Billionaire entrepreneur Aliko Dangote (GCON) continues to be Africa’s richest man. An ethnic Hausa from Kano State (Born: 10th April 1957), Nigeria, he started business in 1977. Here are top ten facts and figures about the man who built a business conglomerate from ground up.
He is now worth US$21.6 billion (Forbes 2015); he is ranked by Forbes magazine as the richest in Africa and 67th richest person in the world. He peaked on the list as the 23rd richest person in the world in 2014. He owns the Dangote Group of which he has been Chairman & CEO, since 1977. It has interests in commodities such as food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight. The Dangote Group has moved from being a trading company to being the largest industrial group in Nigeria and includes Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Flour. It is present in African countries such as Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania and Zambia.
In Nigeria today, Dangote Group with its dominance in the sugar market and refinery business is the main supplier (70% of the market) to the country's soft drinks companies, breweries and confectioners. It is the largest refinery in Africa and the third largest in the world, producing 800,000 tonnes of sugar annually. Dangote Group owns salt factories and flour mills and is a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement and fertilizer. The company exports cotton, cashew nuts, cocoa, sesame seed and ginger to several countries. It also has major investments in real estate, banking, transport, textiles and oil and gas.
Dangote Textile and the Nigeria Textiles Mills Plc, which it acquired, produce over 120,000 meters of finished textiles daily. The group has a ginnery in Kankawa, Katsina State with a capacity of 30,000 MT of seeded cotton every year. The sugar refinery at Apapa port, Lagos is the largest in Africa and in size the third largest worldwide with an annual capacity of 700,000 tonnes of refined sugar every year. It also has another 100,000 tonne-capacity sugar mill at Hadeja in Jigawa State.
Dangote Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the group where yearly he spends millions for worthy causes such as contributions to educational and healthcare institutions, sinking of boreholes and giving of scholarships.
Dangote has diversified into telecommunications, and has started building 14,000 kilometres of fibre optic cables to supply the whole of Nigeria. As a result, Dangote was honoured in January 2009 as the leading provider of employment in the Nigerian construction industry.
Dangote reportedly added $9.2 billion to his personal wealth in 2013, according to the Bloomberg Index, now making him the 30th richest person in the world, in addition to being the richest person in Africa.
In 2014, the Nigerian government announced that Dangote had donated 150 million Naira (US$750,000) to halt the spread of Ebola.
In May 2015 he expressed interest in purchasing the English football team Arsenal. He stated that if he was able to make the purchase he would fire the club's long-standing manager Arsene Wenger.
Dangote was named as the Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2014. The other nominees for the award were South Africa’s Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC), Arunma Oteh, and President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka. In 2013, Alhaji Dangote and six other prominent Nigerians were conferred Honorary Citizenship of Arkansas State by Governor Mike Beebe who also proclaimed May 30th of every year as Nigeria Day in the US. The other prominent Nigerians are: Chief Ms. Temitope Ajayi, the President and CEO of Nigerian American Agricultural Empowerment Programme; Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State; Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Prof. Tajudeen Gbadamosi, a former lecturer of University of Lagos; Prof. Ade Adefuye, the Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States; Prof. Julius Okojie, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission.
The Dangote Group has nationwide staff strength of 12,000 but on completion of on-going projects, it is expected to hit 22,000. It is the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa. Alhaji Aliko Dangote’s business success may be influenced by various factors. He seems to be broad-minded. Unlike some people, his Personal Assistant is Yoruba while his Head of Corporate Affairs is a Christian from Delta State.
Quote: "I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets [sugar boxes] and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time.”
…Let me tell you this and I want to really emphasize it...nothing is going to help Nigeria like Nigerians bringing back their money.
…If you give me today $5 billion, I will not invest any abroad; I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put heads together and work.”