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Nigerian billionaires, Dangote, Adenuga, Rabiu, are Forbes African top three richest men in 2022

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Despite the depreciating fortunes of businesses worldwide occasioned by the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the Russia-Ukraine war impacting on economy the world over, Nigerian billionaires, Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga and Abdulsamad Rabiu, improved their rankings in the latest Forbes World’s Billionaire List, becoming Africa’s top three richest men.

In the African top 10 list released on Friday by Forbes which compiles the fortunes of the richest people in the world, Dangote, the President of Dangote Group, maintains his position as Africa’s richest man, seeing his wealth increase from $11.5 billion in 2021, to $14 billion in 2022.

Coming in second is the Chairman of Nigeria’s indigenous telecommunications outfit, Globacom, Mike Adenuga, who grew his wealth from $6.1 billion in 2021 to $7.3 billion in 2022.

Chairman of BUA Group, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, picked the third spot on the list with his fortunes improving from $4.9 billion to $6.9 billion in the period under review.

According to the magazine, the feat by the Nigerian billionaires was achieved “despite rising prices across the world which have been ignited by the aftershocks of the Covid pandemic and the recent Russia-Ukraine war” which has affected businesses in a lot of ways.

Due to the impacts of the pandemic and the war, Forbes said there are now 2,668 of the richest people on earth in 2022, 87 fewer than a year ago with a collective wealth of $12.7 trillion, $400 billion less than in 2021.

Forbes noted that war, pandemic and sluggish markets were the biggest hits on the world’s billionaires this year.

“There are 2,668 of them on Forbes’ 36th-annual ranking of the planet’s richest people, 87 fewer than a year ago. They’re worth a collective $12.7 trillion, $400 billion less than in 2021,” Forbes wrote.

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Nigeria not earning enough for its developmental needs— IMF

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that Nigeria is not earning enough revenue to support its developmental needs.

Nigeria’s Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, during the 2024 budget presentation before parliament, admitted that “revenue generation remains the major fiscal constraint to Nigeria’s fiscal viability. However, the government is reviewing current tax and fiscal policies to improve revenue generation.

“The target is to increase the ratio of revenue to GDP from less than 10% currently to 18% within the current term of this administration. Efforts will however focus on improving tax administration and collection efficiency.”

The Director of the IMF’s Communications Department, Julie Kozak, revealed over the weekend that the country’s 9% revenue to Gross Domestic Product ratio was very low and not enough to support the country’s social safety nets and development spending, and protect its vulnerable households.

“As we mentioned in our Article IV Consultation, which was held in February 2023, raising revenue from the very current low revenue to GDP ratio of 9% is essential to create fiscal space for social and development spending,” she said in response to a question about Nigeria during the briefing.

“Nine per cent of GDP is a very low revenue to GDP ratio, and it is not high enough to be able to support strong social safety nets, and development spending, to help protect vulnerable households and also to meet Nigeria’s development needs.”

She added, “The 2024 budget aims to reduce the fiscal deficit while also creating space for these priority spendings, both on the social side and also on the development side.”

 

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Somalia secures $4.5bn debt relief from lenders

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After a decade-long process of negotiations and reforms with creditors, Somalia has finally secured a $4.5 billion debt write-off from global lenders as the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative has spared the nation from repaying its debt.

 

The World Bank reports that the country’s debt has significantly decreased from a peak of $5.2 billion to $600 million as a result of the action taken by multilateral and bilateral lenders, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Commercial creditors have contributed $3 billion towards the debt relief, with multilateral creditors contributing $573.1 million, the World Bank’s International Development Association contributing $448.5 million, the IMF contributing $343.2 million, and the African Development Fund contributing $131 million.

Following the Bretton Woods institutions’y boards’ approval process, a historic announcement regarding Somalia’s debt forgiveness is scheduled to take place in Washington DC on December 13.

HIPC completion points were reached by 37 nations, with Somalia following suit after Zimbabwe and Sudan were left behind. Under the leadership of the current president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia began holding HIPC talks ten years ago, and the nation has continued on the reform path despite political obstacles.

Kristina Svensson, the country manager for Somalia at the World Bank, praised Mogadishu for its “remarkable” commitment to reform last week.

“There have been a lot of political challenges within Somalia, but this thing (principles of HIPC), has held it quite high,” she said.

“This is satisfactory for them (Somalia) to achieve debt relief,” said Ms. Svensson. “Both the World Bank and IMF as well as other international partners, have been essential to providing technical assistance to support the achievement of these triggers.”

Over the past few weeks, Somalia has achieved huge milestones in its efforts towards socioeconomic and political liberation. It recently joined regional bloc, East Africa Community (EAC), as it seeks strategic partnerships with neighbours.

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