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Forbes: Kalu, Elumelu lose membership card



Forbes Magazine has released its 2015 list of billionaires, with five Nigerians making the list. But the SLOK chairman, and former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, and Heirs Holdings chairman, Tony Elumelu dropped out of the club, as they could not make the list.

Bill Gates is still the richest man in the world, while Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is now the 16th richest man in the world. The youngest billionaire in the world is 24 year old Evan Spiegel, the co-founder of photo- messaging app, Snapchat.

Nearly 25 per cent of this year’s first-time billionaires hail from China, which produced a world-leading 71 newcomers. The United States came in second, with 57, followed by India, with 28, and Germany, with 23.

Even though Aliko Dangote emerged as the year’s biggest loser, with his fortune dropping to $14.7 billion from $25 billion last year, he is still the richest man in Nigeria, and Africa.

Other Nigerians who made the list include Mike Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man, who has investments in mobile telecom and oil production. In 2003, he founded Globacom, which has more than 27 million subscribers in Nigeria, making it the second largest mobile phone network in the country after South African MTN.

The only Nigerian lady on the list, Folorunsho Alakija’s is worth $2 Billion. Her first company was an upscale fashion label that catered to Nigeria’s elite including the wife of the former military president, Ibrahim Babangida.

This connection paid off: the president later gave Alakija’s company a prospecting license for one of the most lucrative oil fields in Nigeria. The drop in oil prices dented the fortune of Alakija, one of just two women billionaires in Africa.

Femi Otedola with $1 Billion returns to Forbes’ list of billionaires for the first time since 2009 following a sharp rise in the share price of petroleum marketing company Forte Oil, despite the drop in oil prices in 2014. Otedola is the controlling shareholder of Forte Oil, with a 78 per cent stake.

The company owns gas stations and fuel storage depots and manufactures its own line of engine oils. Forte said its shares rose in 2014 due to new investments in power generation and distribution.

Abdulsamad Rabiu, worth $1 Billion runs BUA Group, a conglomerate active in flour milling, pasta manufacturing, ports and terminals management and sugar refining. The group stopped operations at its BUA Cement unit –a floating terminal that distributes cement – in 2013 because of what it calls “unfavorable government policy on imported bulk cement.” In other words, high import duties.

Rabiu, son of a businessman, set up his own business in 1988, importing rice, sugar and edible oils as well as iron and steel rods.

The most famous rookie on the billionaires list is Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time and indisputably the best-paid athlete of all time. Most of his cash comes from Nike payouts on his iconic brand.

The Jordan brand grossed an estimated $2.25 billion in 2013, earning his Airness some $90 million. But his most valuable asset is his stake in the Charlotte Hornets, worth more than $500 million. When ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for a stunning $2 billion, values of all NBA teams skyrocketed, creating three new billionaires.

Jordan’s old boss Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls, joined the list with a fortune of $1.3 billion, and Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander boosted his net worth to $1.6 billion.

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