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Dangote with $20Bn Becomes World’s 25th Richest Man

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Aliko Dangote, Nigerian billionaire and Africa’s richest man is now officially the continent’s first $20 billion man and has also climbed to become the 25th richest man in the world, according to Forbes, a leading source for reliable business news and financial information.

Forbes also said that the stock value of Dangote’s largest holding, Dangote Cement, leaped just three months after it released its annual ranking of the world’s richest people

With a current market cap of $20.5 billion, Dangote Cement becomes the first Nigerian company to achieve a market capitalization of over $20 billion.

The world renowned business and financial intelligence news magazine, the Forbes has reported that Dangote’s 93 per cent stake in the cement company is now worth $19.5 billion.

Added to this are his controlling stakes in other publicly-listed companies like Dangote Sugar and National Salt Company of Nigeria and his significant shareholdings in other blue-chips like Zenith Bank, UBA Group and Dangote Flour; his extensive real estate portfolio, jets, yachts and current cash position, which includes more than $300 million in recently awarded Dangote Cement, Dangote is now worth more than $20 billion.

To put in the right context, the Forbes reported that the Nigerian billionaire is now among the top 25 richest people in the world.

With his fortune, Dangote is richer than Russia’s richest man, Alisher Usmanov, richer than India’s Lakshmi Mittal and running neck and neck with India’s Mukesh Ambani. He is catching up to such Americans as Google’s billionaire founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

It would be recalled that Dangote Cement had recorded an unprecedented surge in its share price largely due to market response to the company’s impressive results in the first quarter of this year.

The cement manufacturer’s unaudited results for the three months ending March 31 had showed that the company’s pre-tax profit rose to $339 million, representing an 80.6% increase from last year and a strong indicator of the company’s future earning potential. The results also indicate a 79.5 % rise in its earnings per share over the corresponding period last year.

Carl Franklin, Dangote Cement’s Head of Investor Relations in the U.K was quoted to have explained the Company’s share boost, in an email response to Forbes that in the first quarter of 2013, the company had a huge increase in demand across Nigeria, gas supply improved considerably and the capacity was much more ramped up.

“So Q1 was the first sign of just how profitable we can be in Nigeria. The amazing thing is that 66% of our gas-fired production in Q1 was done at 84% gas. Imagine what would happen to margins if we did the same amount at 95%.

This has given investors a good sense of what we can really do when everything goes in the right direction,” Franklin said.

“It’s certainly a landmark for a Nigerian company and we’re proud to be the first to achieve it. Obviously we are focusing on building long-term and sustainable value for shareholders through our investments in Nigeria and Africa. Nigeria is a very entrepreneurial country and I can assure you that other companies will follow us in achieving this.”

Forbes in its report reasoned that other companies might eventually achieve this, but it’s going to take a bit of time. Dangote Cement currently accounts for more than a quarter of the total market capitalization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The second largest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is currently Nigerian Breweries, West Africa’s largest manufacturer of Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The company has a market cap of $8.5 billion.

Dangote debuted on the Forbes billionaires list in 2008 with a fortune pegged at $3.3 billion.

His fortune dropped to $2.5 billion in 2009 and plunged further to $2.1 billion in 2010. His fortune surged 557% in 2011 to $13.8 billion after he took Dangote Cement public.

He dropped to $11.2 billion in last year’s rankings, but rebounded at $16.1 billion this year. Since March, his fortune has jumped another 30%.

Dangote started building his fortune over three decades ago after taking a loan from Sanusi Dantata and started trading in commodities like flour, sugar and cement.

He became a billionaire after delving into manufacturing these items. He started making pasta, salt, sugar and flour in 1997. But he found his gold mine in cement, when he was awarded a government’s state owned cement business in 2000 and began building his own plant in 2003. He listed Dangote Cement in 2010.

Today, it is Africa’s largest cement company providing cement to Nigeria and other African countries that otherwise would likely have to pay to import much of the materials.

The Forbes believes that Dangote still has bigger ambitions. He reportedly told Forbes Wealth Editor Luisa Kroll at Davos in 2011 that he expected his firm to have a market cap of $60 billion within five years.

At $20.5 billion, Dangote Cement still has a long way to go to live up to that dream, and while it is quite unlikely that Dangote Cement could hit a $60 billion Market Cap by 2016, don’t write it off as ‘impossible’. With Dangote, you never know.


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Rivers State, Shell Inaugurate Cluster Development Board for Assa North Gas Project

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The Rivers State government and the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), energy company, recently inaugurated the Egi/Igburu Cluster Development Board (CDB) for pipeline communities to SPDC’s Assa North Gas project, which has a capacity for 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and the potential to be one of the largest domestic gas projects in Nigeria when completed.

Rivers State, Shell Inaugurate Cluster Development Board for Assa North Gas Project

Barrister Elloka Tasie-Amadi, State Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, at the ceremony, urged the Comrade Orikoha Ekwueme-led newly elected officials of the CDB to use the opportunity of leadership to make positive impacts that will improve living standards in their communities.

He said, “The state government is always available to support you. Always speak with your people, including the Community Trust Committees (which were also newly inaugurated). Adequate communication will ensure the buy-in of all your stakeholders”.

He decried those who see leadership as opportunity for self-seeking gains. “Leadership is more of sacrifice; not an opportunity for personal benefit”, The Commissioner said.

Also, at the inauguration, Mr. Igo Weli, SPDC general manager External Relations,  said, “The Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), that you signed today, sets the framework for long-term partnership between SPDC JV and the Egi/Igburu Cluster. The GMoU runs on the principle of community-led development. Today, SPDC JV commits to providing funding to help you realise your community development aspirations.”

Represented at the ceremony by Dr. Banji Adekoya, SPDC External Relations Manager for Projects and Opportunities, he asked the CDB to “be prudent and implement projects and programmes that will deliver maximum benefits to the Egi/Igburu communities. Note that government, SPDC JV and the communities that you represent will hold you accountable for the judicious utilisation of the development funds.”

“With the inauguration, SPDC reiterates the company’s commitment to the Assa North Gas Project and to making it an exemplary one, particularly in Nigeria’s quest for energy sufficiency, for power generation and industrialization”, he said.

On its part, the new CDB committed to use SPDC’s award-winning GMoU agreement, which is a community-led sustainable development and interface management model that puts the communities in the driving seat in setting development priorities and implementation of programmes and projects to meet their needs.

The GMOU is a proven winning approach introduced in 2006, adopted across SPDC’s operational areas and provides a secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice.

With the inauguration of the Egi/Igburu CDB, SPDC now has 40 active GMoUs in Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers States. Since 2006, SPDC JV has disbursed a total of $252 million to communities through these GMoUs.

The Assa North/Ohaji South gas project is a joint venture project involving the SPDC, the NNPC, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, and Nigerian Agip Oil Company, and will result in a new SPDC gas processing plant.

The development will help the federal government deliver on its ambition to provide enough gas for domestic consumption, power generation and gas-based ammonia and urea fertilizers for farmers.


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African Entrepreneurs Vying for Anzisha Recognition

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The Anzisha Prize, a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, has revealed its top 20 finalists for 2020. Winners will be announced at this year’s Anzisha Prize Conference on 27 October 2020.

Organisers say this year’s application season saw a record 1 200 applicants vying for a chance to join the Anzisha Prize fellowship.

From these applications, 20 businesses emerged that were 45% percent female-owned and represented sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and education.

Young entrepreneurs from Morocco, South Africa and Tanzania displayed impressive ventures that are tackling critical issues within their communities while also turning a profit. Through their businesses and entrepreneurial leadership skills, these job starters are paving a way for other young Africans to pursue entrepreneurship.

Selected as a top 20 finalist is 21-year-old Alaa Moatamed who is the co-founder of Presto, a company she describes as one of the leading delivery management platforms in Egypt. The venture provides business owners with an affordable and convenient delivery service for their customers.

Joining Alaa is 20-year-old Benjamin Mushayija Gisa from Rwanda who manufactures and packages natural organic products for consumption and for cosmetic purposes in the form of lotions and coconut soap.

“2020 has seen a global shift in the future of work. This year’s applicants have personified the resilience and innovation that Africa needs as we navigate our way into a post-COVID-19 future,” says Melissa Mbazo-Ekepenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize.

The Anzisha Prize, a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, has supported 122 entrepreneurs and 77 of those businesses have created over 2 000 jobs, with 56% of those being employment provided for young Africans under 25.

Peter Materu, Chief Program Officer, Mastercard Foundation says, “The success of the Anzisha Prize over the last decade stands as a resounding testament to the creativity and entrepreneurial potential of Africa’s very young people—a hugely under-tapped resource.

Through Anzisha, we’re reminded of what they can achieve when challenged and enabled to own and solve the problems they see around them. Now, as ever, the innovations that have emerged through the Anzisha Prize inspire and renew our faith in and commitment to their promise.”

This year, the top 20 will gather virtually from their various countries to share knowledge and learn from expert coaches and mentors as they prepare for their final pitches to a panel of external judges.

All the entrepreneurs will receive a cash prize of US$2 500. The grand prize winner will receive US$25 000, while the 1st runner and 2nd runner receive US$15 000 and US$12 500 respectively.


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FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

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Federal Government has included Emirates Airlines in the list of airlines not allowed to operate in Nigeria.

FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

This is part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Hadi Sirika, minister of Aviation, confirmed this via his Twitter handle on Friday.

According to Sirika, the decision was taken following a meeting between the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and European Unions (EU).

The ban would take effect from Monday, September 21, 2020.

“The PTF sub-committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban.

“The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed and they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st September 2020,” Sirika tweeted.


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