Reno Omokri recently claimed that Nigerian billionaire, Aliko Dangote, was ranked by Forbes as the 25th richest man in 2013, and ranked 117th in 2021. He also claimed that the business mogul lost 40% of his 2013 net worth by 2021 due to poor “leadership.”
Aliko Dangote was not ranked 25th in 2013 when Forbes released initially released its billionaire list, though when his fortune rose in July 2013 he made it to the 'first 25'. This does not invalidate the first list.
Similarly, he was not ranked 117th in 2021 by Forbes as claimed by Reno Omokri. It was Bloomberg. And between 2013 and 2021, Dangote did not lose 40% as claimed by the former presidential aide.
Reno Omokri, a former presidential aide, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, August 10, claimed that Nigerian business mogul, Aliko Dangote, was ranked 25th by Forbes, a global media company focusing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle, in its 2013 billionaire index.
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The controversial Nigerian UK-based pastor further claimed that Dangote was ranked 117th richest man by the magazine in its 2021 billionaire index.
Comparing Dangote’s 2013 and 2021 fortunes as contained in Forbes, Omokri posited that the Kano-born businessman “lost 40% of his 2013 net worth” due to what he attributed to “leadership.”
Claim #1: Was Dangote really ranked 25th richest by Forbes?
Having identified Reno Omokri’s claims, a Google search was launched to confirm if Forbes truly ranked Aliko Dangote “25th richest man on earth” in 2013 and 117th in 2021.
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Findings, however, revealed that Dangote was not ranked 25th in the initial and original 2013 Forbes’ billionaire index.
Forbes announced that a record 1,426 billionaires made its 2013 list of the world’s richest people, with Mexico’s telecom magnate, Carlos Slim Helú, ranked in the number 1 spot with a net worth of staggering $73 billion up from $69 billion in 2012.
Aliko Dangote made the list of the first 100 as the Nigerian businessman and philanthropist came 43rd on the log.
The Forbes 2013 billionaire ranking showed that Dangote, who makes his fortunes from cement, sugar and flour, came behind Indian Lakshmi Mittal with a net worth of $16.1 billion.
He was, however, ranked as the richest man in Africa by Forbes, with South Africa’s Johann Rupert & family coming behind him with a staggering $6.6 billion.
In June 2013, Dangote value rose to $20 billion and he became Africa's first billionaire to hit that figure, hence putting him on the Forbes' updated list of the first "25 richest people" in the world.
Claim #2: Was Dangote ranked 117th by Forbes 2021?
Contrary to Omokri’s claim, Aliko Dangote was never ranked 117th by Forbes in 2021. In its report titled “The Richest People in The World”, Forbes ranked the Nigerian billionaire in #191 position with $11.5 billion net worth in a long list topped by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
However, Bloomberg ranked Dangote #117 when it released its 2021 billionaire index on August 10, and as of Monday, August 16, the Nigerian business mogul has moved to #115.
Claim #3: Does Dangote lose 40% of his 2013 net worth?
If to go by the original Forbes ranking, Dangote boasted a net worth of $16.1billion in 2013 but as of 2021, his fortune terribly nosedived to $11.5billion. This means that the billionaire lost only 28.5% of his fortune, contrary to the claim made by Omokri.
By the updated June 2013 list (announcing Dangote's $20billion worth) Dangote lost 43.5% of his net worth.
Between 2014 and 2021, he has been recording losses due to the drop in the price of his shares at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Nigerian stocks have largely fallen over the years mostly due to the crash in oil prices that began in 2014.
Besides, the devaluation of the Naira by Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) due to the tumble in world oil prices and dwindling dollar reserves has posed a great challenge to the rise in Dangote’s fortunes.
Dangote has sustained his position as the biggest billionaire in the modern history of Africa, having been ranked in the #1 position more than ten times. However, some claims made by Reno Omokri on Dangote’s fortunes are questionable.
Who is Reno Omokri?
A self-styled human rights activist and no-nonsense “gospeller”, Reno Omokri, is not just a familiar name in the political space of Nigeria. Over the last five years, he has been aggressively shaping discourses in the country along religious, moral and political matters.
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Omokri, whose Facebook bio reads: “#FreeLeahSharibu activist. #BuhariTormentor. Deep thinker. #1 Bestselling Author. Avid Traveler. Hollywood Magazine Film Festival Humanitarian of the Year 2019”, was born over 40-years ago by parents who hailed from the Iteskiri ethnic group.
He was appointed special assistant to former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who was fully sworn in as the president and commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria following the death of his former principal, Umar Musa Yar’adua in Saudi Arabia where he travelled to get treatment.
But before then, Omokri was the scribe of G-57, a pressure group by Nigerian professionals who came together to challenge the constitutional crisis the country experienced in the wake of Yar’Adua’s health saga.
Advocacy and activism
Since his principal was given a marching order out of the Aso Rock villa, Omokri has switched his interest to political advocacy, birthing his first initiative tagged #BusesForDemocracy which provided free transportation to voters to their respective polling units.
He also created the #FreeLeahSharibumovement, an initiative aimed at pressuring the federal government into rescuing one of the Dapchi Girls Leah Sharibuh who was held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists after refusing to change her faith to Islam.
Omokri also organised “#HarassBuhariOutofLondon” a protest aimed at sending President Muhammadu Buhari back home from London where he went for medical treatment.
He has been involved in controversial debates including Trinity: Is Jesus God? Daddy Freeze Debates Reno Omokri-Part 1 featuring popular On-Air Personality (AOP) Daddy Freeze (real name Ifedayo Olarinde).
He was a subject of online trolls recently after backing the position of Pastors Oyedepo of Winners Chapel on feminism and marriage.
Following a viral video of Apostle Suleman of Omega Fire Ministry on “miracle money”, Reno Omkri came out to support the Kaduna-based pastor which did not augur well with a number of Nigerians.
His views on the economy, business, parenthood, job and investment, marriage and relationships have always been debated by social media users and found to be controversial.
In 2020, Omokri’s claim on Nigeria’s debt profile was found to be untrue. He had claimed that his former principal, Goodluck Jonathan, met a total debt of N7.9trillion when he became president in 2010 and borrowed the sum of N4.7 trillion for various developmental projects.
Similarly, he had also claimed that President Buhari budgeted N3.2 billion for food and travel for 2020. This claim was later found to be false.
In 2019, Reno Omokri’s claim about Buhari’s absence at the 2019 G-7 summit was found to be untrue. He had claimed that the Nigerian leader was not invited to the summit due to his “misrule.”
Disclaimer: We apologise to Mr Omokri because our choice of words was too harsh, though some of the claims made by him are questionable.
We understand that his opinion on Facebook was a mistake that was not intentional because ranking really changes all the time and the inaccuracy in the post does not change the bigger picture he was trying to explain.
However, claims made by Mr Reno Omokri still seem questionable because billionaire rankings are dynamic and it is not objective to make comparisons based on fragmented selected numbers.
Legit.ng updated the information in Claim#1 and Claim#3 regarding Forbes 2013 rankings.