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Aliko Dangote’s Wealth Moderates Amid Naira Devaluation



Aliko Dangote, the renowned industrialist and Africa’s wealthiest individual, faced a substantial moderation in his wealth valuation this year, losing $3.61 billion in the wake of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) devaluation of the naira.

Despite this, Dangote retained his status as Africa’s richest person for the twelfth consecutive year, closing the year with a net worth of $15.1 billion. However, he experienced a significant drop in global billionaire rankings, starting the year among the top 100 but concluding it at the 128th position, according to data from the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Dangote’s net wealth losses occurred despite a 21.3% increase in the value of Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s second most valuable company. The primary factor contributing to the losses was the devaluation of the naira. His net foreign exchange assets, as reported by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, stand at about $2.58 billion.

Nigeria’s naira recorded its worst performance since the return to democracy in 1999, becoming the worst-performing currency in Africa. The CBN’s decision to liberalize the foreign exchange regime in June led to a substantial devaluation of the naira, with the currency continuing to depreciate against major foreign currencies.

Aliko Dangote, a 66-year-old self-made billionaire in the cement and sugar industries, founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the largest cement producer in Africa. He owns 86% of the publicly traded Dangote Cement and holds shares in other publicly listed assets, including the United Bank for Africa, Nascon Allied Industries, and Dangote Sugar.

The Dangote Group, one of Nigeria’s major corporations, disclosed that its various businesses contributed N474 billion in taxes to the federal government over the past three years, highlighting its significant role in the nation’s economy.

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Dangote’s $20 billion oil refinery, a major endeavor for the businessman, is not included in the current valuation as it is not yet operational. However, the refinery recently received its third cargo of one million barrels of crude oil, marking a crucial step toward achieving Nigeria’s energy refining capacity and security.

Set to begin production in mid-January 2024, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery aims to produce diesel and aviation fuel, eventually expanding its operations to supply Nigeria’s refined product needs and contributing to exports. The facility is prepared to operate at a rate of 350,000 barrels per day, signaling a significant development in Nigeria’s energy sector.

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