How cement gave Dangote, Rabiu firm footing on Forbes Africa’s richest list


Forbes has confirmed that Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga and Abdusamaad Rabiu got their fortunes improved in 2020 in spite of COVID-19 disruptions.

This is unlike Africa’s one-richest woman, Folorunsho Alakija, whose earnings dipped due to the fall in oil prices.

In the case of Aliko and Rabiu, the rise in cement values earned them more.

While Dangote owns Dangote Cement, Rabiu owns Bua Cement.

According to Forbes, Dangote is Africa’s richest person for the 10th year based on its Forbes’ Africa Billionaires List released on Friday.

It stated that the continent’s 18 billionaires were worth an average $4.1bn, 12 per cent more than a year ago, driven in part by Nigeria’s surging stock market.

“For the tenth year in a row, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is the continent’s richest person, worth $12.1bn, up by $2bn from last year’s list, thanks to a roughly 30 per cent rise in the share price of Dangote Cement, by far his most valuable asset,” Forbes stated in its report.

The list named the second richest person in Africa as Nassef Sawiris of Egypt, whose largest asset was a nearly six per cent stake in sportswear maker Adidas.

At number three was Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa, who inherited a stake in diamond firm DeBeers and ran the company until 2012, when he sold his family’s 40 per cent stake in DeBeers to mining giant AngloAmerican for $5.1bn.

It said the biggest gainer this year was another Nigerian cement tycoon, Rabiu.

“Remarkably, shares of his BUA Cement Plc, which listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange in January 2020, have doubled in value in the past year,” the report stated.

That pushed Rabiu’s fortune up by an extraordinary 77 per cent, to $5.5bn, adding that Rabiu and his son together own about 97 per cent of the company, giving the company a tiny public float.

It stated Nigerian Stock Exchange required that either 20 per cent or more of a company’s shares should be floated to the public, or that the floated shares were worth at least N20bn, about $50m, describing it as a paltry sum, to be sure.

“A spokesman for the Nigerian Stock Exchange told Forbes that BUA Cement meets the second requirement,” the report stated.


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