• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Otedola now among Africa’s top 20 richest

First Bank Holdings appoints Femi Otedola as chairman

Femi Otedola, the chairman of Geregu Power, has secured the 20th position on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest individuals in Africa for 2024. Forbes estimates his fortune at N1.1 billion.

Notably, four Nigerians have made it to the top 20 richest people in Africa this year.

Forbes highlighted the positive shift in the fortunes of Africa’s wealthiest individuals over the past 12 months, indicating a reversal from the previous year’s decline, although still below their peak levels.

The 20 billionaires on the list collectively possess a wealth of $82.4 billion, reflecting a $900 million increase from 2023’s $81.5 billion.

“Otedola phased out his oil investments during a government push to privatize the country’s energy business in 2013, using a Forte subsidiary to purchase Geregu, a public power generation plant,” the publication said.

“He owned about 90 percent of Geregu when it was listed on the Nigerian exchange’s Main Board in 2022, but has since sold shares to institutional investors, which include Afreximbank’s Fund for Export Development in Africa and the State Grid Corporation of China.

“His 73 percent stake in Geregu is worth more than $850 million, about three-quarters of his $1.1 billion fortune, which puts him at No. 20 on the list.”

Despite a slight dip in the overall wealth of Africa’s billionaires, Forbes notes a better performance compared to the 4 percent drop in 2023 when African stock markets mirrored the global decline.

The late-year global rally boosted African equities, with the S&P All Africa index rising by 10 percent in the final two months of 2023.

However, it still ended the 12 months through January 8, 2024, down more than 9 percent.

Among the top three richest Nigerians in 2024 are Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, and Abdulsamad Rabiu. Dangote maintained his first position for the 13th consecutive year, with his wealth increasing by $400 million to $13.9 billion.

Despite political uncertainty and the devaluation of the naira impacting Dangote Cement’s share price, he remained at the top.

South African magnate Johann Rupert and Nicky Oppenheimer secured the second and third positions, with $10.1 billion and $9.4 billion, respectively. Forbes reported fluctuations in their net worth due to market changes.

The top 20 richest individuals in Africa for 2024, according to Forbes, are as follows:

1. Aliko Dangote — $13.9 billion
2. Johann Rupert & family — $10.1 billion
3. Nicky Oppenheimer & family — $9.4 billion
4. Nassef Sawiris — $8.7 billion
5. Mike Adenuga — $6.9 billion
6. Abdulsamad Rabiu — $5.9 billion
7. Naguib Sawiris — $3.8 billion
8. Mohamed Mansour — $3.2 billion
9. Koos Bekker — $2.7 billion
10. Patrice Motsepe — $2.7 billion
11. Issad Rebrab & family — $2.5 billion
12. Mohammed Dewji — $1.8 billion
13. Strive Masiyiwa — $1.8 billion
14. Aziz Akhannouch & family — $1.7 billion
15. Othman Benjelloun & family — $1.4 billion
16. Youssef Mansour — $1.3 billion
17. Yassen Mansour — $1.2 billion
18. Christoffel Wiese — $1.2 billion
19. Michiel Le Roux — $1.1 billion
20. Femi Otedola — $1.1 billion