AFRICANGLOBE – In most cases, successful individuals who have created wealth through wise and diligent investments in business hardly squander their money. They usually prefer to reinvest their capital, including the accrued profit over the years, into their businesses to increase their asset base and level of affluence.
The tendency, therefore, is that the richer they are, the more their business interests expand. In line with this corporate tradition, the rich investors get richer and, when they spend, they do so in a big way worthy of mention. This is because of the extensive attention attracted by their rare wherewithal and will to spend, including doling out money on humanitarian grounds. Among Nigeria’s privileged people are:
Nigerian business tycoon Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Africa. He is the founder, Dangote Group, West Africa’s largest publicly listed conglomerate with diverse business interests such as sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, real estate and salt processing. Dangote Cement, Dangote Foods (noodles) and Dansa Juice complete the chain. His total net worth is about $16.1 as at March 2013.
Dangote spends money in philanthropic activities. He has stepped up his philanthropy in recent years, giving over $100 million to causes ranging from education and health through flood relief, poverty alleviation to the arts. He acquired a private jet in April 2010 as a personal gift on the occasion of his 53rd birthday. The Bombardier Global Jet Express XRS (one out of a few) was estimated to cost $45 million. Dangote is also said to have purchased a private luxury yatch at the cost of $43 million made exclusively for his enjoyment. The yatch is named Mariya after his mother.
Otunba Mike Adenuga built his fortune in business from banking, mobile telecom service and oil. He founded Globacom, now Nigeria’s second largest mobile phone network, in 2006. Globacom has more than 24 million subscribers in Nigeria, and also operates in the Republic of Benin. Adenuga made his first fortune at the young age of 26 in the 1970s by distributing lace and other materials. He later had another opportunity to expand his fortune during the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida when he was awarded a contract for the construction of military barracks in some military installations in the country. He is presently worth $4.7 billion, thus justifying him as one of Nigeria’s super-rich businessmen.
Adenuga is a philanthropist who spends a lot of money on selfless activities aimed at bringing succour and assistance to less-privileged people. Adenuga also takes his philanthropic goodwill to the area of sports development in Nigeria and Africa through his selfless investments in sports. His demonstration of philanthropic largesse cuts across sponsorship of Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) and the Super Eagles. This was one of the points highlighted by President Goodluck Jonathan at his (Adenuga’s) 60th birthday. “You are celebrating 60 years of a remarkable life filled with monumental achievements in high entrepreneurship, philanthropy and dedicated service to God and country,” the president said.
Similarly, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mr Issah Hayatou, used the occasion of Adenuga’s birthday celebration to appreciate his contributions to the society. He recognised that Adenuga had not only affected Africa positively through his accomplishments in business but has also been the pillar of sports on the continent.
Adenuga loves spending money on what gives him joy. It could be said that, partly for this reason, he acquired a private Bombardier Global Express jet, fitted with the latest flight facilities. It is one of the most luxuriously built private jets in the world, just like that of Dangote.
Jim Ovia started building his fortunes when he founded Zenith Bank Group in 1990. The bank has grown to become West Africa’s second largest financial service provider by market capitalisation and asset base. His sources of wealth are banking, telecommunication and real estate investment.
He also owns Quantum Luxury Properties Limited, a private equity fund with special focus on Africa. Ovia’s total net worth is about $825 million.
He has embarked on the establishment of a free, co-educational high school, James Hope College, in Delta State, the place where he pondered his future as a young man. The school, an 18-month project, launches in September with an initial capacity for 420 students. He is also the founder of Mankind United To Support Total Education (MUSTE), an organisation providing scholarships for the underprivileged.
Lagos-based business tycoon Abdulsamad Rabiu is a son of Khalifa Isiyaku Rabiu, one of Nigeria’s most successful businessmen in the 1970s. Little wonder therefore that he followed in his father’s footsteps in business with interest in importing basic commodities such as rice, sugar and cement in the 1980s.
Abdussamad heads the BUA Group, a conglomerate with $1.9 billion in revenues and interests in sugar refining, vegetable oil processing and flour mills. The BUA Group also operates the BUA Cement, Nigeria’s first floating cement terminal, as well as Nigerian Oil Mill which processes edible oil. According to Forbes magazine report, he is the 21st richest African and is worth $675 million.
Billionaire oil tycoon, fashion designer and philanthropist, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija is worth at least $3.3 billion against a recent Forbes’ rating which quoted her net worth as $600 million. She began her professional career in the 1970s as secretary of defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria, one of the country’s earliest investment banks.
In the early 1980s when banking was seen as one of the most lucrative jobs, she took a bold step towards realisation of her personal dreams by quitting her job in the bank to study Fashion Design in England. She returned to Nigeria a few years later to establish Supreme Stitches, a high-profile fashion firm which provides special services to exclusive clientele. She also founded Rose of Sharon Foundation, a charity organisation.
This fashion design business led her into fortune. She was in a position to make and sell high-level clothing to the fashionable wives of some military big shots and other society women.
In May 1993, Mrs Alakija set out for oil business. It was then she applied for an allocation of oil prospecting licence (OPL) to explore 617,000-acre block granted to her company, Famfa Oil Limited. However, at that time, she had no experience in oil exploration — she was just a new entrant in the business.
Also, Mrs Alakija is widely reported to own a private jet, Bombardier Global Express 6000 which cost about $46 million, added to acquisition of a property at Hyde Park. This is one of the ways she spends her wealth, which gives her happiness. Furthermore, she is a philanthropist who derives joy in giving assistance to widows and other less-privileged in society.