Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has been presented by Google search results as the owner of Nigeria. This development has been welcomed by different reactions amongst several Nigerians. While Nigerians question the authenticity of Google’s search results, Dangote no doubt has a strong influence on Nigeria.
It’ll sound absurd to say one man owns Africa’s largest economy. However, Dangote is the symbol of the peak of Nigeria’s economy, especially for entrepreneurs. He’s literally a poster boy for Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. What this connotes is the Billionaire holds Nigeria in different ways. His company, Dangote’s Group performs activities that affect five pillars of wealth creation: investment, employment, revenue, export and infrastructure. Let’s explore some of the ways the African Billionaire owns Nigeria:
Aliko Dangote is the founder and CEO of the Dangote Group, which is one of the largest and most valuable conglomerate companies in Nigeria. The group has interests in cement production, sugar refining, flour milling, and pasta production among others, which makes him one of the most powerful business figures in Nigeria. The Nigeria business mogul reportedly borrowed $3,000 from his uncle to import and sell agricultural commodities in Nigeria. The business recorded success and paid the loan within three months of commencing operations. His business empire which is over 3 decades old, saw Aliko turn trading local commodities into a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Dangote’s business empire has had a significant impact on the Nigerian economy, and his companies are major contributors to the country’s GDP. He is also a major employer in Nigeria, providing jobs for thousands of people. Dangote has been described as the beacon of Nigeria’s economy because of his business. He has over 30,000 employers and ranks as the highest employer of labour.
In a country where unemployment is one of the challenges, Dangote’s investment in the sugar sub-sector is scheduled to provide 300,000 new jobs. Data showed that Dangote Cement led the list of 157 quoted companies on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX)’s major growth parameters as of December 31, 2021. Also, Dangote Cement ranked as the most profitable company in Nigeria.
Dangote is also known for his philanthropy and has donated millions of dollars to various charitable causes in Nigeria, such as education, healthcare and poverty alleviation. The billionaire does most of his philanthropy through the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the Dangote Group, The Aliko Dangote Foundation. The Foundation has contributed over $100 million in charitable funds to several causes in Nigeria and Africa over the past four years. It is also the largest private Foundation in sub-Saharan Africa, with the largest endowment by a single African donor.
The foundation has partnered with state and national governments, nongovernmental organizations and international agencies to advance its agenda. One such notable partnership is when it started working with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and key northern State Governments in Nigeria in 2013 to eradicate polio and strengthen routine immunization in Nigeria.
Dangote is known to have good relationships with Nigerian politicians, and his business interests often align with government policies and initiatives, giving him a significant level of influence over government decisions. Media reports reveal that he supported the presidential ambition of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo during the 1999 and 2003 elections. The business mogul has over the years sustained an amicable relationship with politicians at different levels. This relationship is most times hinged on calls by government officials for the self-made businessman to channel ideas and resources into areas of the economy that stimulate growth.
Dangote is a well-known figure in Nigeria and has a strong media presence. He is often featured in the news and is considered a celebrity in the country, which gives him the ability to shape public opinion and influence public discourse. The media has repeatedly used his success in business as the guiding principle for upcoming entrepreneurs. They do this by writing articles about him and featuring him in interviews and guest shows. Four years ago, a new branded content campaign was introduced on CNN TV digital and social media platforms to show how Dangote impacts the continent positively. He has also reportedly sponsored several media training for journalists in Northwest, Nigeria.