Aliko Dangote was born on 10th of April,1957 in Kano State. His maternal grandfather Alhaji Sanusi Dantata gave him the name ‘Aliko’ which means, a victorious one. He lost his father at the age of 8, so he did not know much about him and he was not raised by his mother.
Dangote was raised by his maternal grandfather who adored him so much for being his first grandson. He made sure things were always at his disposal in his home ‘KOKI’ Kano state. His mother runs one of the largest charity in Nigeria and she has been kept away from the public eye.
Dangote was brought up with a silver spoon, but he has carved a niche of greatness for himself by becoming independent, staying away from family business to set up his own.
How He Started His First Business
Dangote, took interest very early in entrepreneurship. He loaned a huge sum of money from his rich grand father to start his small trade in cement business and later joined his uncle “Usman” who had formed solid ties with military government and got rice importation deals in 1970.
When Mural Muhammad came into power, his uncle was one of those awarded government contract to decongest the Nigerian Seaport in Lagos and made huge fortune from the contract. During the Shagari regime, there was an unprecedented importation of essential commodities and products. As at then, Dangote’s company known as Alco was a major importer. He also supply huge tonnage of cement to government.
When the Shagari government decided to pay more attention to the construction of Abuja, the proposed new federal capital territory, Dangote cement was on point at that time. He incorporated two companies in 1981. These as well as other companies makeup the conglomerate known as the “Dangote group”.
Aliko Dangote also invested in other commodities like salt, sugar, cotton, millet, vegetable oil, cocoa and textile. One of Aliko Dangote’s business strategies for succeeding in the commodity market was to develop a strong distribution network and make the delivery of his goods faster than that of his competitors.
It’s a fully integrated cement company that has projects and operations in Nigeria and 14 other African countries. The obajana cement is also the biggest quoted company in west africa and the only nigerian company on the forbes global 2000 companies.
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Obajana cement plant (OCP) located in Kogi state is reputed to be one single largest cement plants in the world with a combined capacity of 10.25mmTPA.
The Dangote group has grown over the years with all types of established products, these products includes.
Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC
Commenced in march 2000 as the sugar division of Dangote industries limited. The sugar refining factory at apapa port was commissioned in 2001 with an initial installed capacity to process 600,000mt of raw sugar per annum.
Nascon PLC (National Salt Company PLC)
Was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company on 30th April 1973. It was privatized in April, 1982. The company is into the refining and marketing of salt of different grades such as Dangote edible salt, Dangote butter salt , Dangote industrial salt, Dangote kitchen salt.
Dangote Flour Mills
The flour mills commenced operation in 1999, as a division of Dangote industries limited (DIL) one of nigeria’s largest and fastest conglomerates, Dangote’s flour mills was incorporated in 2006. When the federal high court sanctioned a scheme of arrangement wherein all the assets, liabilities and undertakings of the erstwhile flour division of DIL was transferred to Dangote Flour Mills.
From an initial capacity of 500mt per a day at its Apapa Mill, Dangote Flour has expanded rapidly by opening in quick successions three others in Kano (2000), Calabar (2001), Ilorin (2005). Each of the mills started with an installed capacity of 500mt per day but all of them have subsequently expanded, resulting in a total installed capacity of 5000mt per day.
Dangote pasta plant, commenced business in june, 2000 at Nigeria ports authority ikorodu terminal-Lagos, Nigeria. The Dangote pasta plant started business with a single production line, churning out two million cases of 10kg spaghetti per case. The factory currently has an installed capacity of 30,000mt per annum producing several variants of macaroni and spaghetti.
The pasta production business was operated as a division of DIL until January , 2006, when it was spun-off as Dangote Pasta Limited and is now a subsidiary of Dangote Flour Mills PLC.
The pasta plant began operations in the year 2000, with one line productivity of 60 tonnes of pasta per day, it was again increased in 2003, with the addition of 2 more lines with the capacity to produce 75tonnes.
Two more production lines with an installed capacity of 230 tonnes per day were added in 2008, a mill has an installed capacity of 800 tonnes of wheat per day and providing 560 tonnes of semolina (raw material) daily for the pasta plant.
Today, a Nigerian company boasts to be the largest drink producers in Africa. It is a subsidiary of Dangote group, and it is called “Dansa foods”. Interestingly, this massive manufacturing success is in Abule osun of Lagos-state is the outcome of a single government policy. In 2002, the federal government placed an import ban on packaged fruit juice and lowered to five percent the tariff on fruit juice concentrate .
The demand for already packaged fruit juice products like Dansa juice and other brands, was then estimated at slightly 200 million litres and about 95 percent of this was imported, before the ban was placed on the finished product in 2002. Consequently, upon the ban, investment in fruit juice processing activities increased rapidly in order to meet domestic demand.
Dansa foods limited, the beverage and juice manufacturing of the Dangote group, has now unfolded an ambitious developmental and marketing plan, which is targeted at lifting the market shares of the company in the now competitive industry.
Dangote Agro Sacks
The group also produces environmental friendly polypropylene bags, majorly for internal consumption i.e the packaging of its products -cement, flour, sugar and salt. Bag production is the sole business of the group’s subsidiary, Dangote Agro sacks limited, which is able to meet the group’s current bags target and produces 50 million 50kg-bags per annum.
Dangote Agro sacks limited, which operates as a subsidiary of Dangote flour mills plc, is the largest producer of sacks in the world.
Africa’s wealthiest man, Aliko dangote, has signed a multi-billion dollar deal with banks to finance the building of an oil refinery in Nigeria. Dangote signed a $3.3bn loan deal with local and foreign banks to build the refinery, as well as fertilizer and petrol chemical plants. At completion in 2006, the project would turn to be Africa’s leading producer of crude oil, refined petroleum products and fertilizer.
However, achieving all these things is not just a day job. It is serious and sleepless effort that makes Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the family to get to that height in Africa. You too as a youth can strive hard to attain such a level, if you are disciplined, bold, dedicated, committed, focus, have big dream etc, you will achieve all set for yourself in life.
All these cannot be achieved without setting priorities, goals and basic objectives for everything you are doing right from your youthful age. Decide today, if you too want to become a billionaire like the Africa’s richest, Aliko Dangote.