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Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Nigeria’s pride, Africa’s pride turns 60

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Nigeria’s pride, Africa’s pride turns 60

Alhaji Aliko Dangote was born into a prominent business family of Kano, on April 10, 1957. He is the grandson of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata,one of the richest Africans of his time. With an eye for business since childhood, he engaged himself in buying and selling early in life. According to him: “ 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 to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time”.

With a startup loan of 5,000:00 (Five thousand Naira only) in 1977 from his uncle, Alhaji Dantata, he established his business, which today has grown to become, the Dangote Group. The Dangote Group is today arguably the largest and most established conglomerate of African origin. The Dangote Group operates in areas that include, but not limited to, farming and food processing, cement manufacturing, freight, transportation and general merchandising. The Dangote Group is also an industrial complex with active participation in sugar and salt, refineries, pasta and flour mills as well as petroleum and petrol-chemical refinery. The Group with headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, has presence in other countries like Benin Republic, Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa.

Alhaji Aliko Dangote is rated by Forbes as African’s richest man and among the world’s 100 richest men with a networth of over S4.5 billion. He has received several honours and recognition across the world, including from Forbes. The Nigerian government, in appreciation of his contribution to economic, industrial and social cultural development of the nation, awarded him the Grand Commander of the order of the Niger, GCON, the highest honour for a civilian in the land. He is also a recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from several higher institutions, including Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan ,UI.

Alhaji Dangote was honoured as The Guardian Man of The Year 2015.The prestigious recognition ,according to the Chairman/Publisher of Guardian Newspapers Limited, Lady Maiden Alex- Ibru, was in keeping with the tradition of the media outfit to celebrate trailblazers.

According to the publisher, The Guardian saw early on the need to single out trailblazers as worthy examples for the society, which necessitated the institution of the Man of the Year Award, to celebrate individuals and groups that have made the greatest impact in the lives of the people, nation, continent and the world.

Speaking on the choice of Dangote for the award, Mrs. Ibru said the highly successful entrepreneur was an easier pick.Her words “In our estimation, he stood shoulders higher than others in his bold efforts to become the builder of modern Africa, to create jobs for our teeming population and courageously confront conventional wisdom that says an African entrepreneur stands no chance when pitched against multinational firms from Europe, North America and Asia.”

In the process, Alhaji Aliko has rewritten the form book that indicates that Africans would rather patronise western and Asian firms than one of their own. In choosing Dangote, The Guardian is making a poignant statement about the role of the newspaper in the society- One of which is identifying heroes and publicising good examples as a way of redirecting the values of the society. This is what The Guardian has sought to do with the personalities chosen over the years.”

In his remarks, Dangote said he had received three awards that year (2015 )and the one from The Guardian stood out from the others beating the two from Forbes. According to him, the Forbes Award was about his worth monetarily which does not matter to him because he would rather work hard than somebody telling him his worth, because “I know what I am worth.”

He noted that feats by indigenous investors are often times not recognised by their countries and in the local media, thus making The Guardian award notable and commendable.

With at least $16 billion worth of investments in the Nigerian economy, the President of Dangote Group has unveiled plans to surpass the Federal Government’s investments in the private sector since 1980 through expansion of its existing capacity and raising stakes in new investments.

A philanthropist per excellence, he has impacted positively on the lives of many, especially on women and children through the activities of the Dangote Foundation.
According to Wikipedia, The Dangote Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Dangote Group. The foundation is responsible for contributing over $100 million in charitable funds to several causes in Nigeria and Africa over the past four years.The primary aim of the foundation is to reduce the number of lives lost due to malnutrition and diseases.

In 1997 the foundation was incorporated as a charity in Lagos. Twenty years later, it has become the largest private Foundation in sub-Saharan Africa with the largest endowmwnt by a single donor. Aliko Dangote created the Aliko Dangote Foundation as a vehicle for philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, focusing on helping the less privileged. The organization started off being largely grant based but has evolved to operate and implement programs and has intervened in various areas, most notably healthcare and disaster relief.

In 2013, IT collaborated with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to work on eradicating polio and strengthening routine immunization in northern NIgeria. As a direct result of this ongoing patnership, there has not been any new case of polio since July 2014, but in 2016, new cases were founded.

In 2014, a new board of trustees was appointed to oversee the Foundation and Aliko Dangote endowed the Foundation with 220 bilion Naira, the equivalent of $1.25 billion. The board appointed a new management team in January 2015, with a clear mandate to develop a new strategy.

Activities Some of the foundation’s activities in Nigeria include N1 billion for Nigerian universities.This includes N500 million for development of a business school in Bayero University and N100 million for the proposed Otuoke University in Bayelsa State. The Foundation also disbursed N230 million to women e as a micro grant as part of the Kogi Human Capital Development initiative. In order to alleviate the plight of communities in Jos suffering from effects of a prolonged ethno-religious crises in 2010, the Dangote Foundation made a donation of relief materials worth N50 million to the community leaders.The foundation is actively involved in providing relief materials and rehabilation support to victims of insurgency in the North East as well as other internally displaced persona across the country.

Activities abroad: The foundation donated $2 million to the World Food Programme as part of efforts to help Pakistani devastated by floods in the year 2010. Speaking on the donation, Dangote said: “The hearts of all Africans go out to the people of Pakistan as they go through this ordeal. Africa is not only a recipient of humanitarian aid, but is also able to help her brothers and sisters in Pakistan and elsewhere where there is suffering. Helping our family, in this case our global family is part of Africa’s traditional values.”

Flooding relief in Nigeria
The President of the Dangote Foundation, was made the chairperson of the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief. The Committee raised in excess of N11.35 billion, of which Dangote Foundation contributed N2.5 billion, an amount higher than the entire contribution from the 36 state governors in Nigeria.[

Strategic partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
In 2013, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with the Dangote Foundation to eradicate polio in Nigeria
As aptly described at the 2015 Guardian Man of The Year Award by the newspapers Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Alexander Thomopoulous, “He is a pride to Nigeria, Africa and the black race across the world. His humility and character stands him out.”

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That a popular music star planned on leading a nationwide protest against the state of government-lessness in the country is no longer news.

That I Charles Ogbu fully endorse any action against the political Ebola we currently have in Asorock is not debatable.


I find it criminally offensive that the organizers of the protest fixed the venue for the kano protest at Rumfa Primary School, Enugu road, Sabon Geri –a town that is over 90% Igbos.

It is my belief that considering the history of the Igbos in this country, any man or woman who chosed Sabon Geri –a place where Igbos live and make ends-meet in kano– as the venue for a supposed national protest against an unrepentant Northern irredentist such as Buhari, does not mean the Igbos well. Matter of fact, such a person is only looking to spill Igbo blood.

Why Sabon Geri? Why not other neutral places in kano?

It shall never be well with anyone who plans on setting the Igbos up for another pogrom.

Asking the Igbos to use their home and venue for their business(Sabon Geri) to stage a protest against Buhari in kano is plain evil.

Even the dumbest Nigerian knows that an average Northern Muslim will rather be ruled by Buhari, a fellow Muslim even if a bag of rice is sold at N1m than be ruled by God himself if He (God) is not a Northern Muslim.

We don’t need a Crystal ball to know that if this protest is eventually held in Sabon Geri, the Sharia govt of kano state will tag it an Igbo protest and certainly, there will be consequences ranging from “accidental” fire in the market to outright demolition under the guise of relocating the market. That is assuming the protesters who will be 90% ‘Nyamiri’ (Hausa’s derogatory word for Igbos) are not shot dead or bombed right there at the venue.

The worst part of this whole thing is that if soldiers use live bullets on the Igbo protesters on the day of the protest, the same Nigerians who have been typing “We will protest”, “IStandWith2Face”, etc while holed up in peaceful places like Lagos and Port Harcourt will be all over Facebook gloating and blaming the same Igbos for protesting against a Northern Muslim president in kano of all places.

Recall how both pro and anti-Trump rallies were held all over the world including Lagos state on the day of Donald Trump inauguration. But when IPOB held their own rally in Port Harcourt, Nigerian security forces killed dozens of them and charged over 60 arrested others with TREASON. Simply for holding a rally.

And how did Nigerians react?

They blamed the dead IPOB members for holding a pro-Trump rally in Port Harcourt but said nothing to the security forces who murdered unarmed civilians simply for holding a peaceful rally which they had right to. The arrested IPOB members are still in jail, answering TREASON charges. And those morally bankrupt Nigerians who mocked the dead IPOB members and blamed them for holding a rally in rivers state are still the same people encouraging Igbos in Sabon Geri to use their home and business venue in kano to protest against a Northern Muslim president.

How many non Igbo Facebook user condemned that killing of the unarmed IPOB activists in Port Harcourt? How many? Most of them justified it. Go check their timeline. Even those ones who blamed the army for killing the road blocking Shiites (and rightly so) did a 360 degree U-turn and blamed the dead IPOB members for holding a peaceful rally.

Believe it or not, some Nigerians derive orgasm from any misfortune that befall an Igbo man.

Ndigbo, muru anya ka Azu! Use your #number6. We have sacrificed too much of our blood for this country already!

If you have loved ones in Kano, please, I beg you in the name of whatever you hold dear, pick up your phone now and tell them to stay away from any protest in the North. This is a trap to set the Igbos up for another pogrom.

Recall that the 1966 coup was organised by officers from almost every tribe in the country including Yoruba, Esa, Tiv and even Hausa fulani. Yes! Hausa fulani officers like Lt. Tijani Katsina and 2nd Lt. Saleh Dambo were part of the coup plotters but even as I type this, an average Nigerian has continued to classify that coup as an Igbo coup and use same to justify the ethnic cleansing against Igbos living in the North then even when northerners started killing Igbos in large numbers as far back as 1945 in the Jos pogrom Iong before independence.

I understand that some of us who like paying heed to political correctness even at the cost of human lives will come here with all manner of lopsided logic but before you do, you will do well to remember how many times Lagos state govt has demolished markets occupied by mainly Igbo businesses under the guise of relocating them. I can tell you for free that some of those demolitions are punishments for your perceived support for Jimmy Agbaje during the last election.

Argue this from now till next year but please, if you value your life and those of your loved ones plus your businesses, you will stay away from any protest in kano. Those who put that venue at Sabon Geri are targeting you. This is a trap. And when this trap catches you, the same people typing “I Stand With 2Face” will turn around and ask you why you were protesting in another man’s land. This is how consistently inconsistent an average Nigerian is.

Yesterday, I wrote that I would not hesitate to join forces with even Lucifer to protest against this death merchant from Daura. I still stand by it. But, if this my Lucifer partner asks me to lead the Kano branch of the protest while he leads the one in places like Port Harcourt or Lagos, I will look him straight in the face and tell him, “my dear Lucifer, go to hell!”.

World: Christmas Day Tragedy: Russian plane crash: No reports of survivors as wreckage found after Syria-bound aircraft disappears from radar

Among the 92 people onboard were musicians thought to be from the Alexandrov Ensemble, one of the world’s most famous military choirs

According to  reports from  UK Mirror,  there were no immediate reports of survivors and there are fears that all of the passengers and crew on the aircraft were killed in the horror crash.

Some of the wreckage was said to be at a depth of 50 to 70 metres.

In addition to members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, the plane was reportedly carrying Russian servicemen and journalists when it plunged into the sea

Initial reports suggested a technical fault occurred as it gained altitude after takeoff.

A picture of a Tupolev-154 aircraft, similar to the one that crashed this morning

“91 people, including musicians and media were on board the aircraft,” said a security services representative. This figure was later said to be 92.

The plane was travelling to Latakia in Syria when it vanished from radar screens and crashed into the sea, Russian agencies reported, citing unnamed security sources.

Contact with the aircraft was lost at around 5.40am local time (2.40am UK time).

Among the passengers were musicians thought to be from the Alexandrov Ensemble
Alexandrov Emsenble

“The jet disappeared from radars about 20 minutes after takeoff: it departed [from Sochi] at 5.20 AM local time and the contact was lost at about 5.40 AM,” said one source.

The Alexandrov Emsenble is an official army choir of the Russian armed forces.

Founded during the Soviet era, the ensemble consists of a male choir, an orchestra, and a dance ensemble.

Leading TV presenter Andrey Malakhov said today on Twitter: “On board of crashed aircraft were my colleagues – journalists … very sad morning … RIP”.