Africa’s wealthiest individual, Aliko Dangote, has swiftly rebounded, witnessing a staggering surge of N313.2 billion in wealth within a mere 24 hours after facing losses amounting to N5.6 billion on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. The renowned Nigerian industrialist, who had previously slipped from the top 100 richest individuals globally due to the devaluation of the naira, has once again demonstrated his financial resilience.
Dangote’s setback was primarily attributed to the sluggish performance of stocks on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX). The devaluation of the naira had a notable impact on his stocks, particularly in Dangote Cement, where he holds a significant stake, constituting a major portion of his overall wealth.
The currency devaluation has had enduring effects on Dangote’s net worth, leading to a drop of about $5 billion since Nigeria initiated foreign exchange reforms, resulting in the naira losing over 40% of its value. Presently ranked as the 115th richest person globally, Dangote’s estimated net worth stands at $15.8 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Despite these financial challenges, Dangote remains optimistic as his much-anticipated 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity refinery is set to commence production in December this year. The refinery, a significant venture for Dangote, has encountered delays in meeting its production deadlines but is now awaiting crude supply from the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) to initiate operations.
Addressing investors in Saudi Arabia, Dangote emphasized the refinery’s commitment to starting operations with Nigerian crude. He stated, “We don’t want to start our refinery with foreign goods. We want to start with the Nigerian crude. We’re ready; you will see our gasoline products soon.”
Former President Muhammadu Buhari officially commissioned the refinery on May 22, 2023. Despite missing two production deadlines, Dangote assures that the facility will focus on the Nigerian market initially before expanding exports to other countries, particularly in West Africa and globally.
Aliko Dangote’s swift recovery showcases his resilience in the face of market challenges, and as he regains ground in the global wealth rankings, his refinery’s imminent production is anticipated to contribute significantly to his financial resurgence.