Aliko Dangote recorded a boost of as much as $1.3 billion in his fortune in the year to January 21, a period that was a blessing to investment for shareholders of his cement firm, Dangote Cement Plc.
At $20.4 billion according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index on Friday, the wealth of Africa’s richest man now approaches the value of the economy of the entire nation of Senegal, which the World Bank estimates to have a gross domestic product of $24.9 billion.
Dangote owes the latest rise in its fortune to the execution of the second tranche of the share buyback of his cement firm this week, which investors are betting will lift the valuation of the company further.
Dangote Cement has so far yielded 11 per cent since the turn of the year, firming up its reputation as Nigeria’s biggest company by market value at a market capitalisation of N4.9 trillion as of Friday.
It contributes roughly half of Dangote’s wealth, reaching its peak level of N265.7 per share since 2010 on Friday.
The mogul, Bloomberg reported, is among the 35 billionaires of the top 100 in the world that recorded an increase in their wealth in January. The most phenomenal advance was the jump by $13 billion to $89.5 billion in the riches of India’s most affluent man, Gautam Adani.
Dangote’s wealth is on course to see a much greater boost later in 2022 when his $19 billion petroleum refinery project is expected to be delivered.
The 650,000 barrels per day capacity refinery is said to be the largest single-train refinery in the world and is located on a vast expanse of land, about six times the size of Victoria Island.
The refinery is expected to wean Nigeria off its almost absolute dependence on imported fuel and transform it into a net exporter, helping the government to conserve scarce forex.
Dangote’s investment ambition knows no bounds, and the industrialist has told the Financial Times his intention to buy an English football club when his refinery project is done and dusted. David Pilling, the Financial Times journalist who interviewed him on the subject in 2018, said Dangote talked of buying Arsenal “as though discussing (buying) the latest model of iPhone.”