Aliko Dangote: The All Seasons Businessman

By on June 1, 2017


Views: 571


The highpoint of the week was the Tuesday inauguration of the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council. 

The Council is expected to spearhead the industrial agenda that will boost the contribution of manufacturing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 250 per cent over a five-year period.

The ambitious agenda, according to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, will make Nigeria a manufacturing hub for West Africa and diversify the economy from its over-dependence on oil.

The Council is made up of leaders in the private and public sectors and will be chaired by Osinbajo, while the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, will serve as vice-chairmen, representing the public and private sectors, respectively.

The alternate vice-chairmen of the council are the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ms. Aisha Abubakar and Chairman of ANAP Business Jets Limited, Mr. Atedo Peterside.

One thing, though, is that this Council is a reminiscent of the Economic Team put together by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, which had Dangote, Mr. Femi Otedola, Tony Elumelu and former Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi as part of the members.

The fact that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has decided to ape the style of government of the deposed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is, however,  not in focus.

The focus is in the person of the Vice-Chairman of the Council representing the Private Sector, President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

No doubt, Aliko Dangote, presently, occupies the position of the most envied Nigerian.

Over the years, at least, since the beginning of this democratic dispensation, Dangote has been at the forefront; cornering most of the juicy business deals ahead of other billionaire businessmen in his category such as Otunba Mike Adenuga, Femi Otedola, Jimoh Ibrahim and, of course Capital Oil Chairman, Ifeanyi Ubah, who is just finding his path.

Dangote has been very relevant to each successive administration since 1999. 

It easily comes to mind that with the assistance of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he emerged the powerhouse of cement manufacturing, not only in Nigeria but also in Africa.

He would have easily attained the same position in the Oil and Gas Sector but for the timely intervention of the labour unions in the sector, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), who forced Obasanjo to shelve the idea of handing over the country’s refineries to him under a concession arrangement.

He was, however, to get the downstream arm of Chevron as compensation. 

The short tenure of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua did not give Dangote the opportunity to showcase his full prowess but he was able to show the stuff he was made of during the tenure of former President Jonathan.

Dangote became the beloved of the administration so much that the national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), an award reserved for the very, very, few illustrious Nigerians was bestowed on him. 

In the twilight of the Jonathan administration, Dangote was, already, hobnobbing with the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was, probably, growing confident of the chances of his party at the then upcoming polls. 

And the outcome of the fraternizing was the construction of an ambitious mega refinery in Lagos at an eye boggling and over bloated or should one prefer the National Assembly parlance – ‘over padded’, sum.

The refinery, which is under construction, is nearing completion, and recently, he (Dangote) assured that the 1.3 million metric tonnes per annum petrochemical plant would commence operation in the last quarter of 2018.

When it was evident that it was over for the Jonathan administration, after the results of the 2015 Presidential Election shew President Muhammadu Buhari in the lead, Dangote was part of the eminent Nigerians that served as power brokers who visited Jonathan in the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja in the company of former Head of state, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) and the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan.

They served as the undertaker to the departing administration persuading Jonathan to relinquish power and also consoled him for his loss.

Dangote’s influence manifested very early in the Buhari administration, when he, alongside the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II, visited the new president with some American businessmen who promised to invest in the Nigerian economy.

Although, the Emir for some undisclosed reasons fell out with the president, Dangote was rock solid in his relationship with the new administration.

In the downside-up Nigerian business terrain, it is safe to call Dangote a quintessential business mogul.

Dangote Group, now, has interests in Nigeria and other African countries, including Benin, Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Dangote has expanded to cover food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight. The Dangote Group also dominates the sugar market in Nigeria and is a major supplier to the country's soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners. The Dangote Group is the largest industrial group in Nigeria including Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Flour.

It is worthy to note that of all the businessmen in the country and Africa, Dangote is in his own class, the Forbes Magazine says so.

As of February 2017, he had an estimated net worth of US$12.5 billion.

He occupies the position of the 67th richest person in the world, which in turn made him the Richest Man in Africa.

He peaked on the list as the 23rd richest person in the world in 2014.

Being the richest man in Africa has its own perks, he wines and dines with the richest man in the world Bill Gates and the two have joined force on a number of philanthropy projects.

The two announced plans for a $100m (£70m) scheme to cut malnutrition in Nigeria.

Dangote said the partnership between his Dangote Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would address the problem, which affects roughly 11 million children in northern Nigeria.

The announcement was made in Abuja, a day after both men signed a deal to ramp up immunisation programmes in the northern states of Kaduna, Sokoto and Kano.

The new scheme will fund programmes to 2020 and beyond, using local groups in the north-west and north-east. 

Dangote and Gates have previously worked together on polio eradication programmes, which resulted in the country being taken off the global list of endemic countries.

The new brief before Dangote as detailed in the terms of reference of the Council includes proposing targets for national industrial output and investments across major industrial sectors; tracking the progress made on specific public and private sector initiatives aimed at transforming the industrial sector and meeting its industrialisation targets; and serving as ambassadors of the industrial sector and as a platform to facilitate communication on current and emerging issues affecting industry, and ensuring regular interaction between government and stakeholders in the industrial sector.

Ignoring the lengthy terms of reference, this latest offer translates to more money for Dangote.

Source cattnews

Posted 01/06/2017 01:14:58 AM




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