Africa’s richest man and prominent Nigerian billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote experienced a substantial setback in his financial standing for the year 2023. Despite a notable increase in the market value of his extensive assets and investments, Dangote’s fortune declined by a staggering $3.6 billion in 2023, retracing the commendable gains made in 2022.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which monitors the wealth of the world’s top 500 richest individuals, Dangote, the founder and chairman of Dangote Group, Africa’s most diversified manufacturing conglomerate, saw his net worth dwindle from $18.7 billion on Jan. 1 to $15.1 billion at the time of drafting this report.
This decline is attributed to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to unify the country’s multiple exchange rates on June 14, 2023, introducing the FX-managed float system for rate unification. The subsequent devaluation of the naira, with the currency losing over 50 percent of its value between June 14 and Dec. 28, led to a decline in the market value of assets and investment holdings of Nigerian billionaires like Dangote, whose businesses are primarily based in Nigeria.
Dangote petrochemical complex commences operations, propelling Nigeria to the forefront
Amid these challenges, Dangote’s $20-billion refinery, boasting the largest refining capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa, is gearing up to revolutionize the continent’s energy sector. A momentous achievement was marked earlier this month with the arrival of the first crude shipment, carried by the OTIS tanker containing 950,000 barrels of Nigeria’s Agbami crude.
Situated in Lekki, Nigeria, the Dangote Petrochemical Complex has officially commenced operations with an initial capacity of 350,000 barrels of crude oil per day, with plans for future expansion to a maximum capacity of 650,000 barrels per day.
The complex will initially focus on producing diesel, aviation fuel, and gas, with plans for petrol production in subsequent stages. Projections indicate that the facility is poised to generate an annual revenue of $27 billion at full capacity.
Dangote’s journey to unveiling the mega oil refinery
Reflecting on the challenges encountered during the prolonged construction of the $20.5-billion petrochemical complex, which exceeded the budget by $8 billion and faced significant delays, Dangote expressed gratitude for overcoming hurdles.
He stated, “It’s either we sink or we sail through. And we thank the Almighty that at least we’ve arrived at the destination.” Despite the recent wealth setback, the operationalization of the Dangote Oil Refinery signals a potential upswing for Dangote’s fortunes in the near future.