The news of the diplomat’s death was broken on Twitter Tuesday by Ovation magazine publisher, Chief Dele Momodu.
“Nigeria, and indeed Africa, has just lost one of its greatest sons; AMBASSADOR CHIEF ANTONIO DEHINDE FERNANDEZ is gone!” Momodu tweeted.
Fernandez was said to have died in Belgium.
Born in 1936, the Nigerian business magnate, diplomat and Permanent Representative of Central African Republic to the United Nations, is regarded as one of Africa’s richest men.
Born in Lagos into the Fernandez family that originated from Brazil and the first European migrant to Lagos State, he has been in diplomacy since 1996. In 1982, he served as advisor to the Angolan Government on economic matters.
He held this position for two years until his appointment as Deputy Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations in 1984.