Interviews & Sportlights

Dangote: World’s richest black billionaire now Nigeria’s biggest brand

For several weeks the news has gone viral on social media that the much awaited Dangote fertilizer plant and refinery will be recruiting at least 4,000 employees. No other commercial brand has dared that much in one fell swoop in Nigeria.

Next to the Federal Government of Nigeria, Alhaji Aliko Dangote will soon become the country’s biggest employer of labour. Understandably so, because he is the world’s richest black billionaire.

Recently, Bloomberg’s Tom Metcalf and Devon Pendleton enjoyed a flight tour of Dangote’s business empire, especially his two latest giant cash cows – Dangote Fertilizer Plant and Dangote Refinery. Their words:

“A half-hour after his Bombardier Challenger 605 takes off from Lagos Airport, it descends into a seemingly desolate area of Kogi State in central Nigeria. To the left of the aircraft was the Obajana Plant of Dangote Cement Plc.

“It’s already the biggest in Africa, churning out enough sacks of cement to fill 1,000 trucks a day. A fifth production line now under construction will make it one of the world’s largest.

“About 40 miles east of Lagos, on more than 6,700 acres of former swampland bound by a lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, contractors are putting the finishing touches on a fertilizer plant valued at $5 billion. Next to it is Dangote’s a $12 billion project.”

Beyond the views from the Bombardier, the new reality is that Nigeria as a country is leaning heavily on the daring and brilliance of Aliko Dangote to pull it out of its oil quagmire and change its awkward 50-year-old crude oil narrative.

In no time, if all goes well to plan, Dangote’s giant refinery and fertilizer complex would easily make the 61-year-old billionaire Nigeria’s biggest indigenous brand. It will catapult Dangote Group’s annual turnover from $4 billion to $12 billion. Bloomberg aptly says this will immortalize him as Africa’s biggest industrialist as well as change Nigeria’s economy forever.

Just one man.

Cover Photo [Bloomberg]


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