Africa’s pride and its richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, 57, has lost $9.4 billion (N1.936 trillion) of his $25 billion (N5.150 trillion) fortunes…in the last three months.
The soft-spoken, Kano-born mogul who is the king of cement, flour, salt, sugar and more, has suffered heavy blows below the belt since the plummeting of the stock exchange and tumbling of the naira.
Today (Thursday, February 12, 2015), according to Forbes rich list, Dangote is worth $15.6 billion (N3.213 trillion), and stands at number 56.
When the fresh list was computed in November 2014, the man of means pranced proudly at number 23, with a net worth of $25 billion.
But the lack lustre leadership in Nigeria dominated by insecurity because of the February elections, now rescheduled to March and April, exit of foreign investors, rage of insurgents, falling oil prices and bungee- jump of the Naira have further damaged the economy – and invariably eroded the fortunes of some of our rich and well-heeled.
Today, the naira exchanges for N206 against the dollar, and the market capitalisation at Nigerian Stock Exchange (which was about N14.163 trillion in the middle of last year) now dances around N9.321 trillion.
Alhaji Dangote, whose companies are listed on the stock exchange, battles on two fronts – erosion of confidence in Nigeria leading to exit of major investors and fall in share prices as well as the exchange rate which totters on the brink of collapse at N206 to the dollar.