·        Seeks $3.3 bn In  a Bold bid to make lasting impression in world of petrochemical oil refinery
·        ‘We will not rest on our oar’’ assures a Dangote Group spokesman


Africa’s richest man and top global mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote is back in the news again, and for sure, the world is yet to hear the last from this rise and rise again fairy tale story of business merchant.
Amazing! Despite the fact that Dangote group alone makes up to 30%, the end of the road to enlarge more seems not yet in sight as we can reveal that the group whose interest  covers almost all area of basic needs of life is now set to build a whopping $9 billion oil refinery and petrochemical complex.
Of this princely sum, the group is fishing for a loan deal totally about $ 3.3 billion, expected to be signed with financiers on September 4th 2013, in a refinery that is expected to have a capacity of around 400,000 barrels a day by the year 2016, which will in all front, expected to double Africa’s giant, Nigeria’s refining capacity, which as at today is operating below that 400.000 barrels that Dangote is targeting.
In an enquiry, Dangote group spokesman, Anthony Chiejina posited that the move is workable and is expected to be very profitable, while at the same time assuring the world that: ‘’ We are not resting on our oars. The complex, which will include petrochemical and fertilizers, could end up being the single largest contribution Nigeria’s dream of economic transformation agenda.
The way the pendulum is swinging, the name and the man Aliko Dangote, may at the end of the day, toe the line of what legendary English philosopher, Sir William Hazlitt once mused on life and greatness.
Hear him: ‘No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history’’
Alhaj Aliko Dangote, MFR, GCON a self-made business magnate, with an estimated net worth of  over $20 billion USD is the  owner of  Dangote Group, and first African to hit the over $20 billion mark and has  interests in commodities with operations in Nigeria  and several other countries in Africa, including Benin, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia. The Dangote Group is one of the most diversified business conglomerates in Africa with a hard-earned reputation for excellent business practices and products' quality with its operational headquarters in the bustling metropolis of Lagos, Nigeria in West Africa.

The Group's activities encompass:
Cement - Manufacturing / Importing - Manufacturing & Refining Salt - Refining & Semolina - Milling - Manufacturing - Manufacturing Products - Manufacturing Logistics - Port Management and Haulage Estate, Dangote Foundation.
Since inception, the Group has experienced phenomenal growth on account of quality of its goods and services, its focus on cost leadership and efficiency of its human capital. Today, Dangote Group is a multi-billion Naira company poised to reach new heights, in every Endeavour competing with itself to better the past.

The Group's core business focus is to provide local, value added products and services that meet the 'basic needs' of the populace. Through the construction and operation of large scale manufacturing facilities in Nigeria and across Africa, the Group is focused on building local manufacturing capacity to generate employment and provide goods for the people.
Established in May 1981 as a trading business with an initial focus on cement, the Group diversified over time into a conglomerate trading cement, sugar, flour, salt and fish. By the early 1990s the Group had grown into one of the largest trading conglomerates operating in the country.
In 1999, following the transition to civilian rule and after an inspirational visit to Brazil to study the emerging manufacturing sector, the Group made a strategic decision to transit from a trading based business into a fully fledged manufacturing operation. In a country where imports constitute the vast majority of consumer goods, a clear gap existed for a manufacturing operation that could meet the 'basic needs' of a vast and fast growing population.
The Group embarked on an ambitious construction programme, initially focused on the construction of flour mills, a sugar refinery and a pasta factory. In 2000 the Group acquired the Benue Cement Company Plc from the Nigerian government and in 2003 commissioned the Obajana Cement Plant; the largest cement plant in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Group is now one of the largest manufacturing conglomerates in sub-Saharan Africa and is pursuing further backward integration alongside an expansion programme in existing and new sectors.
Dangote, right from when he was young had an eye on business. He once said, "I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets [sugar boxes] and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time." He studied business from the Al Azhar University, Cairo in Egypt, and thereafter returned to Nigeria to work with his uncle Sanusi Abdulkadir Dantata. The uncle afterwards gave him a loan of =N500, 000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) when he was just 21 years old to start a business.
That fund is today the secret of his success, and he never wasted time to advice young ones on art of being shrewd with their money. Hear him: ‘Don’t eat your seed money’’
At the time, Dangote was given the N500, 000 loan in 1978, which he could have easily used to chase cars, houses and whatever caught his fancy. Back then, a Mercedes Benz car was sold for N5, 000 while a Volkswagen Beetle went for N900 to N1, 000. But he didn’t do any of those, instead he invested the money and he was able to pay back the loan in six months, as against the originally thought three or four years.
The Dangote Group which started as a small trading firm was established in the year 1977. Today, it is no longer small but now a multi-trillion naira conglomerate with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo. At present, Dangote has enlarged his line of businesses to also cover food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight. It is important to point out here that, Dangote Group also dominates the sugar market in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, it is the major sugar supplier to the country's soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners. Besides these achievements, Dangote Group has also moved from being a trading company to being the largest industrial group in Nigeria and these include: Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Flour just to mention but a few.
As per what qualities a business man should possess, Aliko Dangote possesses a knack for seeing opportunities beyond the naked eyes that others can never see. This is because, in the month of July 2012, he approached the Nigerian Ports Authority with the idea of leasing an abandoned piece of land at the Apapa Port, which was welcomed and approved. He later went to build facilities for his flour company there. So also in the 90's, 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 which was also approved.
In Nigeria as of today, Dangote Group with its dominance in the sugar market and Sugar Refinery is the main supplier (70% of the market) to the country's soft drinks companies, breweries and confectioners. It is indeed, the largest refinery in Africa and the third largest in the world producing 800,000 tonnes of sugar annually. Apart from these, Dangote Group owns salt factories and flour mills and also being a major importer of rice, fish, pasta, cement and fertilizer. 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 over 11,000 people and is the largest industrial conglomerate in the whole of West Africa.
Dangote is also exploring into telecommunications and has started building 14,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables to supply the whole of Nigeria and as a result, he was honored in January 2009 as the leading provider of employment in the Nigerian construction industry.
He 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."
Little wonder , On the 14th of November, 2011, Dangote was awarded a National Honour, the Nigeria's second highest honor, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) by the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
On a most parting note, what advice does the billionaire in dollars have for young ambitious people that wishes to be like him? Slow and steady wins the race; make that your philosophy.
At a business lecture recently he divulged: ‘Today, the world knows Dangote as a billionaire but did you know that it took me 30 years to amass $1 billion! My journey is a very interesting one, showing all the features of luck, opportunity, hard work and providence, but most of all patience.
Is Dr Aliko a recluse? Does he have time to unwind? For sure he is human, he confessed: ‘I love to Relax, and let go of stress and worries’’
At one time, Dangote said he had trained himself not to let stress or worry affect his sleep, recommending that other entrepreneurs train themselves in this. “Even if someone had to tell me I would die tomorrow, I would still sleep.
On how he relaxes, he said, “my only enjoyment is to sit around and talk with my friends, and exercise. I like to exercise, and if people are having weddings or whatever I like to show up for 10-20 minutes and then I go. ‘Indeed, not a few more page can sum up life and time of the man Aliko, and  as he get set for A major milestone towards the construction of Nigeria’s first private and Africa’s largest petroleum refinery with the signing of a term loan between Dangote Group and a consortium of local and foreign banks for the financing of the project. In what could be the single largest contribution to the Nigerian government’s economic transformation agenda, to build the largest refinery/petrochemical/fertilizer complex in Africa at the Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas (OKLNG) Free Trade Zone, we cannot but help to all take a bow for the majestic feat of Aliko, the pride of black race.


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