Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote (born April 10, 1957) is a businessman based in Nigeria. 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$3.3 billion, he was ranked by Forbes as the 334th richest man in the world as of March 5, 2008, making him the richest African citizen and the second richest black person in the world behind Mohammed Al Amoudi ($9.0 billion) and ahead of Oprah Winfrey ($2.5 billion), Mo Ibrahim ($2.5 billion) and Vusi Tsale of South Africa ($2.4 billion).

Business career

The Dangote Group, originally a small trading firm founded in 1977, is now a multi-billion naira conglomerate with operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo. Dangote's businesses include food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight. The Dangote Group dominates the sugar market in Nigeria, as he is the major sugar supplier to the country's soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners. Dangote Group has moved from being a trading company to Nigeria's largest Industrial group, including Dangote Sugar Refinery (the most capitalized company on the Nigeria Stock Exchange, valued at over $3 billion with Aliko Dangote's equity topping $2 billion), Africa's largest Cement Production Plant: Obajana Cement, Dangote Flour amongst others.

Dangote played a prominent role in the funding of Obasanjo’s re-election campaign in 2003, to which he contributed over N200 million ($ 2 million). He doled out N50 million ($ 0.5 million) to the National Mosque under the aegis of "Friends of Obasanjo and Atiku", and contributed N200 million ($ 2 million) to the Presidential Library. These controversial gifts to members of the ruling People's Democratic Party have contributed to concerns over continued graft despite highly-publicized anti-corruption drives during Obasanjo's second term.

References

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