OPINION: On This Makinde’s N48b Asset Declaration Noise | By Ade King Ebimomi

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Governor Makinde

 

Forbes uses the quoted value of stocks held by business owners to compute wealth, so the talk of Forbes not recognizing him as one of Africa’s richest men hardly makes sense.

And there’s the little matter of Forbes rankings being done by computing your wealth in US dollars, and not in Nigerian naira. Or have they started doing the computation in naira now?

Makinde’s declaration reveals that his 3 companies (oil and gas engineering/ servicing companies) have a combined valuation of N48b. That’s not his personal networth, people..

Of course, we can’t all be economists or accountants, or be versed in matters of money and wealth computations, but we should be able to differentiate between a company’s worth and the owner’s personal networth ke?

Aliko Dangote’s personal networth is about $10b as at March 2019. In that same time time, the market cap (value) of Dangote Group of Companies is nearly 7 times that at $67b.

Bill Gates networth is $103.8b. Microsoft marketcap is ten times that at $1,051.53bn.

If we’re only interested in facts rather than the sensation, we would remember that deals in oil and gas are mainly denominated in US dollars, and N48b is just about $130m – an amount barely enough to cover 2 contracts in the oil sector.

For companies with a combined total of 33,730,000 shares (easily verifiable with the CAC), that only gives a value of $3.85 per share.

Conversely, Harlliburton, another oil and gas service company, albeit a US-based one, has a valuation of $17billion and a current stock price of $23.46.

Meanwhile, the average stock price of oil and gas service company is $18.25 (Makinde’s companies stock is a miserly $3.85) and the oil and gas service industry average price-earning (P/E) ratio is $25.4.

Of course, if we want to see beyond the mere billion naira figure, we could. And if we want to make a sensation of the N48b, we also could.

But we should not forget that Makinde only declared he has N234m ((about $630,000) and $30,000 in cash at hand and in the bank.

Which translates to a man who owns 3 oil and gas servicing companies having considerably less than $1m total in his bank account.

A CBN senior employee or a federal civil servant would be ashamed to say that’s what he has in the bank, in a country where people no longer steal millions but tens of billions.

A mallam standing on the streets around Sheraton hotel in Abuja, selling forex, will readily provide you with $5m worth of forex in the blink of an eye if you approach him with enough naira to cover the transaction.

Look around you, at Lekki, Asokoro, Ikoyi, Maitama and most areas in Abuja. Houses that most government officials buy range from N800m to N3bn.

And, oh, those banding that billion figure around conveniently leave out the fact that Makinde’s companies are indebted to creditors to the tune of nearly N3.4bn.

And his personal networth, when all liquid and iliquid assets are computed, stands considerably less than $10m. Meanwhile, there are 169 billionaires around the world “too poor” to make Forbes list.

For people who bandie around Makinde’s supposed N48b ($130m) around and wonder why if he is so rich, he’s not on the Forbes List, may I inform you that, for 2019, there is not a single billionaire worth less than $2b on that list.

The “poorest” person on the Forbes 400 List is worth $2.4b. And you guys expect Makinde with his so-called $130m (it’s actually less than $10m) to make the list? Haba!

Yes, if noise and sensation are all we want to see, noise and sensation are all we would get.

But if we want to see facts and substance, they are actually quite glaring to us in that declaration.

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