Aliko Dangote is currently ranked 463 in the 2010 Forbes Rich List, Forbes Magazine annual listing of the worldâ€™s billionaires, with a current net worth of $2.1Billion, down from the 2009 figure of $2.5Billion.
Dangote Group companies spans across many sectors of the Nigerian economy, from manufacturing, food and beverages, oil and Gas, transportation etc.
The Dangote Group imports 400,000 metric tonnes of sugar annually which accounts for about 70 per cent of the total requirements of the country and is a major supplier of the product to the manufacturers of Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and Seven-Up in Nigeria. It imports 200,000 metric tonnes of rice annually just as the company imports tonnes of cement and fertilizer and building materials. Dangote Group also imports fish and owns three big fishing trawlers chartered for fishing with a 5,000 MT capacity. The group exports cotton, cocoa, cashew nuts, sesame seed, ginger and gum Arabic to several countries.
Born 1957 in Kano, his grand father, the late Alhaji Sanusi Dantata provided him with a small capital to start his own business, as was the practice then. He thus started business in Kano in 1977 trading in commodities and building materials. Alhaji Aliko Dangote moved to Lagos in June 1977 and continued trading in cement and commodities. Encouraged by tremendous success and increase in business activities, he incorporated two companies in 1981. These and others that followed now make up the conglomerate known as Dangote Group.
The group today is involved in diverse forms of manufacturing with high turnover. Dangote textile and the Nigeria Textiles Mills Plc, which it acquired, produce over 120,000 meters of finished textiles daily. The group has a ginnery in Kankawa, Katsina State with a capacity of 30,000 MT of seeded cotton annually.
The sugar refinery at Apapa port, Lagos is the largest in Africa and in size the third largest in the world with an annual capacity of 700,000 tonnes of refined sugar annually. It also has another 100,000 tonne-capacity sugar mill at Hadeja in Jigawa State.
Apart from having substantial investment in the National Salt Company of Nigeria at Ota, Ogun State, the group has salt factories at Apapa and Calabar, a polypropylene bagging factory which produces required bags for its products, over 600 trailers for efficient distribution network and goods meant for export can also efficiently be transported to the ports.
A vehicle leasing unit with over 100 fully air-conditioned commuter buses, is also part of the Dangote Group. It is also into real estate with luxury flats and high rise complexes in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Abuja and Kano. Dangote Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the group where yearly he spends millions for worthy causes such as contributions to educational and healthcare institutions, sinking of boreholes and giving of scholarships. The Dangote Group has nationwide staff strength of 12,000 but on completion of on-going projects, it is expected to hit 22,000.
As a self-employed person, with minimum basic education, he proves that business success can be through determination, honesty and perseverance; and not necessarily by acquiring Harvard-Oxford certificates or First-Class academic qualification. His managerial skill must surely be the envy of economic professors. Instead of stashing his funds in foreign accounts, a common feature of fraudulent front and public office looters, Dangote invests wisely in the productive sector of the Nigerian economy.