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On a lighter note: How Aliko Dangote Became The Richest Person In Africa

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A few billionaires roam the earth. What gets even more exciting, is whenever the world hears of African billionaires. With majority of the world’s view about Africa being portrayed as a continent majorly filled with small huts, farmers, and every man getting married to multiple women at childhood, many wonder how billionaires are ever forged on the continent. While the world’s perception about Africa is mostly wrong, the continent is disproving these misguided thoughts by even further producing more dollar billionaires every year.

How then are billionaires formed in a continent where the rest of the world’s view about it is a land mass with hunters, huts, and people struggling to survive? The simple answer: “Anyone who hasn’t been to Africa, knows nothing about Africa”.

This article talks about an interesting fellow that has managed to disturb the thoughts of many who can’t comprehend how wealth creation even happens on the continent, talk-less of self-made billionaires. He’s not just a dollar billionaire, he’s the richest person in Africa, and according to Forbes billionaire list for the year 2016, he’s richer than Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, and Roman Abramovich combined. His name, Aliko Dangote.

Who’s This Aliko Dangote Anyway?

Aliko Dangote is Forbes 2016 richest person in Africa. He’s stipulated to also be the richest black person in the world. He has held this position for over 4 years and counting, and seems to be unstoppable.

Aliko Dangote was born in 1957 to a business oriented household in Kano State, Nigeria. Unlike many other self-made billionaires, Aliko Dangote was born with a silver spoon. His grand father, Sanusi Dantata, was one of the wealthiest men in West Africa at the time. He made a bulk of his fortune from groundnuts, oats, and rice.

Following the death of his father, Dangote’s grandfather took him in and became is de facto guardian. Living with his grand father exposed him to the different rudiments of entrepreneurship. He learnt a lot about marketing, procuring goods, establishing customer relationships, and more. This even prompted him to start selling boxes of sweets (candy bars) in primary school to his classmates as one of his first trial at entrepreneurship.

After his graduation from Al-Azhar University in Egypt, in 1977, Aliko Dangote at age 21, got a loan of 500,000 Naira ($2,500) from his grand father to start a trade in commodities, to be repaid within three years. At that time, 500,000 Naira could buy one hundred Mercedes Benz in Nigeria.

He took this loan, and went over to Lagos, in Nigeria, with an uncle of his. With the business loan he had secured, he started importing rice and sugar from Thailand (rice) and Brazil (sugar) respectively.

As he sold these commodities to the locals, his business quickly exploded with extremely high revenues, sometimes reaching net profits of over $10,000 daily, and he returned his grandfather’s loan in 3 months, instead of the agreed 3 years.

As his conglomerate grew, Aliko Dangote realised that if he was ever to reach a true billionaire status, he’d have to start manufacturing and stop importing commodities. He’d have to fully control the final price, so he could compete effectively, and also comfortably push out competitors in his industries.

As he took steps towards manufacturing in 1997, he began to produce sugar, flour, and pasta. He was later awarded a cement plant by the federal government, and later built a multi-million dollar cement manufacturing plant in 2005 with $319 million dollars of his own money, and a $479 million dollar loan from the World Bank International Finance Corporation.

Following the success of all his multiple investments, Aliko Dangote took many of his companies public.

Before this, he stated that his company, The Dangote Group, always reinvested everything it made, back into the business, than storing up money in the bank like many other companies do.

He’s currently building a $9 billion dollar oil and gas refinery in Nigeria, stipulated to be completed in 2017/2018, and is also building a multi-million dollar fertilizer processing facility.

Today, The Dangote Group is the largest conglomerate in West Africa.

You can find a list of all The Dangote Group’s investments in this wikipedia article.

Aliko Dangote’s success story is not that of a man who started from a poor or comfortable home and eventually achieved great wealth. His story is that of a child every wealthy parent dreams of. The child who doesn’t need to inherit his/her family’s properties, but one who can turn a sum into a multi-billion dollar empire.

While his story may not be a rags to riches type, his success story is definitely an inspiration to anyone that has some startup capital, and hopes to someday be one of the richest people in the world

Stanley Edom N.
(Abuja Business Club) 

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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