Aliko Dangote  is a businessman based in in Lagos. He is the owner of the Dangote Group, which has operations in Nigeria and several other countries in West Africa. A wealthy supporter of erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo and the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dangote controls much of Nigeria’s commodities trade through his corporate and political connections. With an estimated current net worth of around US$17.1 billion, he was ranked by Forbes as one of the richest men in the world and the richest black person in the world ahead of Mohammed Al Amoudi ($9.0 billion) and ahead of Oprah Winfrey ($2.5 billion), Mo Ibrahim ($2.5 billion) and Patrice Motsepe of South Africa ($2.4 billion). Now Dangote wants to set up the largest  cement factory in Kitui, where, last year he put up a party for the County residents. But only a few people are asking what kind of change he would bring to Kitui—and to Kenya in general—if he controlled such huge investment?

In whatever it  trades in, Dangote in a near monopoly in Nigeria.

Dangote Quarries Company (DQC) will explore limestone resources in Kanziko area.

Dangote says investing in the sector the project  will ease cement shortage in the country.

Aliko Dangote is reputed to be a non-partisan, detribalized investor who offers employment opportunities to elite graduates from different ethnic backgrounds. His companies have reduced the level of crime by engaging youths who are school leavers in the area of transportation, product packaging, security and others.

In Migeria, the Dangote Group has nationwide staff strength of 22,000, which clearly puts him among the most significant employers.

One analyst says, “It may possibly not be a wild assumption to say that all Nigerians have heard of his name due to the impact of his businesses. His goods are practically in most homes across the country. People who may not use his products might have passed a few of his trailers by the way.”

Some statistics here will underline this impact:

The Dangote Group imports 400,000 metric tonnes of sugar annually which makes up about 70 % of the total requirements of the nation.

It is a major supplier of the product to the manufacturers of Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and Seven-Up in Nigeria.

It imports 200,000 metric tonnes of rice annually just as the company imports tonnes of cement and fertilizer and building materials.

Dangote Group also imports fish and owns three big fishing trawlers chartered for fishing with a 5,000 MT capacity.

The group exports cotton, cocoa, cashew nuts, sesame seed, ginger and gum Arabic to several countries globally.

A vehicle leasing unit with over 100 fully air-conditioned commuter buses, is also part of the Dangote Group.

It is also into real estate with luxury flats and high rise complexes in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Abuja and Kano. Dangote Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the group where yearly he spends millions for worthy causes such as contributions to educational and healthcare institutions, sinking of boreholes and giving of scholarships.

In all, Dangote is into exporting, importing, manufacturing, real-estate and philanthropy. All of these are combined together to form what is known as the Dangote Group.

At the helm of its affairs as president and CEO is the “humble person called Aliko Dangote.”

Born in Kano, his grand father, the late Alhaji Sanusi Dantata provided him with a small capital to start his own business, as was the practice then. He thus started business in Kano in 1977 trading in commodities and also building supplies.

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Alhaji Aliko Dangote moved to Lagos in June 1977 and persisted in trading cement and commodities. Encouraged by tremendous success and increase in business activities, he incorporated two companies in 1981. These as well as others that followed now make up the conglomerate known as The Dangote Group.

Aliko Dangote is alo reputed to be one of the few Africans who had not looted their countries and stashed billions of dollars in foreign bank accounts.

Of this, Dangote says, ““If you give me today $5 billion, I will not invest any abroad, I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put heads together and work.”

His stories evoke a lot of positive response in Nigeria . So what do the ordinary Nigerians say of  him?  Here is a sampling:

Aliko Dangote is a man of inspiration, a man who has risen above scholars, politicians fake pastors and thieves, he is my mentor. I pray that God’s continues to bless and guide him.

Kudos to Alh. Aliko Dangote, an icon in Nigeria economy. Your story always gives hope that with hard work and perseverance, anybody who dream of becoming great can make it. Long-life and more grease to your elbow with little effort and much result

its good to invest in our country rather than outside because there is unemployment in the here. Please graduates don’t wait for the government to give you work. Learn from Dangote. Employ yourselves.