Early Life and Education
Aliko Dangote was born in 10th April 1957 in a prominent business family of Nigeria. His great Grandfather, Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, was the richest man in Nigeria in his time, till his death. His parents were Mariya and Mohammed Dangote. He is an ethnic conservative Muslim hausa from the Kano state. He has a brother names Sano Dangote. When he was in primary school, he once go and buy cartons of sweets [candy] and he would start selling them just to make money. He was so interested in business, even at that time. The spirit and gene of entrepreneur skills is in his blood, He was very business minded right when he was a child, even though he was born into a wealthy family, being hard working, and self motivated lead him to become one of the successful C.E.O in the whole of Africa.
From Dangote own mother’s side, Dangote has three siblings: Sani, Bello and a younger brother who died in an air crash in Kano with Ibrahim Abacha in 1996. Dangote’s mother, who became a widow in 1965 is still very much alive, was honoured with a degree by the Bayero University, Kano (BUK), runs one of the largest charities in Nigeria but is protected from the public eye. When Dangote bought his recreational boat, he named it after his Mother, calling it Mariya.
For someone who grew up in Kano, a city of knowledge, it was no surprise that Dangote took to educating himself. Like many of his peers growing up under the great influence of Islamic scholars of the old city, he took off to one of the oldest universities on earth, Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.
-1964: Kano Capital Elementary School (during break time in the high-brow primary school with other schoolkids who wanted sweets, Aliko would bring out a handful and told his jolly good friends that they could have one for a dime. He was that sharp.)
-1964: Sheikh Ali Kumasi Madrasa (Arabic School): He attended the Quranic school when he returned from the primary school, a pattern that is common with many Nigerian Muslims.
-1970s: Capital High School, Kano.
-1970s: School of Economics & Business, Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, where he bagged a degree in business studies and administration. In addition to all these forms of formal education, he also got a great deal of informal education from his grandfather, which he makes use of till this day. Hear him: ‘All my business acumen and instincts I inherited from my maternal grandfather. As his first grandson, he poured his business wizardry into me. I would not have been where I am today without him; a very great man, loving and caring.’
Aliko Dangote first ventured into business in 1977 at the age of 21 years. He started with a small capital given to him by his grandfather, Alhaji Sanusi Dantata. He was involved in trading in local commodities and building materials. Around June 1977, he moved into Lagos and continued his trade. Aliko Dangote’s business started to experience tremendous success and increase. This encouraged him to incorporate two companies in 1981. These and more companies to follow have developed into the Dangote Group.
Today, it is a multi-trillion naira conglomerate with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo. Dangote has expanded to cover food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight. The Dangote Group also dominates the sugar market in Nigeria and is a major supplier to the country’s soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners. The Dangote Group has moved from being a trading company to being the largest industrial group in Nigeria including Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Flour.
In July 2012, Dangote approached the Nigerian Ports Authorities to lease an abandoned piece of land at the Apapa Port, which was approved. He later built facilities for his flour company there. In the 1990s, he approached the Central Bank of Nigeria with the idea that it would be cheaper for the bank to allow his transport company to manage their fleet of staff buses, a proposal that was also approved.
In Nigeria today, Dangote Group with its dominance in the sugar market and refinery business is the main supplier (70 per cent of the market) to the country’s soft drinks companies, breweries and confectioners. It is the largest refinery in Africa and the third largest in the world, producing 800,000 tonnes of sugar annually. Dangote Group owns salt factories and flour mills and is a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement and fertiliser. The company exports cotton, cashew nuts, cocoa, sesame seed and ginger to several countries. It also has major investments in real estate, banking, transport, textiles and oil and gas. The company employs more than 11,000 people and is the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa.
Dangote has diversified into telecommunications and has started building 14,000 kilometres of fibre optic cables to supply the whole of Nigeria. As a result, Dangote was honoured in January 2009 as the leading provider of employment in the Nigerian construction industry.
He has said, “Let me tell you this and I want to really emphasize it. nothing is going to help Nigeria like Nigerians bringing back their money. If you give me $5 billion today, I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put our heads together and work.”
Like we all see in the world today, most lady forsake their partner based on lack of financial stability, Dangote first wife he married to forsake, divorced him. calm and stupendously wealthy, it is no surprise that not a few women cannot resist the charm of Dangote. Aliko Dangote has 15 children even though three from his current marriage (Halima, Fatima and Sadia) are officially listed. His children include; Zaynab, Salman, Fatima, Aisha, Sadia, Halima
Alhaji Aliko Dangote has been married and divorced three times before his current marriage. He was not engaged in polygamy at any point but took one wife at a time. In May 1977, his family selected his first wife for him and the union was consummated without delay. Aliko had just turned 20. Fast forward to 2009, Dangote fell in love with the young daughter of the late Nigerian President, Nafisat Yar’adua (now the wife of the Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Isa Yuguda). Nafisat turned down Dangote’s advances for one reason: she was friends with Halima, Dangote’s daughter. Nafisat, at the age of 21, became Governor Yuguda’s fourth wife in 2009.
Like any other man, his ego was hurt. You will get a better picture of the scenario when you realize the fact that one of the former wives of Dangote (Hajia Mariya A.D Rufai, see below) was married to Governor Yuguda (although he later divorced her in June 2010 after 10 years of marriage over irreconcilable differences but some of the reasons alluded to was that she was absent at President Yar’adua’s (Yuguda’s in-law) burial, allegedly leaking sensitive state secrets to Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, then Secretary to the Federal Government and the final straw that enraged the Governor was the fact that she congratulated Alhaji Bala Mohammed, the new minister of the Federal Capital Territory, who was a bitter enemy of the Governor who was desperate to get a second term and felt he could spoil his chances). But calmly and gracefully, Dangote took all life threw at him and when you see his charming and disarming smiles, you’d never guess he was once heartbroken.
After he divorced his first wife that his family got for him, he married Mariya A. D Muhammad Rufai, a Senator’s daughter and former Bauchi State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Human Services. After he divorced her, he married two other women but the marriages collapsed.
Some other women have also been romantically linked to the billionaire. These include the Director and Secretary of his United Kingdom subsidiary, Dangote Global Services, Miss Oluwatosin Coker while another is the late Ondo-born business executive, sugar merchant and reverend with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Rev. Chief (Mrs.) Josephine Oluwadamilola Kuteyi, with whom he dragged the purchase of the Bacita Sugar Factory. A divorcee mother of four sons (Saheed, Ganiyu, Ahmed and Rasaq), she died in a helicopter crash in Osun State in 2011 while on her way to her Bacita sugar company in Kwara State. The helicopter plunged from a height of 2,500 feet, killing all the occupants.
Acquired Material Properties
Cars; Rich people have a soft spot in heart for expensive luxury cars. Aliko Dangote is not an exception. His motor vehicle building contains so much horsepower. Among his cars are: Mercedes, Maybach’s, Buggati’s, Bentleys.
Private Jet; A brand new Bombardier‘s Global Express XRS private jet belonging to business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, made its maiden entry in the Nigerian airspace, as it landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, in the early hours of Saturday, from Montreal, Canada. The eight-seater aircraft currently parked at the General Aviation Terminal, near Associated Airlines‘ hangar is valued at over $45m. Interestingly, The aircraft which is laced with latest flight facilities, aviation sources said, is one of the most luxurious in the world.
House; Dangote permitted an invasion into the most private, recently television have made an opening of showing Aliko Dangote mansion in Northern Abuja. Mr. Dangote has lived with his family in this house for 12 years. Now this property is offered for sale, the reason for this is a purchase of a new residence in the United Kingdom. Dangote house looks amazing, it can be compared with a palace, light inside, stylishly furnished, full of invaluable items and pieces of art.
As of 10/13/2017 Dangote worth 13.2 Billion. Dangote was ranked 51st richest in the world in 2016 with a net worth of $15.4 billion, currently has a net worth of $12.2 billion, He was ranked 37th richest man in the world in 2014 with a net worth of $25 billion.
Aliko Dangote is been honoured base on his philanthropic deed to the masses and his contribution to the government, he has been supporting less privileged, these are the honoured and award list below;
- Dangote was named as the Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2014. The other nominees were South Africa’s Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC), Arunma Oteh, and President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka.
- In 2013, Dangote and six other prominent Nigerians were conferred honorary citizenship of Arkansas State by Governor Mike Beebe who also proclaimed 30 May of every year as Nigeria Day in the US. The other prominent Nigerians are: Chief Ms. Temitope Ajayi, the President and CEO of Nigerian-American Agricultural Empowerment Programme; Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State; Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Prof. Tajudeen Gbadamosi, a former lecturer of University of Lagos; Prof. Ade Adefuye, the Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States; Prof. Julius Okojie, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission.
- he became the first private sector citizen to bag the award. The honour did not come to many as a surprise; rather it complements his status as a true business mogul of our time. The award is the country’s second highest national honor, after the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), an award which is exclusively reserved for Nigerian Presidents and Heads of state.
- The Dangote Group was rated among Top 40 African Challengers in 2010 by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and was also adjudged the Investor of the Year 2010 by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC).
- Dangote Cement Plc, one of the four listed subsidiaries of the Group, made history when it became the largest quoted company in the country, following its historic merger with sister company Benue Cement Company Plc (BCC) and the eventual listing of the emergent company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
- Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) PLC was awarded the Best African Initial Public Offer for 2007 by Africa Investors’ in November 2007
- Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC won the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s President Merit Award for the best quoted company in the Food and Beverage sector, The Standards Organization of Nigeria awarded the company
- Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) award is the most significant achievement is most heart-warming. As a recipient of the second highest award of the country of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger GCON, Alhaji Dangote has in this wise become the first individual outside government to receive the nation’s second highest national honor. In the past, the GCON had only been awarded to Vice-Presidents, Chief Justices of the country and Senate Presidents. Dangote’s GCON award, according to information, is in recognition of the immense contributions he has made and is still making to the economic development of Nigeria.
Life Lesson from Aliko Dangote
- He once worked for someone; He once worked for someone Dangote worked for his uncle, Sani Dangote. He served his master diligently. He acted in accordance to the statement which says if you must lead, you must serve. It was while working for his uncle that he gathered experience, skills and confidence.
- He obeys the laws of the land Unlike other cunning businessmen, Dangote is an upright man as far as abiding by the rules and regulations governing the ethics of business are concerned. He keeps his credit records as well as his tax records tidy and he preaches that business should be done as stipulated by the regulatory bodies.
- He leaped from importation to manufacturing After some years in his importation business, Aliko Dangote transformed into a producer of products he was importing. In one of his statements, he revealed that changing from an importer to a manufacturer has so far been his best move. The move produced Dangote Group, an organization that controls over 13 companies.
- He took a loan to start his business; Aliko Dangote started his business with the NGN 500,000 loan he took from his uncle/master. He approached his uncle in 1977 and told him about his plan to establish a business outfit and his uncle gave him the loan to start the business. However, he was given a three-month-deadline and he repaid the loan in three months.
- He kicked off his business by trading in commodities; Sugar, rice, pasta, salt, cotton, millet, cocoa, textile and vegetable oil were the commodities he started his business with. He was importing these commodities into Nigeria.
- He works pretty hard As an astute businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote spends most of his time strategizing and brainstorming on how to grow his business. Reports have it that he sleeps by 2:00 am and wakes up by 5:00 am everyday. Can you beat that?
- He developed a strong distribution network Since production is not complete until the goods reach the final consumer, Dangote developed a strong distribution channel that made his goods delivered faster than his competitors’ goods