With the latest Bloomberge net worth of Alhaji Aliko Dangote valued at $19.2 Billion (excluding his investment in the refinery which is yet to commence operation), he is richer than 10 African countries combined.
The combined Gross Domestic Product of Burundi ($3.19Billion), Central African Republic ($2.59Billion), Lesotho ($2.48Billion), Eritrea ($2.25Billion), The Gambia ($2.04Billion), Cape Verde ($1.89Billion), Guinea Bissau ($1.59Billion), Seychelles ($1.29Billion), Comoros ($1.28Billion), and Sao Tome and Principe ($0.53Billion) are not up to the accumulated wealth of the richest African man in history. This excludes the ongoing $19 billion oil refinery that is still being constructed.
On individual GDP rating, the Kano-born billionaire is more wealthy than 32 African countries and he’s warming up to launch the continent’s largest oil refinery and will be the third-largest refinery in the world, a venture successive governments in his home country, Nigeria, have failed to record any success. Right now, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the government are waiting on him to complete his refinery to salvage the badly managed economy.
Who is Aliko Dangote?
- Nationality: Nigeria
- Home state: Kano
- Children: 3
- Religion: Islam
- Marriage: Divorced
- Date of Birth: April 10, 1957
- Investment Interest: Cement, Sugar, Salt, Flour mills, Fertilizer, Real Estate, Oil
- National honours: GCON (Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger)
- Net worth: $20.4Billion as of April 2022 (according to Bloomberg Billionaires’ Index)
- Education: Al-Azhar University, Egypt; Coventry University; University of Ibadan
- A man with this financial status is worth more than just a man, his wealth should be studied by some African countries whose leaders wrangle on how to create wealth for the helpless people who look up to them.
Born With Silver Spoon
When you asked a typical billionaire in Nigeria, you are most likely going to hear stories of how they were taxi drivers in the United Kingdom; how they had no shoes when growing up, and how they hawked before fortune smiled on them.
But Dangote’s story is completely different just like that of the founder of BUA Group Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu, who also had a business magnate as a father.
He was born with a silver spoon. He was born in wealth, he swam in riches, although he lost his father at the age of eight, he’s surrounded by successful and rich family members including grandparents. Specifically, his great-grandfather was one of the successful kola and groundnut traders across West Africa at the time.
He didn’t fail to seize the opportunities around him as he began his cement trading funded by a loan from his uncle in 19777, the same year he graduated with a business degree from Al-Azhar University. He would later shift from buying and selling cement to manufacturing after studying the manufacturing sector of Brazil.
As a young boy, he narrated how he bought sweets, give them to his friends to sell from which he also made profits. He once said he didn’t inherit his wealth from his parents, rather he worked for it.
Early Life and Education
Indeed, a lot of people came into the world in the year 1957. That was the year a particular baby that would eventually become the wealthiest man was born.
Dangote is currently a household name in Nigeria, Africa and the World. He is now a splendid businessman who is famously regarded as the richest person in Africa.
Interestingly, one can’t help but wonder if anyone carrying baby Aliko Dangote back then in 1957 would have imagined they are holding a man that will, somewhere in the future, be worth millions.
Dangote, now one of the trillionaires in Nigeria, was born into a household that contributed to his interest and success in the business world today. He was nurtured in an entrepreneurial household in Kano State, living a fairly comfortable upper-class life.
Since Dangote was born into a home with interests in entrepreneurship, he picked an early interest in this direction – which has eventually paid off.
It should also be noted that his grandfather, known as Sanusi Dantata, used to be regarded as one of the richest persons in Kano State.
It’s not a surprise then that Dangote would grow to become an entrepreneur.
Aliko Dangote is an educated entrepreneur. He was sent to Egypt for his University education as a young man, graduating from Al-Azhar University when he was 21.
Interestingly, while he could have decided to come back to Nigeria to become a lecturer or a banker, for instance, his drive and passion for trading were rekindled by the opportunities around him.
Upon his arrival back home, he was said to have obtained a loan from his rich uncle to start a business venture that entails importing and selling agricultural commodities in Nigeria.
Passion and skill helped Dangote become a quick successful trader. In fact, within just three months of diving into the deep, he was able to repay the entire loan – who was proud of him.
At a time, he said was making more than $9,000 daily from his business at such an early stage.
With hard work and strategic plannings, Aliko was able to turn a humble commodities trading enterprise into a multibillion-dollar corporation that has employed thousands of people in Nigeria and beyond and has made him the richest person in Africa.
Since he was first named the richest man in the continent some ten years ago, he has consistently been sitting on the table till right now, with an estimated net worth of $19.3Billion according to Bloomberg that’s tracking Dangote’s daily investment and worth.
Dangote’s Notable Accomplishments In The Business World
For many young people with the opportunity to go to the University back then in the period Dangote left college in 1977, it is easy to start a career in an established company and organization.
There are lots of jobs in different sectors with good salaries too. But Dangote wasn’t carried away, as he followed his dream.
He learnt the rudiments of trading from his family members, as he too started giving attention to importing rice from overseas supplies at wholesale prices, particularly from Thailand. He was also importing sugar from Brazil, selling these commodities in Nigeria.
Hence, Aliko Dangote has been an achiever as a young man. We can’t ignore nor overemphasize the contributions of his background as well as his family. It was easy to get a good education abroad and to also get a loan from a rich uncle.
How Dangote Grew His Wealth
After growing and expanding his commodities trading enterprise for many years, he decided, in 1997, to start producing the things he used to import from foreign countries.
Being an astute businessman with skill and experience and sufficient resources, in 2003, he expanded the operations of the organization by building a multimillion-dollar and commissioning a cement factory, Obajana, now the largest cement factory in Africa.
Dangote understood the importance of risks if one would become a shining entrepreneur. He has been taking different risks even from the early stages, and he has experienced the pleasant dividends and rewards of these risks.
Hence, when it was time to expand his cement company with the building of the manufacturing plant, he didn’t hesitate to take a loan that is around $479 million from the International Finance Corporation as well as personal savings.
Fortunately, his risks became productive and rewarding, as his journey into cement changed his ranks. His exploits as a manufacturer of cement in a country like Nigeria has contributed massively to his wealth and net worth.
In fact, as of March 31, 2021, his cement company reported huge quarterly revenue that is around US$808.5 million. Today, his humble beginning has produced the Dangote Group.
The Group is not just the most valuable conglomerate in the whole of West Africa, but has also employed thousands of Nigerians both directly and indirectly.
Although Dangote Cement makes up the bulk of the Group’s revenue, Aliko’s business exploit isn’t restricted to this sector alone, but he keeps playing in different other fields, producing different things such as sugar and salt. He took steps to separate the manufacturing divisions into publicly-traded organizations.
Thus, the Dangote that started his race as a trader of sugar, salt, and flour, keeps giving greater attention to his cement company, which is presently the major source of his fortune and wealth.
The Rich Desire To Keep Growing Richer
Aliko Dangote is not tired of gunning for more riches, and he is determined to keep expanding his empire. One of the cool things about him is that he has always reinvested the bull of his profits back into his businesses.
It is not a surprise then that his company keeps growing. He even explained that his company is not in the habit of keeping money in the bank but putting it to work.
Now, Nigeria, being a country blessed with crude oil, has produced several wealthy people who climbed the ladder via their participation in the crude oil business. However, same can’t be said of Dangote – he made his fortune from commodities like cement. However, he is not fed up being the richest in the country, and he is now expanding his reach, going into the oil and gas industry too.
He is presently working on a huge oil refinery in Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos State, Nigeria.
It should also be added that the project has the backing of the Nigerian government, particularly since it can help reduce the country’s reliance on importations of oil and gas, which will be beneficial to the local currency.
His oil refinery in Lagos is rated among the top 50 most influential projects in the World by a U.S.-based Project Management Institute (PTI).
Dangote Refinery which project started in 2016 with an initial estimated investment of US$12 billion as the world’s largest crude distillation column, a processing tube rated to be as long as a football pitch, is expected to commence operation by early 2022 to process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
In Nigeria, all the government’s refineries are parasitic, they gulp billions of naira in budgetary allocation without meeting local demand, which makes the acclaimed largest African economy import about 80% of the refined petroleum products consumed locally.
The trend put huge pressure on Nigeria’s foreign exchange, with Dangote refinery expected to commence operation in 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial analysts are optimistic that Dangote’s investment in the refinery will be a change changer for Nigeria’s foreign reserves.
Aliko Dangote Family Members
He is a private person, and not much is known about his private life. However, he is currently not married, he has three children. Much of his time is devoted to his business empire. His children are:
- Fatima Dangote,
- Halima Dangote,
- Mariya Dangote
This man isn’t just a businessman who has all of his eyes on the money and more money for personal use alone. He is also a philanthropist who has given a large chunk of his money to ensure the well-being of others. He founded the Aliko Dangote Foundation (which is reputed to be one of the largest in the world) as he In 2014, he committed the sum of $1.25 billion to the foundation
His foundation is committed to helping multitudes in the continent by supporting education, health, as well as economic empowerment initiatives.
We can’t but talk about how his partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has helped eradicate polio in Nigeria.
Aliko Dangote is not just a very rich man but a brilliant businessman who is influential throughout Africa. He made a lot of money importing and selling agricultural commodities, before setting a new standard as a manufacturer.
Although he was born into a rich Nigerian family, he built on the opportunities around him and use wealth to more wealth.
From an importer cum trader to a manufacturer, The Dangote Group is the most valuable conglomerate in West Africa, by the time his refinery commences production, Aliko Dangote’s wealth is most likely going to skyrocket
- Bloomberg. “Aliko Dangote”. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved December 30, 2021
- Dangote. “Aliko Dangote, GCON”. Dangote.com. Retrieved December 02, 2021
- Adesina, Olumide (December 14, 2021). “Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has $3.5 billion in his “bank account”. Nairametrics.com. Retrieved December 17, 2021
- Forbes. “Profile: Aliko Dangote, CEO, Dangote Group”. Forbes.com. Retrieved December 19, 2021
- Wikipedia. “List of African countries by GDP”. en.wikipedia.org. Retrieved December 20, 2021
- CSL Research (February 12, 2021). “Commencement of Dangote Refinery’s Production Would Improve Nigeria’s Current Account Balance”. Proshare.com. Retrieved December 29, 2021
- Featured Image by Aliko Dangote Foundation