Posted by News Express | 7 January 2014 | 4,063 times
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person and the President of Dangote Group, one of the continent’s largest conglomerates, is estimated to have added a whopping $9.2 billion during 2013. He remains the 30th-richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg, a global financial intelligence.
The widely respected media corroborated Forbes Africa, reporting that the cement tycoon made the biggest profit in the African continent in the outgone year.
The richest people on the planet got even richer in 2013, adding $524 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 300 wealthiest individuals.
The aggregate net worth of the world’s top billionaires stood at $3.7 trillion at the market close on December 31, according to the ranking. The biggest gains came in the technology industry, which soared 28 per cent during the year. Of the 300 people who appeared on the final ranking of 2013, only 70 registered a net loss for the 12-month period.
Dangote, according to Bloomberg, recorded his highest gain from Dangote Cement, which is the most capitalised company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), with a 74 per cent run-up over the last 365 days.
However, according to Forbes’ most recent statistics, Dangote is now worth $22.9 billion, up from $12.8 billion at the end of December 2012.
While still aggressively expanding his cement business within the African continent, the foremost industrialist made a bold move late last year when he ventured into petroleum refining business, signing a jumbo term loan agreement of $3.30 billion with a consortium of both international and local banks for the purpose of constructing the biggest Petroleum Oil Refinery & Petrochemical/Fertilizer Plants in Nigeria.
The plants, which will cost a total of $9 billion, will generate up to 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs, in addition to reducing current volumes of refined fuel imports by around 50 per cent and effectively stopping the importation of fertilizer. The project will be financed by $3 billion equity and $6 billion loan capital.
The loan agreement signing between Dangote Group and a consortium of 12 local and international banks was the first tranche of loans secured by Dangote, comprising USD3.3 billion. This first facility was jointly co-ordinated by Standard Chartered Bank as the Global Coordinator, and Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank PLC as the Local Coordinator.
With the refining capacity expected to reach 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day and producing a variety of refined fuel products from local crude resources, Nigeria will cut its current volumes of imported fuel products by a massive 50 per cent. The 2.8 million tons of urea will be channeled into growing the local agriculture sector which is essential in producing healthy crops and promoting Nigeria and West Africa’s agricultural development.
The Petrochemical plant will also produce Polypropylene which is a common component of most plastic and fabric products, for example it is used in various forms of packaging, ropes and agro-sacks.
Dangote had explained: “This plant will further entrench Africa’s role on the global map as not only a valued contributor for natural resources, but also a competent manufacturer of refined products and fertilizer.
“As a result, several African nations will be less reliant on importing fuel and fertilizer from foreign markets, reducing the negative impact of negotiating terms within increasingly turbulent international markets.”
The refinery, according to Dangote, will further create some thousands of job opportunities both direct and indirect and will trickle down to every family and reduce unemployment in the country.
He stated that the Dangote Group would be ready to delve into sectors that are capable of generating the much needed jobs and urged other investors to have abiding faith in the nation’s economy.
•Photo shows Aliko Dangote.
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