AMID rating as one of the 33 of the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Nigeria again maintained a disappointing back seat in Forbes Global rating of 2000 leading companies released recently.
The UNCTAD rating was the product of the just concluded workshop on “Productive Capacities, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in African LDCs, in Addis Ababa, few days ago.
The United Nations organ for countries’ development, however, urged the LDCs in sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, to improve the variety, complexity and values of the goods and services they produce.
The organisation also urged the LDCs to study carefully their increasing ties with other developing countries like China and India, to ensure stable and effective economic growth.
But for Dangote Group, Nigeria would not have had its name written on the global leading company list of Forbes Global 2000 leading companies, as the company ranked 1,434 out of the 2000 companies featured on the rating list.
Forbes reported that Dangote made sales of $1.3 billion (N201.5 billion); $384.4 million (N59.5 billion) profit; assets of $2.1 billion (N325.5 billion) and market value of $12.5 billion (N1.9 trillion) in 2010.
In Forbes 2008 rating, three Nigerian banks - First Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Intercontinental Bank Plc made the list of top 2000 world biggest companies. First Bank Plc was ranked at 1,375, while the UBA comes on the list at number 1,560. Intercontinental Bank Plc completed Nigeria’s showing at 1,798.
In the 2009 rating, Zenith Bank was paraded in the list, when it was ranked 1,374th.
Few weeks ago, the President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote was named the richest man in Africa by Forbes.
According to Forbes, the Nigerian businessman’s fortune surged 557 per cent 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.
Forbes explained that the rankings span across 62 countries, with the United States having 515 members and Japan (210 members) still dominating the list, but with a combined 33 fewer entries.
It stated that this year, the following countries gained the most ground: mainland China (113 members), India (56 members) and Canada (62 members). Even Oman and Lebanon are now Global 2000 members.
Also gaining a significant presence on the Forbes list this year are corporations from Ireland, South Africa and Sweden.
It said: “In total the Global 2000 companies now account for $30 trillion in revenues, $1.4 trillion in profits, $124 trillion in assets and $31 trillion in market value.”
The report found that despite the many problems, which have plagued the financial sector, banks still dominate the list with a huge majority, as 308 companies in the 2000 lineup are banks.
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