Gilbert Chagoury is a BUSD (Billionaire in United States Dollars!). The popular hospitality industry magnate is a Lebanese by origin and Nigerian by birth whose parents emigrated from Lebanon to Nigeria and settled in Lagos state. He is also the co-founder of the large conglomerate Chagoury Group which he established with his brother Ronald Chagoury in the early 1970s in Nigeria. The Chagoury Group has seen grown into a multi-billion dollar company with interests in construction, real estate & property development, flour mills, water bottling and purification, glass manufacturing, insurance, hotels, furniture manufacturing, telecommunications, IT, catering and international financing.
Aside from his large company which has gained his family a net worth of $4.2 billion dollars, Gilbert Chagoury has also served in diplomatic positions as the Ambassador and Adviser to governments in Africa and the Americas. He served as Ambassador to the Vatican for St. Lucia, economic adviser to President Mathieu Kerekou of Benin Republic, and Ambassador to UNESCO.
For many years, Gilbert Chagoury has been closely associated with many African leaders as well as American Leaders former US president Bill Clinton and Wife Hilary Clinton since the 1990s, whose election campaigns he has also funded and remains a major donor to their Clinton Foundation. However, among his many business and political interests are the top 3 most plausible sources of his wealth below:
- Gilbert Chagoury was a known close associate and ally of the corrupt late Nigerian military president General Sani Abacha. Through him, Chagoury funded his business interests to a great extent, so much that after Abacha’s death in 1998, he returned an estimated $300 million to the Nigerian government to secure an indemnity from possible criminal charges against him.
- He is the owner of the giant Eko Hotel in Lagos and his company is spearheading the construction of the groundbreaking Eko- Atlantic City which has attracted many investors from both within and outside Nigeria. He has utilized Eko Hotel as a base to developing relationship with people of power leading to significant contracts.
- South Atlantic Petroleum, a company that was awarded a choice oil exploration license was said to have been the under the control of Gilbert Chagoury before Abacha’s death. Around the year 2007, the company sold a portion of its government-granted concession to the Chinese oil company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, for $2.7 billion.
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