Motivational Personality of the Week- Alhaji Aliko Dangote
- Aliko Dangote GCON was born on 10 April 1957, into a wealthy Muslim family in Kano State, Nigeria. Dangote attended the Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa (Arabic School), followed by Capital High School, Kano. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in business studies and administration from Al-Azhar University, Cairo.
- Growing up as a child, Aliko Dangote was interested in business, as he is quoted to have said that he used to buy cartons of candies and sell them for profit when he was in primary school. At just 20 years of age, Aliko established a small trading firm, which has, today, metamorphosed into Dangote Group, a multi-trillion-naira conglomerate with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo.
- Dangote has since 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 has moved from being a trading company to be the largest industrial group in Nigeria including Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Flour, amongst others.
- Dangote’s exceptional entrepreneurial skills has contributed to his business successes. In the 1990s, he approached the Central Bank of Nigeria with the idea that it would be cheaper for the bank to allow his transport company to manage their fleet of staff buses, this proposal was approved and runs till date. In July 2012, Dangote approached the Nigerian Ports Authorities to lease an abandoned piece of land at the Apapa Port, which was also approved. He later built facilities for his flour company there.
- One of its subsidiaries, Dangote Cement Plc. is the biggest listed company in West Africa and the first Nigerian company to join the Forbes Global 2000 Companies. Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (DSR) is rated the largest sugar refinery in Sub-Saharan Africa and the second largest in the world. The company is currently working towards actualizing its 10-year master plan to produce 1.5 million metric tonnes of sugar per annum, locally, in line with the Federal Government’s backward integration policy.
- The Group was also rated among Top 40 African Challengers by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in June 2010, and one of the Top 10 African Brands by London-based African Business magazine in November 2013. The Group was voted the Top Consumer Brand in Africa by the magazine.
- Dangote Group recently made foray into other sectors of the economy and is currently building the largest refinery, petrochemical and fertilizer complex in Africa. The refinery will have the capacity to refine 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day, while the petrochemical plant will produce 600,000 MTPY of Polypropylene.
- Africa’s foremost industrialist, Aliko Dangote, is a member of several national and foreign organizations where he devotes his resources to contribute to the growth and development of the society. In 2012, he was appointed co-chairman, Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, which was set up to provide succour for victims of the flood that ravaged 21 out of 36 states of the federation that year. He made a donation of $16million at the fund-raising dinner. He also made a donation of $32million to the Bank of Industry (BOI) for funding micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, to mention just a few.
- Beyond the shores of Nigeria, Aliko Dangote has also recorded milestones in philanthropy. In September 2010, he made a donation of $2million to support the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) efforts in Pakistan which had suffered similar flooding incident. He is a member of the McKinsey Advisory Council and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is also a member of International Business Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
- He has received many laurels both within and outside the country, in recognition of his achievements and philanthropy, whose giving in 2012 was put at $110million. Aliko Dangote, who holds the second highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) in Nigeria, also holds the highest honour in the Republic of Benin, the Grand Commander of the Order of Benin Republic.
- Aliko Dangote is married, with three children, and lives in Lagos, Nigeria. He has been married four times, and his first three marriages ended in divorce. He has a total of 15 children from these marriages. He was listed by Forbes magazine in October 2013 as the ‘Most Powerful Man in Africa’.