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Aliko Dangote, Adenuga, Otedola, others on Forbes billionaires list

The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, retained his position as Africa’s richest person and was listed as the 51st richest person in the world in the Forbes 2016 World’s Billionaires list released on Tuesday.

Dangote’s net worth, according to the magazine, has risen to $15.4bn from $14.7bn in 2015. He was ranked 67th in the 2015 list.

The 2016 list, which contains 1,810 billionaires in dollar terms, also has four other Nigerians apart from Dangote.

These are the Chairman of Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga; Chairman of Forte Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola; Founder and Executive Chairman, Famfa Oil Limited, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija; and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu.

Adenuga, whose net worth was put at $10bn, was ranked 103rd on the global list; while Otedola, with a net worth of $1.8bn, was ranked 1,011th.

Alakija, estimated to be worth $1.6bn, came in the 1,121st position, while Rabiu was ranked the 1,577th billionaire in the world, with a net worth of $1.1bn.

The five were on the Forbes 2015 World’s Billionaire list.

However, Dangote, Adenuga, Otedola and Rabiu moved up on the 2016 list, while Alakija dropped down.

Dangote, Adenuga, Otedola and Rabiu emerged 51st, 103rd, 1,011th and 1,577th in this year’s list, from 67th, 393rd; 1,741st and 1,741st, respectively in 2015.

Alakija, who was ranked 949th last year, was listed in the 1,121st position this year.

Despite the economic crisis in Nigeria, the five billionaires are said to have increased their net fortunes by $7bn (N1.4tn). They had a combined net worth of $29.9bn this year, down from $22.9bn the year before.

In the Forbes 2015 World’s Billionaires list, the fortunes of Dangote, Adenuga and Alakija were put at $14.7bn, $4.2bn and $2bn, respectively, while Otedola and Rabiu had a net worth of $1bn each.

Although the Nigerian billionaires had their fortunes increased, the situation was not totally the same globally.

According to Forbes, volatile stock markets, falling oil prices and a stronger dollar led to a dynamic reshuffling of wealth around the globe, and a drop in 10-figure fortunes for the first time since 2009.

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For the 30th annual guide to the world’s richest, Forbes found 1,810 billionaires, down from a record 1,826 a year ago.

Forbes said the aggregate net worth was $6.48tn, which is $570bn less than that of last year.

It was also the first time since 2010 that the average net worth of a billionaire dropped – it is now $3.6bn, $300m less than last year, it said.

Behind these figures is a story of huge upheaval, as 221 people fell off the list, while 198 newcomers joined the ranks; another 29 people from 2015 died, while 29 who had previously fallen off climbed back on. Of those who were billionaires both years, 892 are poorer, while 501 added to their fortunes.

The reshuffling starts at the top. Only two people in the top 20 managed to hold on to their ranks. Bill Gates remains the richest person in the world with a net worth of $75bn, despite being $4.2bn poorer than a year ago.

He has been No. 1 one for three years in a row and topped the list 17 out of 22 years. In the 30 years Forbes has tracked global wealth, only five people have held the title of the richest person on planet; three of those still rank among the four richest in the world, including Warren Buffett and Carlos Slim.

Holding steady is Buffett at No. 3. Zara’s Amancio Ortega moves up to No. 2 for the first time, displacing Mexico’s Carlos Slim, who slips to No. 4. Slim’s fortune fell by $27.1bn to $50bn in the past year, as shares of his telecom business, América Móvil, tumbled.

Mark Zuckerberg had the best year of all the billionaires. The 31-year-old added $11.2bn to his fortune and moved up to No. 6 from 16. He and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos both make their first appearance in the top 10 of Forbes annual ranking of the world’s wealthiest.

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