Nigeria’s foremost industrialist and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is taking a very strategic step towards diversifying and protecting his vast wealth.
Bloomberg reported that Dangote, who has a net worth of about $15 billion and is among the top 100 wealthiest people in the world, is planning to open an office in New York dedicated to managing his wealth.
Economic uncertainty in Nigeria and across Africa, as well as fluctuations in the naira, prompted this move. Speaking on this, Aliko Dangote said that “in Africa, you know we have issues with devaluation. So, we want to really preserve some of the family’s wealth.”
Dangote makes most of his money in Nigeria and the other African markets where he operates. His companies under the Dangote Industries Limited – Dangote Cement Plc, Dangote Sugar Refineries Plc, and NASCON Allied Industries Plc – are all listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The market valuations of these companies collectively account for a significant value of the Nigerian bourse.
Unfavourable economic factors, however, have a way of working against wealthy people like Dangote. As Nairametrics reported, the collective value of the 62-year billionaire’s shareholding in his companies reduced by a whooping N724.3 billion in 2019. This was due to underperformance in the capital market which was, of course, caused by a bad Nigerian economy. Hence, the need to protect the billionaire’s wealth.
New York is undoubtedly the economic capital of the world. It is therefore understandable why Dangote would like to be visible there, especially now that the completion of his $12 billion Dangote Refineries is almost near.
Note that apart from diversifying and protecting Dangote’s money, a New York office is also expected to help position his companies on a more global space. Already, there is a London office solely dedicated to managing his billions.