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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wealthy Nigerians, Pastors Spend $225 million on Private Jets

Wealthy Nigerians, Pastors Spend $225 million on Private Jets

May. 17 2011 - 12:32 pm | 
David Oyedepo
Nigerian pastor and private jet owner David Oyedepo. (Image via Wikipedia)
A few wealthy Nigerians spent at least $225 million acquiring private jets between March 2010 and March 2011, a Nigerian newspaper reported on Monday.
According to the report published by the Punch Newspaper, a couple of the acquisitions were made by billionaires Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga. Last year, Dangote acquired a US$45 million Bombardier jet as a gift to himself on his 53rd birthday, while Mike Adenuga purchased a Bombardier Global Express XRS. Both Dangote and Adenuga own at least two private planes each.
Apart from wealthy business tycoons, Nigerian clergymen and spiritual leaders are also joining the very elite league of jet owners.
In March this year, David Oyedepo, a Nigerian cleric generally believed to be Africa’s wealthiest gospel preacher, acquired a Gulfstream V jet for US$30 million. Oyedepo, who presides over the Winners Chapel, one of Africa’s largest churches, now owns a private collection of four aircraft. In addition to his latest acquisition, he previously owned two Gulfstream planes and a Bombardier Challenger Aircraft. He is also reportedly creating a private hanger to accommodate his flying toys.
Oyedepo is not the only Nigerian clergyman to own a jet. Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the revered overseer of Nigeria’s largest congregation, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, is also a proud jet owner. In March 2009, the great man of God spent $30 million on a Gulfstream jet amidst widespread criticism. Pastor Sam Adeyemi, another cleric and founder of the Daystar Christian center, a flourishing Pentecostal congregation which repeatedly preaches financial prosperity, is also a jet owner.
It’s not cheap to own a private jet. On average, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain a personal plane. The majority of Nigerians frown at such flagrant displays of opulence, particularly on the path of their clergymen, given that 60% of Nigerians still live below the poverty line.
Paradoxically, the same people who complain about the extravagant lifestyles of their spiritual leaders are the same ones who finance it. Every Sunday, swarms of worshipers rush to the church to give away their hard-earned money to the pastors’ coffers in the form of tithes, offerings and special gifts with the deluded hope of multiplied financial blessings in return. For many, this is but a pipe dream. Deep down, the pastors smile; they’ve got just the perfect suckers.

The Five Richest Pastors In Nigeria

The Five Richest Pastors In Nigeria

Jun. 7 2011 - 12:22 pm | 
Matthew Ashimolowo
London-based Nigerian Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo
God is good, especially if you’re a Nigerian pastor with some business savvy. These days, millions of souls, desperate for financial breakthroughs, miracles and healing, all rush to the church for redemption. And while the bible expressly states that salvation is free, at times it comes with a cost: offerings, tithes, gifts to spiritual leaders, and a directive to buy literature and other products created by men of God.
Pastors are no longer solely interested in getting people to Heaven; they’ve devised intelligent ways to make good money while reaching out to souls.
Take Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, for example. He is the founder and lead pastor of the Christ Embassy, a thriving congregation with branches in Nigeria, South Africa, London, Canada and the United States. His publishing company, Loveworld Publications, publishes ‘Rhapsody of Realities,’ a monthly devotional he co-authors with his wife. It sells over 2 million copies every month at $1 apiece. He also owns television stations, newspapers, magazines, a hotel, a fast-food chain, and more.
Many other Nigerian pastors are similarly building multi-million dollar empires from their churches. Today, pastors fly around in private jets, drive fancy cars like Daimlers, Porsches and BMWs, don Rolexes and Patek Phillipes, and own breathtaking mansions all over the world.
After the blog post I wrote in May about Nigerian pastors owning private jets, I was bombarded with emails from readers requesting to know the richest pastors in Nigeria. So I set out to investigate the assets of some of Nigeria’s most prominent pastors, and I came up with conservative estimates of their fortunes. I contacted representatives for all of the pastors and all except Matthew Ashimolowo’s representative confirmed ownership of the assets I list. Representatives for Pastor Ashimolowo did not respond to my emails.
Bishop David Oyedepo
Affiliation: Living Faith World Outreach Ministry, aka Winners Chapel
Estimated net worth: $150 million
David Oyedepo is Nigeria’s wealthiest preacher. Ever since he founded the Living Faith World Outreach Ministry in 1981, it has grown to become one of Africa’s largest congregations. The Faith Tabernacle, where he hosts three services every Sunday, is Africa’s largest worship center, with a seating capacity of 50,000. Oyedepo owns four private jets and homes in London and the United States. He also owns Dominion Publishing House, a thriving publishing company that publishes all his books (which are often centered on prosperity). He founded and owns Covenant University, one of Nigeria’s leading tertiary institutions, and Faith Academy, an elite high school.

Chris Oyakhilome
Church: Believers’ Loveworld Ministries, a.k.a Christ Embassy
Estimated net worth: $30 million – $50 million
Last year, the charismatic preacher was at the center of a $35 million money laundering case in which he was accused of siphoning funds from his church to foreign banks. Pastor Chris pleaded no wrongdoing and the case was eventually dismissed. His church, Christ Embassy, boasts more than 40,000 members, several of whom are successful business executives and politicians. Oyakhilome’s diversified interests include newspapers, magazines, a local television station, a record label, satellite TV, hotels and extensive real estate. His Loveworld TV Network is the first Christian network to broadcast from Africa to the rest of the world on a 24 hour basis.

Temitope Joshua
Church: Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN)
Estimated net worth: $10 million – $15 million
Nigeria’s most controversial clergyman is also one of its richest and most philanthropic. T.B Joshua heads the Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN), a congregation he founded in 1987, which accommodates over 15,000 worshippers on Sundays. The Pastor has remained controversial for several years for his inexplicable powers to heal all sorts of incurable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, cancer and paralysis. For miracle-craving worshippers, it’s the perfect seduction. The church currently has branches in Ghana, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Greece. In the past three years, he has given over $20 million to causes in education, healthcare and rehabilitation programs for former Niger Delta militants. He owns Emmanuel TV, a Christian television network, and is close friends with Ghanaian President Atta Mills.

Matthew Ashimolowo
Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC)
Estimated net worth: $6 million – $10 million
In 1992, Foursquare Gospel Church, a Nigerian church, sent Ashimolowo to open a satellite branch in London. But Pastor Matthew had other ideas and decided to set up his own church instead. Today, his Kingsway International Christian Center is reportedly the largest Pentecostal church in the United Kingdom. In 2009, the church posted profits of close to $10 million and assets worth $40 million. Ashimolowo earns an annual salary of $200,000, but his real wealth comes from varied business interests including his media company, Matthew Ashimolowo media, which churns out Christian literature and documentaries. Ashimolowo’s representatives did not respond to a request confirming his net worth and ownership of all these assets.

Chris Okotie
Church: Household of God Church
Net worth: $3 million -$10 million
Pastor Okotie made his first success as a popular pop musician in the 80s. He found the light, embraced the bible and set up the Household of God Church, one of Nigeria’s most flamboyant congregations. His 5,000 member church consists predominantly of Nollywood celebrities, musicians, and society people. He contested and lost Nigerian presidential elections for the third time this year under the Fresh Party, a political party he founded and funds. An automobile lover, he owns a Mercedes S600, Hummer and Porsche among several others.


African bilionaires: Aliko Dangote is Africa’s Richest Person. He is Richer than Mark Zuckerberg.

A. Dangote.
The latest Forbes list of richest men in the world was released today, Nigeria’s business man Aliko Dangote is the richest African and he made a quantum leap on the list from 200+ position last year to 51 position in the latest list, surpassing a whole lot of bunch like Abramovich Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and followed closely by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.
Forbes says Aliko Dangote has a networth of $13.8billion as of March 2011, ranking him 51st in the world and number 1 in Africa.
The 53-yr old businessman’s fortune surged 557% in the past year, making him the world’s biggest gainer in percentage terms.
The listing of his company, Dangote Cement, on the Nigerian Stock Exchange served as a catalyst. His company’s listing now accounts for a quarter of the market capitalization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Dangote Flour, Dangote Sugar and national Salt, his other companies also listed on the exchange, means that he accounts for close to 35 per cent of the total market capitalisation.
The Nigerian businessman’s fortune surged 557% in the past year, making him the world’s biggest gainer in percentage terms and Africa’s richest individual for the first time. The catalyst was listing Dangote Cement, which integrated his investments across Africa with his previously public Benue Cement; it now accounts for a quarter of the Nigeria Stock Exchange’s total market cap. Already the continent’s biggest cement maker, he has plants under construction in Zambia, Tanzania, Congo and Ethiopa and is building cement terminals in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Liberia, among other places. Dangote, who recently bought himself a $45 million Bombardier aircraft for his birthday, has been shuttling back and forth to London for months, in anticipation of a public offering there later this year. Dangote began his career as a commodities trader; built his Dangote Group into conglomerate with interests in sugar, flour milling, salt processing, cement manufacturing, textiles, real estate, and oil and gas.
Dangote began his career as a commodities trader.

Aliko Dangote – how did he become Africa’s richest person overnight?

According to Forbes, Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and Nigeria’s first billionaire is worth .8 billion. Forbes reports that the Nigerian businessman's fortune surged 557% in the past year; making him the world's biggest gainer in percentage terms and Africa's richest individual for the first time.
According to Forbes, Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and Nigeria’s first billionaire is worth .8 billion. Forbes reports that the Nigerian businessman's fortune surged 557% in the past year; making him the world's biggest gainer in percentage terms and Africa's richest individual for the first time.
The name Aliko Dangote, first flew on Chocolate City's radar after it was announced that he purchased a nice little birthday present when he turned 53-years-old. He paid $45,000,000 million for a Bombardier Global Express XRS aircraft.

According to Forbes, Dangote, Africa’s richest man and Nigeria’s first billionaire is worth $13.8 billion. Forbes reports that the Nigerian businessman's fortune surged 557% in the past year; making him the world's biggest gainer in percentage terms and Africa's richest individual for the first time.

Dangote began his career as a commodities trader; built his Dangote Group into conglomerate with interests in sugar, flour milling, salt processing, cement manufacturing, textiles, real estate, and oil and gas. Established in May 1981 as a trading business with an initial focus on cement, Dangote Group diversified over time into a conglomerate trading cement, sugar, flour, salt and fish. By the early 1990s Dangote Group had grown into one of the largest trading conglomerates operating in the country and the largest cement plant in sub-Saharan Africa..

In 1999, following the transition to civilian rule and after an inspirational visit to Brazil to study the emerging manufacturing sector, the Dangote Group made a strategic decision to transit from a trading based business into a fully fledged manufacturing operation. In a country where imports constitute the vast majority of consumed goods, a clear gap existed for a manufacturing operation that could meet the 'basic needs' of a vast and fast growing population.

As Africa's largest cement maker, Dangote Group has plants under construction in Zambia, Tanzania, Congo and Ethiopia and is building cement terminals in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Liberia, among other places.

This month, Dangote pledged $2 million to establish a fellowship program aimed at grooming young leaders from Africa. Details of the fellowship as well as the selection criteria are yet to emerge, but Dangote promised that his Dangote Foundation will award the fellowship to 35 young Africans

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nigerian Millionaires Embrace Polo

Nigerian Millionaires Embrace Polo

May. 23 2011 - 12:14 pm | 
Lagos Polo Club
Lagos Polo Club
Lagos, Nigeria-Extremely wealthy folks often have to deal with a major predicament: How to subtly demonstrate their pre-eminence and superiority over the merely rich.
It’s a serious problem. These days, so many new millionaires are springing up. Just about anyone with a high-flying executive  job and a decent monthly income can afford all the trappings of wealth- from new BMWs to country club memberships, first-class trips around the world, and a cozy home fueled by an alternative energy source, complete with a butler at the front door.
These upper middle-class folks are enjoying what used to be the exclusive preserve of the very wealthy. Irritated, Nigeria’s wealthiest have upped the ante. Rather than fly first class in commercial airlines, they’ve taken to chartering airplanes, while some have even acquired their own private jets. Rather than driving to work and encountering the frustrating traffic of the metropolis, a few of them actually fly helicopters to and from work. And rather than sit down in front of the television and loudly cheer for their soccer teams like you and I do, these ridiculously affluent people have taken fancy to an exclusive, different kind of sport- polo.
Yes, polo is the new favorite pastime for Nigeria’s wealthiest folks. And no, the upper middle-classes cannot easily afford it.
Some of Nigeria’s wealthiest individuals are setting up their own polo teams, and becoming patrons of the beautiful sport.
Often referred to as the ‘Sport of Kings’, polo is a seriously expensive game. The horse is critical to success, and since local ponies are not flexible enough, most Nigerian polo patrons usually prefer to import their horses from Argentina- widely considered the home of polo. The importation of Argentine ponies – believed to be the best suited for the game, costs a tidy fortune. Some patrons pay as much as $30,000 for a pony, and they tend to have as many as 15 ponies in their kitty for their teams. They also have to bear costs of salaries for two or three high handicap players, grooms, trainers, vets and fitness experts. The entire kit of the polo player- the helmets, sticks, gloves and boots also cost quite a bit.
Today, leaders and titans of Nigeria’s industry have spearheaded the movement.  The Nigerian polo circuit is gaining a newly found popularity, and the Lagos Polo Club – the premier polo club in the country – is usually brimming with the crème de la crème of eager enthusiasts. It is now the unofficial social spot for Nigeria’s most affluent individuals. For those who are not skilled enough to play, you must be rich enough to be let in. Membership of the club is extremely exclusive-almost like a high-end secret society. Successful business tycoons, idle trust fund babies and wealthy, paranoid heiresses searching for true love all throng to the club in much the same way fanatical Christians flock to the church.

But polo is not new to Nigeria. The game was birthed in the country in 1930 with the formation of the Lagos Polo Club, which, set on an old British Army Parade ground, served as an entertainment hotspot for colonial officials who had previously played the sport in England. The only Nigerians who were ever spotted in the club were the groomsmen and other servants.
Nigerians started picking up the game in 1958 when Dr. Oladele da Rochas Afoda, a prominent businessman, became the first Nigerian member of the club. Before long, several of the country’s industrial elites became drawn to, and embraced the game. The game enjoyed modest popularity among successful people ever since then, but its recent attractiveness to Nigeria’s richest class is unprecedented.
Who exactly is playing? Here are some of the leading lights of Nigerian polo:
The Polo Patrons
Sayyu Dantata
Easily Nigeria’s most revered high-goal Polo patron, Sayyu Dantata is a half-brother to Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote. Sayyu heads MRS Holdings, a leading West-African oil marketing firm which acquired Chevron-Texaco’s downstream assets in 2007. At the moment, Sayyu Dantata ranks as one of the best Polo players in the country with a handicap of +5. He sponsors the MRS Polo club.
Mustapha Fasinro
A wealthy oil trader, Mustapha is the CEO of Linetrale, a leading petroleum products supplier in Nigeria. His company, Linetrale has a working partnership with French commodities giant, Trafigura. He is the patron of the Linetrale/Trafigura Polo team which recently won the MTN Polo championship in Nigeria. The MTN Polo championship is the highest ranking Polo tournament in the country.
Bode & Rotimi Makanjuola
The two silver spoon brothers are heirs to the Caverton Group, a $1 billion Nigerian conglomerate with operations in gas distribution, offshore support vessels and aviation services. The brothers are the patrons of the Caverton Polo team. Their father, Remi Makanjuola, ranks as one of Nigeria’s wealthiest businessmen. Bode and Rotimi are patrons of the Caverton Polo club.
Kola Karim
Selected by the World Economic Forum as a Global Young Leader in 2007, Kola Karim is one of the most popular Polo players in Nigeria. At 41, he is the CEO of Shoreline Energy group, one of Nigeria’s most storied conglomerates with interests in everything from construction to oil servicing and trading. He is one of the low-handicap patrons, ranking at -1. He sponsors the Shoreline Polo club.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Jabulani Ngcobo South African Young Millionaire - African Millionaires

Durban’s youngest “millionaire” Jabulani Ngcobo has no qualms about being investigated by the police and the SA Reserve Bank – and he has branded his critics racists and vowed to splurge more millions to promote his business.

The Police Commercial Crimes Unit and the Reserve Bank confirmed this week that they had begun investigations into Ngcobo’s wealth.

“We have a police inquiry against him, but it’s not a case docket yet,” said an SAPS Commercial Crimes Unit officer who asked not to be named.
“At this stage, we know he has investment companies. We need to investigate their legitimacy; it’s all embryonic at the moment.”

Ngcobo, 26, made headlines after throwing a R1 million birthday party two weeks ago, where 250 guests enjoyed champagne, caviar, sushi and a spit braai at an upmarket local hotel.

Yesterday, dressed in Roberto Cavalli shoes, Billionaire jeans, a Mondo jacket, Louis Vuitton sunglasses and a matching satchel, Ngcobo said his dream was to become Durban’s youngest dollar millionaire.

“I want to be on the Forbes list. I want to be the biggest donor. I believe in helping others, but I want to be able to donate a million rand or two to those who are needy. I want to make a difference.”

Ngcobo denied that his firm was a pyramid scheme, and said authorities were welcome to probe his operations and business interests.

Ngcobo questioned the scrutiny that has followed him over the past two weeks and said: “If a white man had thrown a party like mine, people would have been saying, ‘Oh, he comes from a good family, he’s living large’, but because it’s me, people are complaining. I’m here to make money, whether people like it or not.

“There are two kinds of education in this world; there is academic education, which is guaranteed that you will always work for someone else for the rest of your life, and there is financial education, which guarantees you financial freedom. That’s what most people don’t understand.

“Some people study for seven years, only to earn R30 000 or R40 000 a month, with no luxury in their lives. That’s not for me.”

Ngcobo, who has only a matric, once worked for Toyota “carrying car doors”, before starting a debt collection company in 2006. He says he later branched into the stockmarket investment field and started Cash Flow Pro in 2009.

Ngcobo, a father of two, said that since his birthday party, he had received overtures from women declaring their undying love for him.

“But I ignore them, I’m covered in that department.”

He denied leaping out of a giant birthday cake was a publicity gimmick similar to Kenny Kunene’s eating sushi off the bodies of semi-naked women.

“Kenny can’t be my mentor; we’re not in the same fields,” said Ngcobo.


Ngcobo cruises Durban streets in his white BMW M3 and in his birthplace, KwaDabeka, near New Germany, locals call him Cash Flow.

“Cash must flow in abundance… I’m comfortable with my car. I can change it tomorrow and buy a Ferrari, but what for?” he said.

He also laughed off reports that he owned a R2.5m house in New Germany.

“I’m actually insulted by that. Why would I live in a R2.5m house when I work so hard? My clients must live in those kinds of houses. I will be building a house in Zimbali or in Umhlanga, a real house that I will be proud of.”

Ngcobo believes his business rivals were plotting his downfall by spreading rumours about him.

“I’m waiting for anyone who wants to investigate. I’m here to stay. I know our concept, I know our vision. The truth will come out whether this is a pyramid scheme or a core concept.

“I’d really have to be stupid to work so hard and start a company, only to start collecting people’s money and start a pyramid scheme.

“I have so many references where people have done that and got arrested, why would I expose myself by throwing a R1m party and call the media? If I had something to hide, I wouldn’t have had a birthday like mine.”

Ngcobo said his expensive party was money well spent – and he’d do it again.

“I always advertise on national radio – but never got this much exposure. What is a million? I’ve gained valuable business partners through that event. I have no regrets. I would do it again…”

The star-studded party was not the last of his marketing strategies. “I have a few others, but I can’t disclose them. Yes, they will cost money. You must spend money to make money.”

He said Cash Flow Pro had more than 1 500 members and operated by training people on how to trade on the stock market.

“People have the option to link their accounts to ours. The client must open his own account, fund it, and then go to Sars to declare, because we trade offshore, and then get a tax clearance for foreign investment.

“After getting it, he goes to his bank and transfers money from his account to an overseas account in the name of At no point do they put their money in Cash Flow Pro.

“After linking the account to ours, the client then signs power of attorney, authorising Cash Flow Pro that whenever the client trades, the commission they get is concurrent.

“We act on behalf of clients, with their authority. We never touch their funds, I don’t have access to clients’ accounts.”

Ngcobo said that as far as he was aware, his company did not need to be licensed by the SA Institute of Stockbrokers, as it did not deal directly with people’s money.

However, if investigators were to find anything wrong with his compliance, it would not be deliberate.

“What I know is that I’m not running a pyramid scheme. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but as far as I know I’m straight… if I showed the authorities how we work, I have no doubt they will see nothing wrong.”

Durban millionaire Jabulani Ngcobo celebrated his 26th birthday at the weekend with a party that cost a cool R1m and was attended by some of the country’s most popular celebrites, including Generations stars Winnie “Khethiwe” Modise and Sophie “Queen” Ndaba.

The party was the latest in the rags-to-riches story of Ngcobo, who celebrated his birthday in style at a five-star hotel.

The party continued at his posh New Germany home well into the early hours of Sunday morning.

Guests enjoyed expensive delicacies like caviar, oysters and, the current favourite with South Africa’s wealthy, sushi.

Entertainers included DJ Bongz, Sox, Mzokoloko and King Sifiso and performer L’vovo Derrango.

Other guests included the who’s who of showbiz – bling queen Khanyi Mbau and former Generations star Dumisani Mbebe were on the guest list.

Sizwe Dhlomo, who is presenter of the Live television show, and Isidingo stars Sisa Hewana and Leslie Fong were also present.

The son of a poor family from Greytown, and a former fast food outlet and shop assistant, Ngcobo showed just how far he has come.

Ngcobo made his millions through his stock market trading company, Cash Flow Properties, which teaches people how to trade on the stock market.

Generations stars Winnie Modise and Dumisani Mbebe are ambassadors for the company, which was established in 2009.

“I spent R1m on my party because I want everything I do to be top class,” he said.

He matriculated in 2003 at Langa High school in Clermont and has no formal training in stock trading.

Ngcobo loves cars and drives a BMW M3. He also owns a Hummer, two Mercedes-Benzes, and a BMW M6, which he said belonged to his company.

His company’s website claims that people can make a 10-30% return on their investments “daily and compounding”.

Ngcobo said he would not identify the college where he got his tuition because he “would be promoting it” by naming it.

Ex-Generations star Dumisani Mbebe confirmed he was an ambassador of Cash Flow Properties.

He said his role was to be “the face of the company”. He declined to say how much he was paid as ambassador. Cash Flow Properties’ second ambassador, Winnie Modise, could not be reached for comment.

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