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5 richest industrialists on the Nigerian Exchange

by Omokolade Ajayi
Abdul Samad Rabiu

Since the 1980s, Nigeria’s industrial landscape has experienced an awe-inspiring transformation driven by the visionary genius of its homegrown entrepreneurs and shrewd businessmen. At the forefront of this revolution stand exceptional industrialists, reigning supreme on the Nigerian Exchange and propelling the nation’s economy to unprecedented heights.

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, the trailblazing founder of Dangote Group, Africa’s most diversified manufacturing conglomerate, leads this elite group. Alongside Dangote is Abdul Samad Rabiu, fellow Nigerian billionaire and the dynamic chairman of BUA Group, which is propelling one of Africa’s fastest-growing manufacturing giants. Together, they have redefined Nigeria’s industrial landscape, fostering an environment ripe for economic prosperity.

Their contributions have secured Nigeria’s position as Africa’s largest economy, boasting a GDP of $477 billion, and catalyzed the growth of the Nigerian equity market. Many of their pioneering companies are now publicly listed, allowing the public to share in the remarkable financial success of these business empires.

Beyond their boardrooms, these distinguished industrialists serve as beacons of change and transformation, ushering in a new era of economic growth and development for the entire nation. Nigeria owes its economic transformation to these trailblazers, who continue to usher in progress, prosperity, and hope for Nigerians.

Here are the five richest industrialists on the Nigerian Exchange who have made remarkable contributions to the Nigerian economy, revolutionizing various industries and leaving an indelible mark on the country’s business landscape. As trailblazers, visionaries, and influential figures, they continue to inspire and lead the charge toward economic growth and prosperity in Nigeria:

  1. Aliko Dangote

Market value of holdings on the NGX: $7.3 billion

Holdings: Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar, NASCON, Jaiz Bank, UBA

A trailblazing billionaire, Dangote is a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian industrial landscape. As the owner of a staggering 86.81 percent of Dangote Cement, the largest cement company in Africa and a crown jewel on the Nigerian Exchange, his influence in the construction and infrastructure sectors knows no bounds. Dangote’s empire extends further with his commanding 72.7-percent stake in Dangote Sugar and a significant 66.5 percent holding in NASCON Allied Plc, further cementing his dominance in the food processing industry. Additionally, he is a notable shareholder in Jaiz Bank, with a substantial 7.23-percent ownership, making his mark on the financial sector. To diversify his investment portfolio, Dangote also boasts ownership of an impressive 301,971,608 shares in United Bank for Africa (UBA), reinforcing his position as a visionary and influential figure in Nigeria’s economic landscape.

  1. Abdul Samad Rabiu

Market value of holdings on the NGX: $7.1 billion

Holdings: BUA Sugar, BUA Cement

Rabiu, a visionary entrepreneur, holds the second most valuable portfolio on the Nigerian Exchange. Having founded BUA Group in 1988, he has shown exceptional leadership in building a vast conglomerate with diverse interests in cement, foods, infrastructure, and more. At the heart of Rabiu’s empire lies BUA Cement Plc, a leading cement company in which he owns an impressive 96.29-percent stake. This stake has cemented his position as a formidable force in the cement industry and earned him immense wealth, with his stake now valued at a staggering $4.2 billion. But that’s not all. Rabiu’s entrepreneurial brilliance extends to BUA Foods Plc, where he holds an impressive 92.6-percent stake. This thriving venture, currently valued at $2.9 billion, has further contributed to his remarkable $7.1-billion total holdings on the Nigerian Exchange.

  1. John Coumantaros

Market value of holdings on the NGX: $99.5 million

Holdings: Flour Mills of Nigeria 

A Greek multimillionaire businessman, Coumantaros has etched his name as a key player in Nigeria’s thriving industrial sector. The visionary chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Coumantaros commands an impressive 63.3-percent ownership of this leading consumer goods company through his firm, Excelsior Shipping Company Limited. His remarkable stake is currently valued at an impressive N76.6 billion ($99.5 million), underscoring his significant influence in the Nigerian industrial landscape.

  1. Fidelis Ayebae 

Market value of Holdings on the NGX: $13.83 million

Holdings: Fidson Healthcare Plc

Ayebae’s visionary leadership has propelled Fidson Healthcare Plc to new heights in the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry. As the CEO and managing director, Ayebae founded the company in 1995, transforming it from a local pharmaceutical products distributor to a leading pharmaceutical manufacturing company. Fidson Healthcare is one of only three pharma companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Ayebae’s stake of 33.1 percent in Fidson Healthcare, presently valued at N10.63 billion ($13.83 million), cements his status as one of the most influential investors on the Nigerian Exchange.

  1. Samuel Bolarinde

Market value of Holdings on the NGX: $4.4 million

Holdings: Vitafoam Nigeria Plc

Nigerian industrialist Bolarinde has carved a niche for himself in the business landscape. With notable positions on the boards of various Nigerian companies, including Wema Bank Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc, he brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Bolarinde’s most significant investment lies in Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, where he holds an impressive 13.03-percent stake. As Nigeria’s leading manufacturer of rigid and flexible foam products, Vitafoam plays a pivotal role in the nation’s industrial growth. Bolarinde’s stake in Vitafoam is presently valued at N3.4 billion ($4.4 million), a testament to his astute investment decisions and contributions to the thriving Nigerian market.

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