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Celebrating Dangote, world’s richest black man

Posted by By Wale Sokunbi on 2008/04/30 | Views: 3242 |

Celebrating Dangote, world’s richest black man


At this time when good news is as difficult to hear in the country as a pindrop in a dance hall, Nigerians, in the past few days, received heartwarming news from three different quarters.

At this time when good news is as difficult to hear in the country as a pindrop in a dance hall, Nigerians, in the past few days, received heartwarming news from three different quarters. First, a Nigerian schoolboy from Government Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos, Henry Akahara, came first in a world debate competition involving 200 students from 60 countries in the House of Commons in London. Samuel Okon Peter, a Nigerian became the Boxing Heavyweight Champion of the world after knocking out the former title holder, Oleg Maskeav, of Ukraine, at the weekend. Also a few days ago, a Nigerian emerged for the first time on a list of the richest people in the world.

Forbes, a reputable magazine which tracks the wealth of the world’s billionaires, in its annual Forbes Annual Rankings, named Nigerian business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, as the richest black man in the world. Dangote, who built a vast business conglomerate with interests in flour mills, salt processing, rice, sugar, oil and gas, real estate, transportation, food and beverages appeared on the world’s super-rich list as the 334th richest man in the world, with a fortune worth 3.3 billion dollars.
In Africa, Dangote comes third after white South Africans – Nicky Oppenheiner family of De Beers diamond fortune (ranked 187th in the world) and Johann Rupert and family (ranked 284th).

Dangote is Nigeria’s first dollar billionaire. Warren Buffet, an American investor with huge shares in Coca-cola, Tesco and Procter and Gamble, with a fortune worth 62 billion dollars, edged Mexican telecommunications tycoon, Carlos Slim Helu, from the top position to second place to become the richest man in the world, while the computer giant, Bill Gates, who was the the richest main the world for 13 years is now the third richest. Facebook founder, Mark Zukerberg, who is only 23 years old, was named among 50 billionnaires under the age of 40.

The story of Aliko Dangote is a story of the gains of courage and perseverance in business. The business magnate started out in business with a N500,000 loan from his uncle in 1977 and became firmly established as a businessman, and had his big break during the cement import licence regime in the late 70s.

He did not rest on his oars but consolidated on his gains by investing first in importation, and later, manufacturing of everyday goods.

Like Warren Buffet, who said he did not buy shares in companies that he did not understand what they were doing, Dangote stuck to to huge investments in manufacturing and importation of products that Nigerians cannot do without – salt, flour for bread, one Nigeria’s staples; rice, another staple, spaghetti, sugar and juice drinks.

Dangote is a household name in Nigeria. He is known for his humility and high sense of corporate social responsibility. His Dangote Group of Companies has been reported to have an annual turnover running into billions of dollars.

Last year, he won Nigeria’s Most Respected CEO award organized by Price WaterhouseCoopers in association with Businessday newspapers. Dangote had ealier been named CEO and Entrepreneur of the Year in Thisday Awards for Excellence. The Dangote group also earned “Superbrand” status, from Super brands, the worlds largest arbiter of brands, alongside 14 other companies in Lagos.
Dangote Group also recently launched a N12 Billion drivers truck ownership scheme.
Under the scheme, the company guarantees loans for drivers to buy the company’s trucks which they will use to transport goods for the company and repay the loan from proceeds of this, between three and five years., when they will become owners of the trucks.

The idea, the company says, is to create a new group of business owners and entrepreneurs as part of its corporate social responsibility and job creation, while leaving the group to concentrate on its core businesses.

Dangote Group employs thousands of Nigerians and has been described as the biggest manufacturing conglomerate in the Africa.
His Dangote Sugar and Flour have created many millionaires through their listing on the stock exchange.

The lessons from Dangote’s fabulous wealth include the importance of dreaming big and remaining committed to set goals. Here is a man who dreamed big and concentrated on dominating every sector of the economy he invests in. He is a man who has chosen to remain focused on his field, and has not stained his hands with money from the public treasury. He is a man who deserves the respect of all Nigerians and a shinning example who should be emulated by those who aspire to greatness. His story tells our youths that they can achieve anything that they set their hearts to do.

The lesson for Dangote in this remarkable development is that he should aspire to give back more to society even than he is doing today. Luckily, we are already hearing about a Dangote Foundation. Nigerians will expect this foundation to be among the foremost foundations in Nigeria and Africa in terms of the impact it will have on the people. An adage says, to whom much is given , much is also expected.

While wishing Dangote even greater leaps and bounds in his financial exploits, may God grant him the wisdom to remain on top, the good health and long life to enjoy the gains of his exploits and a heart to deploy his vast resources, more than before, to the betterment of his compatriots.

MAIL BOX
Thanks for your write up of last week. I want to add that the diversification of our energy base via coal-fired stations is a cheap and viable option. China and India combined are building 750 new coal-fired stations. Nigeria has large coal deposits.
Obasi Richard
08064003653

Thanks for reminding Yar’Adua once more of his seven point agenda especially on education, power and energy. No education, power and energy and our country will not grow. Therefore, Yar’Adua should use his four years of office to work for three areas.
08076376349

Nature has written everybody’s character on him. Nigerians voted for Yar’Adua because of his meekness
Laide William, 0703689602

I agree with all your obserrations. Yar’Adua should double his efforts in achieving his seven-point agenda.
Arogundade, 08052727619

You aptly diagnosed correctly the foot – dragging malaise of the president. We want hims to stimulate the economy and improve the earning power of the naira
08072760829

A lot is expected from President Yar’Adua. Fortunatus Ezeruike, Njaba LGA, Imo State,
080536878786,

It’s nice to to have you back. During your vacation, there were a lot of political and social events such as the election tribunal rendicting, the events in Kenya and the possible energence of Barka Obama as American President. I hope in your writing you’ll give an indepth analysis of these events which distinguishes you as a good columnist.
Fred Nwagbara

Let’s see if Aremu of Ota will let him be. If Obasanjo succeeds in imposing his stooges in strategic positions and YarAdua agrees, Yar’Adua may not achieve his goals. This is on assumption that the Supreme Court doesn’t nullify his election.
C.A. Oke,08023043053

May Yar’Adua do more. I hope Yar’Adua will read it and do more so that Nigerians can gain from his seven –point agenda
08068442344
Kuds to you on that piece. I am not surprised that Yar’Adua’s administration is moving at snail speed. His initial plan was to go back to the classroom. He lacks the political knowledge to govern this country.
A good Friday can be seen from Thursday.
L.D.B. Donga,
Taraba State, 08033905760

Yar’Adu did a lot for the Niger Delta zone by increasing the percentage of allocations to the. The problem is the utilization of the money by their leader
Shamsudeem Kabir, Sokoto
08074056960

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.