Another billionaire is ‘born’ in Africa, the continent of 700 million poor people.
Nigeria’s Abdulsamad Rabiu (53), a commodities tycoon, is Africa’s newest billionaire whose fortune increased from US$670 million in 2012 to US$1.2 billion, Forbes Africa said today.
Forbes Africa journalists in London, Lagos and Johannesburg working with the Forbes wealth unit in San Francisco tracked down Rabiu’s fortune for weeks.
And this is what they found:
• He owns property in Britain worth US$62 million and US$19 million in South Africa. It includes the penthouse of the luxury The One and Only Hotel in Cape Town, worth US$12.6 million.
• Rabiu owns two airplanes: a private jet, an eight-seater Gulfstream G550 powered by a Rolls Royce BR710 engine, worth US$44.9 million, as well as an US$18 million Legacy 600 aircraft.
• He owns the Bua Group in Nigeria dealing in cement, sugar and flour. Its subsidiaries do business in real estate, steel, oil gas and shipping.
“We know that Abdulsamad will be on the list as a new billionaire from Nigeria, thanks to reporting by Forbes Africa,” Kerry Dolan, senior editor in charge of Forbes wealth unit in the US, said.
“It was very good for Forbes Africa to break this story after a lot of checking, research and hard work,” the magazine managing editor Chris Bishop said.
“Rabiu, unlike most rich people on the continent, had the courage to be transparent in opening up his wealth to scrutiny.”
Every year Forbes adds a handful of new billionaires to its famous list of Africa’s richest. The list, which will be published in Forbes Africa in December, will expand this year from 40 to 50 to reflect the growing numbers of the super-rich in Africa.
There are currently 55 billionaires in Africa, UK-based Telegraph newspaper reported a few weeks ago, adding that Nigeria’s Al hajji Aliko Dangote (56) is still Africa’s richest man, with a US$20 billion fortune.
Reliable sources say most billionaires in Africa have close links with some of the continent’s ruling parties and corrupt governments.
Photo: 53-year-old Abdul Samad Rabiu; Africa’s new billionaire