Nigeria is the third wealthiest country in Africa for 2019 — despite being home to billionaire Aliko Dangote

Alhaji Aliko Dangote is the richest billionaire in Africa
  • There are two Nigerians on the list of the Forbes top 5 African billionaires ruled by Aliko Dangote.
  • You would think this would make Nigeria the wealthiest country on the continent.
  • The new 2019 Wealth Report compiled by AfrAsia Bank says otherwise as Nigeria is ranked as Africa’s third wealthiest nation and Lagos state the fourth wealthiest city.

Nigeria is home to two of Africa’s richest people — Aliko Dangote with $10.3 billion and Mike Adenuga with $9.2 billion — as estimated by Forbes. 

However, data from the September 2019 Wealth Report compiled by AfrAsia Bank shows that it is not the wealthiest nation on the continent.

The number one position goes to South Africa with a total wealth of $649 billion. This excludes government funds and includes private wealth (properties, cash, business interests and equities) held by all the people living in each country.

Egypt is in second place with $303 billion while Nigeria follows with $225 billion. 

The report cited the following as reasons for Nigeria’s ranking:

  • Safety concerns and tensions
  • Outgoing migration of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs)
  • Investors running away because of the clampdown on foreign companies like MTN
  • Decrease in oil prices
  • Loss of value in Naira compared to the US dollar

Nigeria ranks even lower in the statistics for the wealthiest cities in Africa. In the list ruled by Johannesburg, Capetown (both in South Africa), and Egypt's Cairo, Lagos, Nigeria is ranked the fourth.

Despite being the largest city in the continent in terms of population and Gross domestic products (GDP), Lagos only has a total wealth of $96 billion.

As of December 2018, Africa has a total wealth of $2.2 trillion, 42 per cent of which is belongs to HNWIs. This shows the alarming disparity between the rich and poor.

Commenting on the gap in an Oxfam report called “A Tale of Two Continents”, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: "African political and business leaders face a clear choice. They can stay on the path of increasingly extreme inequality, where poverty continues to rise while wealth in the hands of a tiny elite and foreign companies’ spirals. Or they can choose another way: towards a more prosperous and equal Africa that invests in and respects the dignity of all its people.”

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