Nigerian millionaires forecast to soar

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Lagos - Nigerian millionaires will increase in number by almost 47 percent over the next four years as higher house and stock prices in the West African nation complement a booming economy, according to New World Wealth.

The number of people in Africa’s top oil producer with investable assets of at least $1 million will jump to 23,000 by 2017, after increasing by 44 percent over the past six years to 15,700 in 2013, Johannesburg-based New World Wealth wrote in a report published today. About 26 percent of their $82 billion of wealth was held offshore last year, with the bulk of private- banking funds deposited in the UK, Switzerland and the Channel Islands, the report said.

“Growth in the wealth of high net worth individuals is linked to a number of factors including the country’s GDP, the local real estate market and the local equity market,” Andrew Amoils, senior analyst at New World Wealth, said in the report.

Nigeria, where the economy expanded an average of 8.2 percent annually since 1999, has the third-highest number of millionaires on the continent after South Africa and Egypt, according to the report. Economic growth has increased per- capita income in Africa’s most populous nation by more than fivefold to $1,725 over that period.

Lagos, the commercial capital, was home to 9,500 millionaires, or 61 percent of Nigeria’s total.

Next came oil industry hub Port Harcourt with 1,300 and the capital Abuja with 600, according to New World Wealth.

The oil and gas industry was the source of 24 percent of this wealth.

Nigeria is home to five billionaires, according to the report, including Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, who’s businesses range from cement to sugar.

Dangote has a net worth of $25.2 billion, ranking him 24th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. - Bloomberg News

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