It does not seem to be a bright new year yet as Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, reportedly lost a total of about 3300tn (US$900 million) within 24 hours.
According to a January 8 Bloomberg Billionaires Index report, Dangote’s company was rated the biggest loser at the end of trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange when his wealth reportedly fell from $18.4 billion to $17.5 billion.
However, despite the loss, Dangote still maintained a place among the 500 billionaires across the world and is now number 114 on the list of the wealthiest people in the world.
He was 106th before the loss, and still remains the only Nigerian on the list as reported by Bloomberg. Dangote made some additional fortunes towards the end of 2020 with his wealth jumping from $15.5 billion on December 13 to $17.8 billion.
When the world entered a new year 2021, he further gained $600 million within the first week. In December 2020, reports listed the richest Nigerians, with only four making it to the billionaire category. The four were Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Folorunsho Alakija, and Abdulsamad Rabiu, with Alakija being the only Nigerian woman on the list.
Built more than three decades ago, his business empire -Dangote Group, is one of the largest private-sector employers in Nigeria as well as the most valuable conglomerate in West Africa.
At the age of 21, Dangote borrowed $3,000 from his uncle to import and sell agricultural commodities in Nigeria, his native country. His business venture quickly became a success, and as a result, he managed to repay the entire loan within three months of starting operations.
Ultimately, Dangote was able to turn a local commodities trading business into a multibillion-dollar corporation.
In January 2020, Dangote was reported to have rolled out a plan to take over English Premier League club Arsenal in 2021. Dangote, an Arsenal fan, was previously linked with the purchase of the club from Stan Kroenke – a deal that was worth over $4 billion.