Nigeria’s Alhaji Aliko Dangote is Africa’s wealthiest man, ended 2019 with a total Net worth of $14.8 billion, representing an increase of $4.3 billion from the $10.3 billion recorded in 2018, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index released recently.
The AM News Learnt that with this new record, it is estimated that Dangote’s new net worth of $14.8 billion could buy 12.0 million troy ounces of gold; 279 million barrels of crude oil; and its equivalent to 1,240 percent of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world.
With this new development, the 62-year-old Nigerian businessman becomes the 96th wealthiest man in the world, according to data from the index.
Furthermore, the President/Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote’s thirst for investing in different sectors of the economy is not all about acquiring wealth, but his ability to create jobs in sub-Saharan African countries.
He said the “Dangote Cement Plc alone has already provided over 50,000 jobs to people across the nation. His Sugar Plant has also geared towards creating more employment in the country.
“Dangote Sugar’s investments would soon create between 75,000 to 150,000 jobs, reduce price and improve profits to customers.”
In addition, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery alone is expected to create over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.
“We have employed over 10,000 Nigerian personnel on-site. Employment by the various contractors and subcontractors at the site is 7,500. A total of 900 Nigerian Engineers are being trained in design, engineering, and design of the refinery,” Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development.
Mr. Devakumar Edwin, disclosed, that, “The fourth batch of Engineers currently undergoing training.”
The AM News gathered that Dangote as a business leader, “It is my responsibility to offer jobs and opportunities. Moreover, as a philanthropist and a development expert, I have seen firsthand the critical gaps and proven interventions that can help set those young people up for success, especially the poorest.”
Dangote as Africa’s wealthiest man is also excited about poverty alleviation. He stated many times at various forums that he would rather be known for philanthropy than his wealth.
This could be seen through The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) with an endowment of $1.25 billion. The main objective of the Foundation is to reduce the number of lives lost to malnutrition and disease.
Just recently, the Foundation commenced a micro-grant scheme in Sokoto, to empower and lift 23,990 poor and vulnerable women out of poverty across the 23 local government areas of the State.
Since its inception, 334,500 women, representing over 40 percent of target beneficiaries had benefitted from the Aliko Dangote Foundation Micro-Grant programme (across Kano, Lagos, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Niger and Nasarawa states).
Dangote’s pursuit of social investment programmes, which are beneficial to economic development, is unquantifiable. Only recently, Dangote Industries expended N72.9 billion for the reconstruction of the road from Apapa to the tollgate end on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The company is also impacting the lives of the people of Ofeme Community in Abia State through the reconstruction of a 16-kilometer concrete road and bridges in the area.
His conglomerate, Dangote Industries, includes the biggest cement company on the continent, the Lagos-listed Dangote Cement Plc., that is, one of four publicly traded companies under the Dangote umbrella, which account for more than a fifth of the value of the Nigerian stock exchange.
The company is engaged in the manufacturing and distribution of cement and related products in Nigeria and has plants or import terminals in about nine African countries. It also has interests in sugar, salt, flour, refinery, fertilizer, and packaged food.
The New Year, 2020, could be a significant one for the billionaire, who is close to completing the world’s largest single-train oil refineries in Nigeria. The plant has the capacity to meet and exceed Nigeria’s entire fuel consumption and could transform an economy that currently imports all its refined product needs.
The AM News understands that Dangote Refinery recently took delivery of the world’s largest crude distillation equipment designed for crude oil processing, thus raising hope for the completion of the project. The Crude Distillation Column remains the largest in terms of distilling capacity, which is 650,000 barrels per stream day.
Dangote is also constructing a fertilizer plant on the same site. Phase one of the project, which is estimated to cost $2.5 billion, is to produce three million metric tones per annum of urea. The fertilizer is essential for agribusiness in Africa. The coming on stream of Dangote fertilizer would surely make Africa self-sufficient in food production and a net exporter of food to the world.
The fertilizer plant is expected to expand later to produce all grades of fertilizers, including various Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (NPK) grades required for African soils and crops. The company would soon start the production of special fertilizers like calcium ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulphate and multi grades of micronutrient based on customized fertilizers to meet the agronomic requirement of Africa.
Nevertheless, the $12 billion oil refinery and the $2.5 billion were not included in Bloomberg’s valuation, because they were not yet operational. The two plants are expected to increase Africa’s number one industrialist’s rating when they become operational.
The AM News also gathered that Africa’s wealthiest man has a huge appetite for acquiring stakes in various sectors. For example, in 2016, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) bought Twister B.V., a company headquartered in the Netherlands delivering reliable, high-yield and robust solutions in natural gas processing and separation to the upstream and midstream oil and gas sectors.
Twister’s unique separation capabilities are designed for augmenting production and streamlining processes, to capitalize on high-yield gas processing for maximizing revenues.
The Dangote Group is, therefore, on the path to creating more opportunities for the teeming youths of Nigeria and the African continent.