Femi Otedola returns to global billionaires list as global billionaire wealth hits $14.2 trillion

by MMC
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The American business magazine Forbes revealed its 38th Annual List of the World’s Billionaires, spotlighting Africa’s most notable billionaire. South Africa’s Christo Wiese was in the spotlight last year, marking his return to the Forbes richest list after a four-year absence due to the Steinhoff accounting scandal. This year, Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola is stealing the spotlight on the continent, making a notable return to the global billionaires club.

Otedola, chairman of Geregu Power, a leading power generation company and Nigeria’s most valuable lender, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBN Holdings), returns after a seven-year hiatus. During his hiatus, he strategically reshuffled his portfolio, starting with the sale of its shares in Forte Oilthe successor to African Petroleum, pivot to the energy sector. This has boosted the growth of Geregu Power, making it Nigeria’s first publicly listed utility company.

Otedola returns as a billionaire

Its diversified asset portfolio, including offshore cash, extensive international real estate and stakes in Nigeria’s leading banks – FBN Securities in portfolio and Zenith Bank – as well as the recent investments in Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement company, have propelled its wealth to $1.7 billion. This secures him a place among the richest individuals in Africa and earns him a coveted spot on Forbes Annual List of Billionaires.

With the return of Otedola among the billionaires, Africa now has 20 billionaires, compared to 19 in 2023 and 18 in 2022. Globally, Forbes identified an unprecedented 2,781 billionaires this year, representing a notable increase of 141 from last year and surpassing the previous record set in 2021 by 26 billionaires.

The super-rich gain access to new riches Zenith

The ranks of the world’s ultra-rich continue to swell, with their combined net worth hits a record $14.2 trillion. This represents an increase of $2 trillion from last year and surpasses the previous record of $13.1 trillion set in 2021.

On the African continent, Aliko Dangote remains the undisputed heavyweight. His $15 billion fortune comes mainly from his 86 percent stake in Dangote Cement, a company which recently welcomed Femi Otedola as a new shareholder.

Worldwide, Bernard Arnault retains his crown as richest man for the second year in a row. The French luxury mogul’s net worth has soared to an estimated $233 billion, a $22 billion increase fueled by another record year for LVMH, his conglomerate that is home to major brands like Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Sephora .

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