Aliko Dangote has retained his position as the richest man in Africa. Forbes latest ranking of the world’s billionaires said the owner of Dangote Group, Nigeria’s largest conglomerate, now has $11.5 billion from $8.3 billion in 2020.
Although Dangote’s $11.5 billion was still lower than his 2018 highs of $14.1 billion, the fact that he saw his net worth grow by over $3 billion during the pandemic showed not just his resilience but his controversial ability to monetise his influence in the country with the world’s highest number of poor people and second-highest unemployment.
Dangote has faced criticism for using his political connections to maximise profit at the expense of competitors and everyday Nigerians.
His cement and sugar products are still amongst the most expensive in the world, despite getting vast concessions to produce at home at reduced tax rates.
He has, however, denied allegations of cronyism, touting himself as the largest employer of neighbour with a business that only operates to the benefit of Nigerians.
Dangote’s oil refining facilities are expected to commence operation in another year or two, and analysts said his net worth would likely jump given Nigeria’s position as a high consumer of petrol and other finished hydrocarbons.