The golden child of Nigerian business circles “Aliko Dangote” has been a great source of inspiration to entrepreneurs in Nigeria and across Africa especially those who really want to start small but with big dreams. In his journey of entrepreneurship, he identified and took advantage of opportunities. He was not discouraged by challenges which has resulted in his great achievement in business world and also made him the business icon of our time. The Nigerian billionaire as he is fondly called is one of the greatest Nigerian and African men who started very small and grew rapidly as a result of complete focus on what he knew how best to do. We all know how prominent Aliko Dangote has become in Nigeria and the world at large, but know very little facts about him.
1. Birth Information:
He was born on 10th of April year 1957 in Kano State into a wealthy Muslim family. From the time he was young Dangote had an eye on business.
Alhaji Aliko studied Business Studies and graduated from Al-Azahar University, Cairo, Egypt. Many of us didn’t know Aliko Dangote got his initial capital at 21 years from his uncle, the late Alhaji Sanusi Dantata to start his own business, as was the practice then. He thus started business in Kano in 1977 trading in commodities and also building supplies. Same year he moved to Lagos and decided to trade on cement.
3. How Much He Loved Business:
Surprisingly while in primary school, he would buy cartons of sweets (sugar boxes) and would sell to fellow students to make profits. This proves his huge interest in business, even at that time.
Very few Nigerian knew that Dangote played a very prominent role in the funding of Olusegun Obasanjo’s re-election bid in 2003, to which he gave over 200 million naira. In addition, he contributed 50 million naira to the National Mosque under the aegis of “Friends of Obasanjo and Atiku” and also contributed 200 million to the Presidential Library. These highly controversial gifts to members of the ruling Party (PDP) gave rise to significant concerns despite highly publicised anti-corruption campaign during Obasanjo’s second term.
Goodluck Jonathan awarded Dangote Nigeria’s second highest honour, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) on 14 November 2011.