Aliko Dangote: The Unusual Business Mogul

Do you know that the African richest man and the world richest black man, Aliko Dangote ranks far higher in wealth than US President Donald Trump? Aliko Dangote, 63, is, as of 16th June 2020, worth $8.3 billion more than Donald Trump whose net worth is $2.1 billion. This is according to Forbes list of billionaires. While Aliko is #162 world’s richest, US Donald Trump is #715. Aliko Dangote is also the 66th most powerful person in the world! Well, our attempt isn’t in any way to compare the wealth of individuals but to, rather, reaffirm that being a black has nothing to do with mediocrity and that there are literally thousands of unmentioned blacks who are doing well in their various endeavours.

There are quite a number of things that make Aliko Dangote uniquely different. Even when he was in primary school he would go and buy cartons of sweets [candy] and start selling them just to make money. According to Wiki, he said I was so interested in business, even at that time.

Aliko Dangote started from minus, not even zero! He started his business by convincing his uncle to lend him $3,000. The funds from the loan afforded him the opportunity to import soft commodities at wholesale prices from international suppliers. Two of his main imports were rice from Thailand and sugar from Brazil. He then sold those commodities in small quantities to consumers in his village at a profitable markup. The venture quickly became successful and turned into a cash pool. In an interview with Forbes, Dangote claimed that on very good days, he was realizing a daily net profit of $10,000 from the business. That allowed him to repay his uncle in only three months.

In 2016, Aliko Dangote started a refinery construction project named Dangote Refinery, which upon completion is expected to be one of the world’s largest oil refineries. The most interesting thing about this is that this is a project that has been impossible for Nigeria as a whole nation to carry out. Even the present Buhari administration who had promised during its campaign in 2015 to build several refineries is yet to build a single one. But a single determined person is getting that done. Isn’t he unusual? During a not-too-long ago interview with Aliko Dangote, this business magnate said he never own any property abroad. He considered it useless and a waste of money. Aliko, truly, has the mind of a producer and not a consumer. This is unlike many African leaders who stock up money neither they nor their generations can spend in foreign countries’ banks while their own people are grossly impoverished. African leaders need to learn and change their ways for the better. They should start living for posterity. To this day, Nigeria still withdraws money from Abacha loot, which some have humorously called ‘Abacha ATM’. I doubt if any member of that family can boast in the public that he or she is a son or daughter of the late Abacha.

Aliko Dangote produces. He is a producer. The strength of any nation’s economy is determined by the level of their production capacity. Cheap money or stolen money adds no value whatsoever. Nigeria is where she is today because of the huge amount of money entitled to politicians whether they have anything to offer or not. You will see many lazy governors and senators and politicians generally pile up government money in their personal accounts. Aliko’s subsidiary companies deal with the manufacturing and production of a number of consumer goods including sugar, cement, rice, flour, and fisheries. Did you also know that Aliko owns 85% of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company? Dangote Cement produces 45.6 million metric tons annually and has operations in 10 countries across Africa. In fact, Dangote Cement is the continent’s largest cement producer.

Dangote is investment-minded. Recently, he, being a testified Gunner, declared his interest in buying his favourite club. This was, however, rebuffed by majority shareholder Stan Kroenke. His latest assertion, according to goal.com, is to try again in 2021 after the completion of several ongoing projects. Well, nothing is impossible. Also, during an interview with Al Jazeera News, Aliko Dangote explained, ‘‘We [Dangote Group] are not doing like other Africans who keep most of their money in the bank. We do not keep money in the bank. We fully invest whatever we have and we keep on investing.” What an unusual man worth emulating! A man with a big heart. Recently, in the Federal Government’s fight against Covid-19, we learned he donated N2 billion to the Central Bank of Nigeria to support the cause.

Alhaji Aliko Dangote GCON, born 10 April 1957 is a philanthropist, founder, and chairman of Dangote Group, an industrial conglomerate in Africa. We need more men like him to build Nigeria; and you and I are not exempted!

So, we present to you Nigerian Newsnow man of the Week Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the woman of the week, Mercy Chinwo. Let’s celebrate them and share out there!

Credit: Forbes.com, Wikipedia

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