Notable industrialists in the country have commended Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, for his contributions to the development of Nigeria’s economy.
Dangote, president and chief executive of Dangote Industries Limited, was on Thursday named the richest man in Africa by Forbes for the seventh year running.
He is Africa’s richest with a networth that Forbes pegged at $12.2 billion having recorded an increase of about $100 million from last year.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP Weekend on phone yesterday, former chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, said Dangote’s contributions to Nigeria’s economy have been monumental, adding that his impact has been felt in almost every sector of the country.
Ohuabunwa described Dangote as a man whose story had been a source of encouragement for every entrepreneur, having started with trading before turning into a mega industrialist with interests in cement, sugar, petrochemicals and so on.
‘‘Dangote is a great a risk-taker, one with full understanding of capitalism. He has taken advantage of opportunities God has brought his way. He is today not only the richest man but has also made other people rich. God should give us more Aliko Dangotes,’’ he said.
Similarly, the director-general, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Muda Yusuf, stated that Dangote has done what no other foreign investor can do for Nigeria.
He described Dangote as an investor with an unparalleled faith in Nigeria and one with an unusual gut to take risks.
‘‘Dangote has faith in the country. He is passionate about wealth creation and helping people. He is not looking for new cars or special food to eat but always thinking of adding value to the nation’s economy. We should continue to pray for him,’’ Yusuf said.
LEADERSHIP Weekend recalls that the governor of Kano State, Dr. Umar Ganduje, had recently said Nigeria is lucky to be blessed with someone like Aliko Dangote who has made Nigeria and, indeed, Africa proud in different ways.
An investor and president, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okazie, urged other indigenous entrepreneurs to emulate Dangote, who invests at home, adding that such would help generate employment for many in the country.
Okazie hailed Dangote as a good risk taker in business, saying every entrepreneur needs to see risk taking in business as one of the processes they would encounter before they broke even.
“Risk taking shows clearly that against all odds, one can achieve a feat and this demonstrates clearly the difference in the class of entrepreneurs in the country,” he said.
On his part, the managing director, Tarux Capital and Advisory Ltd., Lagos,Mr Nnaemeka Obiaraeri, described Dangote as a shrewd entrepreneur, a focused businessman who had patiently nurtured his businesses over the years.
“Time is required in nurturing a business, as it is often not possible to get to the zenith in one day. With patience and commitment in a given time, one’s dreams will be achieved,” Obiaraeri added.
Mr Gbenro Adetunji, an entrepreneur, said that all organisations managed by Dangote were successful because he had adopted the entity concept.
“By this, I mean that Dangote, as the chief executive of an organisation, is a different personality from the business,” he said.
With a workforce of more than 12,000 employees, cutting across various disciplines and professions, Dangote Group remains the leading employer of human capital in the private sector in the country. Also, it has over 42,000 employees in its 14 subsidiary companies outside Nigeria.
Dangote Group has four of its companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) – Dangote Cement, Dangote Flour Mills, Dangote Sugar Refinery, National Salt Company of Nigeria (Nascon), with a total value of N4.278 trillion in 2017.
According to Forbes, Dangote, with a net worth of about $12.2 billion (N4.3 trillion naira), is the richest African as a result of his investment in the Nigerian stock market.
The four companies have delivered impressive returns to shareholders in the year 2017.
An analysis of the performance of the companies in 2017 showed that their aggregate value increased by 39 per cent from N3.082 trillion at the beginning of the year to N4.278 trillion. This also implies that the Dangote Group accounts for 32 per cent of the total value of the nation’s equities market.
Market operators said this indicates that Dangote Group is responsible for over 30 per cent of the growth the equities market is enjoying. While the aggregate growth of the four stocks rose by 39 per cent, a further analysis of each stock showed that investors recorded higher returns at the individual stock level.
For instance, investors in Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc recorded a capital growth of 229 per cent as the stock soared from N6.11 at the beginning of the year to N20.15 by Wednesday. Similarly, investors in Dangote Flour Mills Plc enjoyed a capital gain of 178 per cent following a surge in the share price from N4.25 to N11.85, while Nascon Allied Industries Plc fetched investors a return of 115 per cent as the stock rose from N8.50 to N18.34.
Dangote Cement Plc recorded a growth of 32 per cent as the equity, which is the most capitalised on the exchange, grew from N173.99 to N230.50.
Aliko Dangote has retained his number one spot as Africa’s richest person for the seventh consecutive time.
According to Forbes, collectively, Africa’s billionaires are wealthier than they were a year ago. This is due to rising stock market and commodity prices. The number of billionaires this year went up from 21 billionaires recorded last year to 23 billionaires and they are worth a combined $75.4 billion this year, compared to $70 billion in January 2017.
Dangote Cement produces 44 million metric tonnes annually and plans to increase its output by 33 percent by 2020. Dangote also owns stakes in publicly traded flour, salt and sugar manufacturing companies. Dangote has also invested in a fertiliser production company and a large oil refinery. However, he is expected to start operations in the fertiliser company by the second quarter of this year.
Also, the Group has invested almost $5 billion in agricultural projects and $11 billion oil refinery in Nigeria.
Dangote has diversified rapidly in the last five years, both geographically and into new industries. He has expanded the Dangote Cement Plc, which accounts for almost 80 per cent of his wealth, into nine African countries apart from Nigeria.