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Nigerian politician and OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo dies at 63

His death comes at a critical juncture in history, with volatile energy markets, global inflation and growing climate risks.

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Mohammad Barkindo.

Mohammad Barkindo, a Nigerian politician and the outgoing secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has died at the age of 63, just days before his term was set to end. OPEC is an intergovernmental organization, comprising 13 oil-producing countries.

Barkindo’s death was announced Wednesday morning by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Managing Director Mele Kyari and confirmed by OPEC sources, stunned leaders, politicians, and businesspeople operating in the energy sector, particularly the oil and gas industry.

“We lost our esteemed Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo. He died at about 11 p.m. yesterday, July 5, 2022. Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community. Burial arrangements will be announced shortly,” Kyari tweeted.

Barkindo, who became OPEC’s secretary-general in 2016, had a glamorous career in the oil and gas industry, serving in various capacities both locally and internationally.

He also spent over 24 years working in various capacities for the NNPC.

His death comes at a critical juncture in history, with volatile energy markets, global inflation, growing climate risks, and the continuing fallout from COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war, all of which have resulted in tighter oil supplies, pushing prices to multi-year highs amid fears of an international recession.

Prior to his death, Barkindo chaired the OPEC Task Force of the Fifteenth Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and spearheaded the OPEC/EU Dialogue on Energy Markets, Taxation, and the Environment.

He is credited with developing the first long-term strategy at OPEC. He was also a founding delegate to the formation of the African Petroleum Producers Association in Algiers, Algeria, in 1986.

From 1987 to 2010, he also served as a delegate to APPA Ministerial Conferences, and he was a founding member of the International Energy Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

While OPEC lost two members during his tenure as secretary-general, Qatar and Ecuador, Barkindo is credited with fostering unity among the group’s members in an effort to stabilize global oil markets.

He also contributed to the strengthening and consolidation of OPEC/non-OPEC cooperation and dialogue on climate change and led Nigeria’s technical delegations to the climate change negotiations that resulted in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC since their inception in 1991.

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Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola gains $12.7 million from stake in FBNH

FBNH is one of Nigeria’s largest financial services conglomerates.

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Femi Otedola. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola’s stake in the country’s oldest commercial bank, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBNH), has risen by more than $12 million in recent months, as shares in the financial services group rebounded strongly after falling below key levels.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, Otedola’s stake in FBNH has increased in value by N5.34 billion ($12.7 million) in the past 54 days, as investors continued to cherry-pick stakes in the commercial banking group after its price fell below N9 ($0.0214) in June.

FBNH is one of Nigeria’s largest financial services conglomerates. It is the non-operating holding company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the country’s oldest commercial bank, with active operations in 10 countries.

According to a flurry of trading updates published on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in June, Otedola sold 664,939,764 shares in four separate transactions, reducing his stake in the Nigerian lender from 2,717,282,140 shares, or 7.57 percent, to 2,052,342,376 shares, or 5.72 percent.

Shares in the financial group have increased by 31 percent since June 21, nearly 54 days ago, from N8.4 ($0.02) to N11 ($0.026) at the time of writing, amid renewed buying interest in the bank’s shares on the local bourse.

As a result of the double-digit increase in the shares of FBNH, the market value of Otedola’s 5.72 percent stake in FBNH has increased by N5.34 billion ($12.73 million), from N17.24 billion ($41.12 million) on June 21 to N22.58 billion ($53.85 million) at the time of writing this report.

The recent gains in his stake follow a dividend of N951.05 million ($2.29 million) from his equity stake in the financial services group that he received earlier this year.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour gains $1.86 million in 74 days from Palm Hills stake

Mansou owns a sizable 5.6-percent stake in the Cairo-based real estate firm.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour. ©Billionaires.Africa

Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour has recorded a EGP35.6-million ($1.86 million) boost in his net worth in the past 74 days, as shares in Palm Hills Development increased by nearly 19 percent in reaction to the company’s recently released first-quarter results.

Palm Hills Development, an operating subsidiary of Egypt’s largest conglomerate, Mansour Group, is a well-known real estate developer with active investments in Egypt. The company develops integrated residential, commercial, and resort communities.

Mansour, the chairman of Palm Hills Development and one of Egypt’s and Africa’s wealthiest individuals, owns a sizable 5.6-percent stake in the Cairo-based real estate firm.

The Egyptian real estate developer revealed that its profit increased by more than 40 percent in the first quarter of 2022, from EGP217.4 million ($11.36 million) in the first quarter of 2021 to EGP305.8 million ($16 million), owing to sustained growth in demand for properties in Egypt.

As a result of the firm’s strong financial performance, investors on the Egyptian Stock Exchange increased their buying interest in Palm Hills shares, resulting in an 18.6-percent increase in the firm’s stock price from EGP1.13 ($0.059) on June 1 to EGP1.34 ($0.07) on Aug. 14.

Mansour’s 5.6-percent stake in Palm Hills Development has increased in value over the past 74 days, from EGP191.94 million ($10 million) to EGP227.6 million ($11.89 million) at the time of writing.

This equates to a total gain of EGP35.6 million ($1.86 million) for the Egyptian billionaire, who ranks as one of the wealthiest men on the African continent, alongside his brothers Mohamed Mansour and Youssef Mansour, both of whom own Mansour Group and Palm Hills Development.

His net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion, making him one of Africa’s wealthiest businessmen.

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu unveils $23.8-million security support fund

It is the single largest donation to a philanthropic cause made by a Nigerian businessman.

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Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire businessman Abdul Samad Rabiu has announced the creation of the N10-billion ($23.8 million) Nigeria Security Support Fund through his philanthropic organization, the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa). He unveiled the project during a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock presidential residence in Abuja.

Rabiu launched the initiative to provide security equipment and medical and other supplies to the families of soldiers fighting terrorists in Nigeria’s northeast, and to strengthen local infrastructure.

The contribution marks the single largest donation to a philanthropic cause made by a Nigerian businessman, and follows the $3-million development initiative that Rabiu launched in Niger three weeks ago through ASR Africa. Last week, Rabiu received the Commander of the Order of Merit of Niger Award in recognition of his contributions to the country of Niger and its people.

Rabiu also praised Buhari for creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. He cited policies implemented by his administration, which, he said, aided the growth of his manufacturing conglomerate, BUA Group, which is one of the continent’s fastest-growing commercial groups.

He also promised to support the administration’s efforts in industrial development and security.

Rabiu established ASR Africa in April 2021 to promote long-term, impact-driven solutions to developmental issues affecting health, educational, and social development across Africa.

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