Having dropped down to second spot in Africa’s rich list for the first time in a decade following the decision of Nigeria’s new president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to float the exchange rate, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, president of the Dangote Group, on Monday, hurried to the Presidential Villa for a meeting with the president. Continue Full Reading>>>

The Kano State-born billionaire businessman, alongside his friend, Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, paid an unannounced visit to Tinubu, in what insider sources said was to lobby the new president for favourable policies following the hit he received from the naira float.

Dangote had, for many years, remained top of the ladder as Africa’s richest man, relying mostly on undue privileges given to him by the successive Nigerian governments to keep potential competition at bay.

For instance, under the immediate-past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which maintained multiple exchange rates, Dangote sourced dollars directly from the CBN at just over N400/$ while every other manufacturers or businessmen sourced theirs from the open market where it went for a range of between N730 and N800 at some point, to a dollar. Continue Full Reading>>>

Widely regarded as a cronic capitalist by his critics, Dangote had historically used his strong links with the government to his full advantage.

However, with President Tinubu looking likely to open up the space for even competition, starting the floating of the exchange, which instantly caused the continent’s leading cement maker to lose his spot as the richest man on the continent, he quickly hurried to the presidential villa, to, as THE WITNESS gathered, lobby for favours.

“Yes, I can confirm to you that Dangote discussed his business interests with Tinubu, that’s expected,” a source close to the new president disclosed. “But be sure that the president will pursue policies that would favour everyone.”

Dangote had a great run until Tinubu’s monetary policy displaced him following a plummet in his fortunes, which saw him lose a whopping $4.12 billion in a day.

Dangote, who is nearing the completion of his multi-billion-naira refinery in Lekki, Lagos Nigeria, was caught unawares as his fortunes continued to dwindle.

Forbes magazine, on Friday in its updated Africa billionaires list, announced that Dangote lost his long-held position to South African billionaire Johann Rupert after the wealth of the Nigerian business guru plummeted drastically.

Tinubu who was sworn in as president of the world’s most populous black nation on May 29, 2023, has made some drastic changes across some sensitive sectors in the Nigerian economy, among which is the current devaluation of the naira or floating of the naira as it is popularly known.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) witnessed its first tsunami under Tinubu after the Apex bank’s governor, Godwin Emefiele was suspended from office and further arrested by men of the Department of State Security (DSS) who days back obtained a court order to hold him longer in detention for further interrogation.

Emefiele was immediately succeeded by a subordinate, Folashade Adebisi Shonubi, a mechanical engineer by training.

Shonubi immediately commenced the devaluation of the Nigerian currency, and late last week, the apex bank officially floated the naira, ending nearly a decade of exchange rate racketeering which favoured connected individuals like Dangote

By floating the naira and allowing a uniform trading price between the Investor and Exporter Window and the black-market merchants, dollar to naira exchange rate skyrocketed to a whopping N750 per dollar – a major rise from the N466 in the I&E window, leading to Dangote’s loss of a whopping $4.12 billion in one day, according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index (BBI).

The billionaire’s fortune has been in decline over the past decade, according to Forbes records. Starting at $25 billion in 2014, his fortunes 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 floatation of the naira had a severe impact on his assets, including his substantial 86 per cent stake in Dangote Cement, his holdings in Dangote Sugar Refinery; and his private interests in Dangote Industries.

However, the floatation saw other Nigerian billionaires, including industrialist Abdul Samad Rabiu and telecom and oil mogul Mike Adenuga, lose huge fortunes as well.

Rabiu’s net worth experienced a $2 billion decline, 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’ latest rating.

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 – this is according to analysis report released by experts who spoke to this newspaper over the weekend.

Rupert’s net worth is currently $12 billion according to Forbes Real-time Global Billionaires Ranking, while Dangote trails behind him with a net worth of $10.8 billion as at Friday.

Dangote’s business ventures and assets

Currently, Dangote Group’s main listed companies are Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar, and Nascon Allied Industries.

Dangote’s other public assets include shares in Dangote Sugar, Nascon Allied Industries, and United Bank for Africa. The company’s interests in public companies are held directly and through his Dangote Industries, which also includes closely related companies engaged in food manufacturing, fertilizer, petroleum, and other industries.

Dangote’s fertilizer plant is capable of producing up to 2.8 million tons of urea per year. Its net worth is based on discounted cash flow analysis by KPMG. This rating was confirmed by an external analyst.

The magnate also owns six residential and commercial properties in Lagos. These will be valued using a capitalization method and rental income provided by Dangote spokesperson Anthony Chiejina and CBRE Broll Nigeria’s valuation rate.

The company’s cement equities rewarded investors who take positions in Dangote Cement shares in 2020 and exited on June 31, 2023, with a return of 140.26 per cent through price appreciation and more than 11per cent in the first half of 2023. Continue Full Reading>>>

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