Ladies and gentlemen, you are welcome to the maiden edition of the Rebrand Nigeria Champions Series!
As earlier promised, through the Champions Series, we shall identify and celebrate other Nigerians, beyond 40 years who are improving lives and changing the narratives about Nigeria in their businesses and careers.
First on our list is Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man with a net worth of $8.3 Billion Dollars and real time net worth of $7.4 Billion Dollars as at April 11, 2020.
Dangote is the Chairman of the largest cement producing company in Africa called the Dangote Cement, which produces 45.6 million metric tons of cement annually in 10 African countries. He also owns stakes in salt and sugar manufacturing companies belonging to the Dangote Group.
The self-made billionaire is currently building a oil refinery, which is estimated to be the largest in the world.
Our research revealed that Dangote’s great-grandfather Alhassan Dantata was a reputable businessman who made his fortune from trading in kola nuts and groundnuts and in distributing European goods. He traded extensively with the British trading companies and had much interest in the Gold Coast. As at the time of his demise in 1955, he was the richest man in West Africa. His grand-father, Sanusi Dantata also carried on with his father’s legacy as he earned so much from selling commodities such as oats and rice, which made him one of the wealthiest men in Kano, his hometown.
So, there is no doubt that Aliko Dangote’s interest in business was influenced by his family. As a young boy, he bought sweets, distributed to others to sell, while he kept the profits. At the age of 21, he borrowed $3,000 from his Uncle to import agricultural produce such as rice from Thailand and sugar from Brazil and was able to pay back the loan in 3 months.
Today, he owns a conglomerate consisting of publicly traded companies; Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC., National Salt Company of Nigeria PLC., Dangote Flour Mills PLC., and Dangote Cements PLC.
Dangote is also a philanthropist who is contributing greatly to end poverty in Africa through the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF). The foundation has donated millions of dollars to charitable causes in Arts, Education, Health and Human Relief. One of such humanitarian programs carried out by ADF was the provision of over $3 million to 106,000 people in selected states within the country which included Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara in 2019.
In 2014, he donated 150 million naira to the fight against Ebola and in 2020, he donated N2 billion to combat the Covid-19 spread in Nigeria.
He is on the Board of the Corporate Council on Africa, a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum among others. His foundation is also collaborating with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the fight against polio in Africa.
Dangote has received many awards, some of which include; The 2015 Guardian Man of the Year; Africa-America Institute (AAI) 2016 African Business Leader Award; 2014 Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People in the World; Forbes Most Powerful Man in Africa from 2013 to 2020, consecutively among others.
At the #UgwumbaLeadershipCenter, we are proud of Aliko Dangote not just because of his successes in business but because of the impacts he is making in the development of our country through job creation, food security, etc.
He deserves some accolades, what do you think?
Please, keep a date with us on this weekly segment using these hashtags: #RebrandNigeriaChampions, #RebrandNigeriaCampaign, #GiantOfAfrica, #NigeriaMustBeGreat
Remember, that we are reaching you from the Ugwumba Center for Leadership Development in Africa.
God bless Nigeria!