Aliko Dangote Nigerian businessman

Aliko Dangote (born April 10, 1957, Kano, Nigeria) Nigerian businessman and philanthropist who is the founder and CEO of the Dangote Group conglomerate.

Dangote, of the Hausa ethnic group, was born to Mariya Sanusi Dantata and Mohammed Dangote. His maternal ancestors were prosperous caravan traders under British colonial rule, and his grandfather Alhaji Sanusi Dantata was a commodities trader. His grandfather was heavily involved in Dangote’s upbringing and helped inspire the entrepreneurial spirit in his grandson: when Dangote was eight years old, he used pocket money furnished by his grandfather to buy sweets, which he had others sell for a profit. Dangote was raised in the Islamic faith and is a practicing Muslim.

After completing studies in business at Al-Azhar University, an Islamic institution in Cairo, in 1977, Dangote returned to Nigeria and was given a loan by his uncle to start a business, which traded commodities and business supplies, primarily cement. By 1981 his firm was so successful that he had incorporated other businesses and established the Dangote Group. His empire extended to foodstuffs, including pasta, sugar, salt, and wheat; cement; haulage; and other concerns. Among his holdings were Dangote Industries Ltd., Dangote-Bail Nigeria, Ltd., Dangote Cement PLC, Benue Cement Company PLC, Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC, Dangote Flour Mills PLC, and Nascon Allied Industries PLC. In addition to its holdings in Nigeria, the Dangote Group has operations in several other African countries.

One of the most ambitious projects that Dangote was involved in was the construction of a massive oil refinery in Lagos state. He spearheaded the project in 2013 in an effort to solve the fuel crisis in Nigeria, which, despite being a leading oil-producing country, had to import most of the refined petroleum products it needed. At the same site Dangote also built a fertilizer plant and a power station. After several years of delays, the refinery—the largest in all of Africa—opened in May 2023, though it was not yet fully operational. It was anticipated that the refinery’s production capacity of 650,000 barrels per day would significantly alter Nigeria’s energy sector by eliminating the need for imported fuel while producing excess to export. In addition, the project generated an enormous number of temporary and permanent jobs during the construction phase and after completion.

Dangote’s business success brought him great wealth. In 2008 he made his debut on Forbes magazine’s annual list of billionaires in the world. In 2011, when Forbes launched its annual list of the 40 richest people in Africa, Dangote landed the top spot. Since then he has routinely ranked on both lists as well as in other, similar measures of wealth in Africa and in the world.

In 2016 Dangote faced scrutiny when his name surfaced in the so-called Panama Papers, which disclosed names of individuals who were linked to offshore shell companies. He was personally linked to 4 such companies, and his family and business associates were linked to at least 13.

Dangote is well known for his humanitarian efforts. In 1994 the Dangote Foundation was incorporated for his philanthropic endeavours; it was renamed Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) in 2018. The foundation has focused much effort on addressing childhood malnutrition. It has also contributed toward efforts to combat viruses, such as those that cause polioEbola, and COVID-19. Moreover, the foundation has provided disaster relief.


Many awards and honours have been bestowed on Dangote over the years. In 2011 he was made a Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), Nigeria’s second highest honour, in recognition of his contributions to Nigeria’s economic development. Other honours he has received include being made a Grand Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Benin (2013), a Commander of the National Order of Valour (2021) of Cameroon, and a Commander of the Order of Merit of Niger (2022).



Aliko Dangote Nigerian businessman

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