Iyinoluwa Aboyeji: “Tear down this cement wall!” – Aliko Dangote and Nigeria’s Accidental Billionaires (YNaija Frontpage)

 

      “I’m like Che Guevara with bling on, I’m complex”

      – Jay-Z (Public Service Announcement)

Last week, Forbes released a report that showed Aliko Dangote’s personal worth of $11.2 billion actually constitutes 2.4% of the Nigeria’s GDP at $414 billion.

Let us put these figures in some badly needed context:

John D Rockerfeller, one of America’s richest men ever, commanded a personal fortune of 1.53% of the US’ GDP at the time of his death. In fact, even today, the personal fortunes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, the two richest men in America, collectively fall short of 1% of the US’ GDP today.

Why am I sharing these statistics with you? Because statistics like this show the stark reality of economic inequality and opportunity in this country. Indeed, it is quickly approaching criminal proportions.

Now don’t get me wrong; Dangote might be wealthy because he is an amazing business man who works hard for his money and deserves it. After all, given our political climate doing any kind of business in Nigeria is not for the faint-hearted. However, I contend that in Nigeria, it is the government’s economic policies as opposed to the sheer ingenuity or talent of Nigeria’s richest persons, that has resulted in this unusual concentration of the country’s wealth.

As all should  know, Dangote is a man whose fortune he has built entirely on trade, domestic and international. In many ways, Dangote and his conglomerate are the nation’s store keepers, importing and selling to us panaceas for our most basic needs; food clothing and shelter. However, what is particularly interesting about Dangote’s businesses are that they are, almost without exception, successful by virtue of incredulous monopolies granted to him by government issued import licenses in industries well-guarded by an arsenal of import bans and unconscionable tarrifs. What is particularly shocking about this arrangement is that it almost always means the impoverished Nigerian consumer is paying far more than world prices for his most basic needs.

One rather ironic example of the impact Dangote’s monopolies have had on our development is in the area of infrastructure, where government has identified a deficit of $200 billion. Clearly, this far exceeds what the government can afford. Yet, cement, an integral ingredient for developing most kinds of infrastructure carries a 35% duty tax and costs $260 per metric tonne in Nigeria as opposed to Hongkong, another infrastructure needy country where cement costs $52 per metric tonne. As a result of our short sighted protectionism, Dangote’s cement empire stretches across West Africa and our treasury is worse off for it. You are forgiven for thinking the first thing a government that is serious about infrastructure will do is open up the cement market by totally deregulating it. Begging Dangote to crash prices on National Television is apparently easier.

And you know what? The tragedy of these policies is that the government and its private sector agents are quick to market this economic terrorism as pro-poor and pro-development.  Unfortunately, several years of bad economics education in our country has allowed these social propagandists armed with government megaphones, non-existent job promises and aimless philanthropy to successful brainwash the average Nigerian into believing that the only way Nigerian businesses can survive is if they are insulated from the realities of an increasingly global market place through protectionist trade policies designed keep prices high and people poor. In the end, the majority who are harmed by protectionist trade policies must toil extra for a government appointed capitalist just to make ends meet.

Nigeria does not need accidental billionaires made by government fiat on the backs of the bottom billion. It needs conscientious social entrepreneurs who are not afraid to face the world.

Finally, President Goodluck, erase those import licenses and tear down this cement wall.

 

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji | On Leaders and Company

Aboyeji is CEO of Bookneto, a student focused education technology company based in Canada. In 2008, he worked as an intern at the Settlement and Integration Services Organization in Hamilton and then went on to work with the World Youth Alliance at the UN Headquarters in New York as an intern. Shortly before founding Bookneto, he served as the President of one of Canada’s largest student publishing companies, Imprint Publications.

 

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Comments (62)

  1. Mr Aboyeji aka E: I do know that nothing would give you more satisfaction than to have a top-shot like Dangote acknowledge that you exist. That will not happen because of this article. Take a chill pill. Dangote doesn't know you exist. He'll probably never hear of this article.

    Repeating a lie over and over to yourself, isn't ever going to transform it to the truth. Facts are independent of you. Your saying something you heard being said by another who heard from another doesn't make it the truth.

    I am so curious that you are yet to present any evidence – from a source other than you – of your claims. Yet, you wish to pass the burden of proof of your own claims to your readers. Grow up, dude!

    Pointing out what's wrong with your article in detail – which I believe many of the commentators have done – amounts to teaching you. I will not teach you. Sorry! I only teach people who wish to learn. You are the other hand are more concerned with validating your twisted view points even in the face or superior argument. So, sorry. No lessons from me.

    I believe you did simple English Comprehension – Essay Reading and Questions in elementary school. If you did, you would not be asking for how your article is wrong. It's all over my posts and that of other commentators.

    So, bottom line, with humility, go home (the game is up), accept feedback which you can see comes from many people other than me. Learn your lessons. Get better at what you do.

    FOR EMPHASIS: Repeating a lie over and over to yourself, isn't ever going to transform it to the truth. Facts are independent of you. Your saying something you heard being said by another who heard from another doesn't make it the truth.

    1. Humor yourself. Critical reading and logical argument are hard.

  2. And any one can wake up. Say facts they are not comfortable with are wrong but not make any effort to correct them.

    Please do hold me accountable for what I write. But this doesn't look anything like accountability.

  3. If you insist something is wrong, why not say what is wrong about it. Things are not wrong merely because you have the extra bandwidth to make repeated comments saying so.

    Take a sit.

  4. Well, Ugo, if you must know. I was asked to. And I am not complaining. You complain of factual inaccuracies but you haven't made any corrections to the article.

    Why should I take you seriously?

    No time.

  5. First of all, this question doesn't really make sense because if the economy is protected there will be no imported juice.

    That said, did you treat David Ricardo's competitive advantage in your Economics class? So I know where to start.

  6. The 25,000 is promised tho according to that article.

  7. And Aliko can sue me if he wants.

    That Dangote is an accidental billionaire is my opinion.

    Dangote DOES enjoy protection from the government. This is a fact

    That Dangote is ripping off the common is something I have proven with price machinations his monopoly enforces.

    Special waivers from the government have infact killed competition. (See Ibeto cement)

    The price of CMT's in Nigeria is 5 times higher than other infrastructure hungry countries like HongKong

    Ugo, I am not looking for a job from Dangote so I can speak my mind freely. Again, If Dangote is bothered about this, I live in a free country. He can sue me. So please stop saying I am 'slandering' Aliko Dangote because no court has said so.

    Also, anyone can say what they want. The facts are the facts.

    By the way. Dangote has promised 25,000 new jobs with his Obajana plant but he is still at 11,000 at the last count. It will take time before he gets there.

  8. Why are Nigerian critics so sensitive to criticism? You would think that people who spend so much energy criticizing other people would also expect that others would criticize them. *scratching my head*

  9. Mr Ayobeji: Off all your lame responses to comments this is the most ridiculous. If you have no interest in being a writer, why take a weekly column in a 'newspaper'? Then you complained of having to meet deadline- hence your inability to be factual? Jesus! Can you say that again? So would you write an article based on Obasanjo being your biological father (I assume he is not) and submit it just because you need to meet a deadline?

    1. I wanted to say that Ugo Ene is right on the money.

  10. @OJ: Excuse me. Data to back what up? Instead of you to ask the writer to backup his wild allegations with data, you turn around and ask me for data to backup what? Did I write an article making silly claims? This is some weird country with some weird people with twisted thinking.

  11. @Adetola: This is the way things go in the world. If Aboyeji can wake up and write an article that

    1. Attacks the person of Dangote and his business enterprises. Calls him an "accidental billionaire".

    2. Makes up stories about Dangote enjoying protection from the government.

    3. Claims falsely that Dangote is ripping off the 'common man'?

    4. Alludes to special 'waivers' from the government which have somehow killed Dangote's competition.

    5. Provides no evidence or facts to back up his claims.

    The sole intent of this article is to slander Mr Aliko Dangote and reduce his esteem as a sound and principled business man. If Aboyeji can do all this, then it goes without saying that commentators can also be personal in their responses.

    The same freedom of speech that Aboyeji has that he decided to use in writing this faulty article is the same freedom the other 6.9 billion people in world have to respond to it in the way they so please.

    1. @Ugo Ene did you see this part of the article. "Now don’t get me wrong; Dangote might be wealthy because he is an amazing business man who works hard for his money and deserves it. " He is talking to the government in this article not Mr Dangote. Please lets stop this sound and principled business-man story, we are talking of Nigeria where bribery and corruption is the order of the day. So Mr Dangote is so clean abeg make we hear word.

      Here is my own link from wikileaks
      http://thestreetjournal.org/2011/09/wikileaks-cab

      I am not trying to convince you but i believe the wikileaks document. In there it was consistently mentioned he is hardworking but other details overshadow the whole thing.

  12. Mr Ayobeji: Off all your lame responses to comments this is the most ridiculous. If you have no interest in being a writer, why take a weekly column in a 'newspaper'? Then you complained of having to meet deadline- hence your inability to be factual? Jesus! Can you say that again? So would you write an article based on Obasanjo being your biological father (I assume he is not) and submit it just because you need to meet a deadline?

  13. What is this country coming to? Any fly can wake up – make slanderous and wrong comments about anybody, get it published, the news media look the other way hiding under the cover of 'opinion piece', nobody holds anybody accountable for the things they write and say. Naija! I tire o!

  14. E, you call 11,000 jobs paltry?! Wow thats serious. The figure is wrong to start with. Its more like 25,000 sunnewsonline.com/webpages/news/national/2011/nov/08/national-08-11-2011-005.html lets say you are right, is it easy to create jobs like that?

    I give it to you Iyinoluwa, you kept your cool despite the harsh criticism, now thats mature. Cheers!

  15. @all And please guys when we give contributions personal attacks should be avoided. We don't know anyone on this media personally, we cannot in anyway judge them or assume they are empty barrel or whatever names we may think of them. That is one thing we as a nation need to improve on, personal attacks. When presenting your opinion, you can't attack anyone personally. You simply tear this people down with our careless words. We need to encourage each other even though we may disagree with the author or a fellow commentator. If the author didn't put up this article in the first place, none of us would be commenting.

  16. I am not saying the government waits for you to get to 30% or 40% and try to break you up. That is simply anti- business practice. I am just saying in such situations first you can't merge with another company in the market if you are trying to buy up another competitor. . Secondly Other companies bring lawsuits which the anti-trust department takes up on behalf of them, and usually they win. Take google for example they run 70% of the market in the USA, and 90% in Europe. the Anti-trust lawsuit will simply ensure they alter their algorithms to ensure other people can come in the market. Usually it is settled by a heavy fine, or some sort of settlement and adjustment to how you run business. AT&T was a by product of southwestern bell, you may not be aware of the so many bell companies . from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T "The company began its existence as Southwestern Bell Corporation, one of seven Regional Bell Operating Companies created in 1983 as part of the break-up of the original AT&T due to the United States v. AT&T antitrust lawsuit. It changed its name to SBC Communications Inc. in 1995."

    In some instances government breaks you down. in some instances you have to open up your technology just as Intel did with AMD opening up some of their technology. Patents, and other things that give you a fair advantage. All i am just saying is those kind of rules should be implemented. Not allowing one person has the author is trying to explain to folks to run and hold the whole country hostage simply by their monopoly.

  17. An educative piece. On point on all the issues most especially the effect on protectionism on prices and standard of living. This is what should be drummed home. Protectionism of one industry populated by one factory owned by one person does nothing good to the rest of the millions than to raise prices (relative to world market prices) and make the poor people whom they are protecting pay more. In the end, in this capitalist sharks hovering around, the poor remains poorer because it is the rich who can lobby to get these protectionism. Why not protect the importation of agricultural goods farmed by the majority of the poor?

  18. Mr Aboyeji aka E: You keep harping how local production makes products more expensive for the common man. Please give us some statistics – real statistics – and show the logic of how an imported juice, for instance, is cheaper than Chivita, Dansa, and Funman.

    NB: Just for the record, I know you can't.

  19. Heheheheheh. This Iyinoluwa fellow is a known empty barrel on Twitter. It's fun to see him have to articulate an idea in more than 140 characters and how he exposes the level of his ignorance. Thanks YNaija for showcasing the fluke that is @iaboyeji is.

  20. The adjoining comments to this article is so rich in information, more stimulating and much better than the article.

    Thanks to everybody who wrote a comment. I enjoyed them all!

  21. The writer made a point though not well articulated or researched for but he made a salient point that chukwudi tried to buttress. Lets not back on the euphoria of Dangote's wealth and his contribution but as good analyst lets look at both sides of the coin. The question is: did Dangote at any time enjoy favours from the government. Yes. In economics, the fast acceleration of his business as against his competitors is questionable. They sell at similar prices yet his growth outweighs their by a wider range which is evident. It isn't just wit or talent or gift. Politics is undoubtedly involved.

    Obviously, he is a fine business man but he enjoyed favours from the government and maybe still does especiall from the obasanjo's administration. All these illicit acts could only be carried out in a country where lawlessness and disrespect to the rule of law prevails that is why his competitors could not say a word..

    I like Dangote but what he did is what a business who desires growth would do. If the government decides to play along it isn't the fault of the businessman but that of the government whose responsibility is to allow for equity and competition in a business atmosphere. That, the government didn't do.

  22. @Chukwudi: That's a wrong idea of how government waivers work. They are not assigned to specific people. They are assigned to the product. So, if cement enjoys a waiver, then all cement enjoy a waiver. If paracemtamol enjoys a waiver – Emzor, and all other paracetamol makers enjoy the same waiver.

  23. Adetola: There are so many businesses in America that control over 40% of the market. The purpose of anti-trust laws is not to break-up companies once they've become big, hence punishing business success. This simplistic and flawed analysis of what the anti-trust laws are is unfortunate and sadly a prevalent thinking among Nigerians.

    "The United States antitrust law is a body of laws that prohibits anti-competitive behavior (monopoly) and unfair business practices. Antitrust laws are intended to encourage competition in the marketplace."

    No government just waits for a business to grow big market share so that it can slam a hammer on it. That's not how free markets work. 30% market share is by no means a monopoloy. It means 70% is out there in other people's control.

    The anti-trust laws are designed to ensure that nobody becomes a monopoly using unfair business tactics. If 100%of Americans prefer Hertz to Avis and other competitors in the market, the US goverment doesn't come after Hertz. That's a wrong idea.

  24. This is just same old tale we've heard rehashed over and over again. Why not back up your story with accurate stats. Dangote's biz is no longer localized here in Nigeria. Is it Nigeria's protectionism that is making successful in those other climes?

  25. I admire the resilience of dangote as an entrepreneur,I salute his doggedness and his faith in this country notwithstanding that the union is imperfect but the truth is that dangote is a product of the system• Yes we r shouting at the messenger without understanding his message but I want to state here that federal Government waivers since 1999 till date favours dangote group more than his competitors• I'm an entrepreneur and I know I cannot compete with chude as a competitor in cement importation if chude enjoys waiver from federal government while my business does not enjoy the same waiver patronage,it has effect of reducing my competitiveness with chude cement company• Bear in mind that chude did not pay import duty at the port and he sells a bag of cement 500 while I who was compelled to cough out 15percent import duty on the same product is selling 600,how on earth can I catch up with chude cos Government policy in form of waivers favoured his company more than mine and therefore accelerated the expansion of his business while I'm still battling to pay the bank loans I took from my bank and that is exactly what dangonte enjoyed against his competitors

  26. Adetota presented a better argument than the original author….step up Mr Iyin

    1. Well, I'm glad Mr Adetola is getting across much clearer than I am. That's great 🙂

      Not much to step up to though. Not looking for a career in writing.

  27. 'we believe the Dangote

    model is harmful to Nigerian and American interests in the

    long run. Unfortunately, the Dangote model will likely be

    the one most emulated until its beggar-thy-countrymen

    contradictions become more apparent. End summary.'

    That's the summary from confidential statement made by US Consul to Nigeria on your patriot billionaire GCON.

    Click http://thestreetjournal.org/2011/09/wikileaks-cab… to read the rest

  28. You should apply for a job at the IMF or World Bank. They are recruiting people with your same opinion!

    Someone for once has built factories in nigeria. The IMF will prefer to build the factories in the west and have us ship our goods for them to process. They will be pleased to have you champion their economic agenda.

    1. Well the only economic agenda that matters to me is cheaper prices that the poor can afford. A local factory that raises people's cost of living is pointless to me.

      And by the way, this "industrial policy" is a World Bank creation. Woe betide the world bank endorse free markets (despite the overwhelming proof that exists to show they work better)

  29. Local knowledge is apparently better.

  30. I won't build a business in a country where government won't let markets be free.

  31. Ok, this is getting really serious.

    Back in the day, me and my buddies used to laugh this Forbes thing off.

    The estimates are not accurate, but at least they are indicators of something. What that is exactly, we didn't know but that's not what was amusing. What was amusing was when Dangote first made the Forbes richest list and some months later Nigerian newspapers published the amounts the 'big boys' were said to be owing the banks. A simple deduction of the amount Dangote was said to be in the red for from his Forbes valuation, set Dangote back and put him right where they say Gumsu Abacha claimed Dangote belongs, the pauper category. Did they tidy those bank debts away? Was that AMCON, ANCOM or something?

    Anyways, don't say I told you but there was a steel rolling mill somewhere in the South West of Nigeria. Plants, equipments, a few hundred hectares of massive real estate–the whole shebang, you know? Matter of fact, there was a fairly used power plant, part of the complex, which was conservatively valued at about $70m. Well, the government–was it the BPE, now?–privatized that facility, plants, equipments, real estate, and the total selling price came in at under $17m. I won't even argue whether the process in which the government conducted the sale was transparent. I just wnat to inform you that the first thing the enterprising Nigerian business man who bought the place did was remove that power plant to another facility of his, somewhere around the confluence of R. Niger and R. Benue where he processes limestone or some precious metal like that. The steel rolling complex in the SW of Nigeria now a large warehouse for cement.

    1. Sad story. Tragic that this is the kind of wealth we can celebrate in Nigeria.

  32. This is such a disappointing article. For once, I hope President Goodluck Jonathan doesn't listen. What is particularly shocking about this article is that it is as baseless and full of falsehoods as its claim that "what is particularly interesting about Dangote’s businesses are that they are, almost without exception, successful by virtue of incredulous monopolies…" Dangote's major businesses include cement, sugar, and pastries. Young man, do your research. St Louis sugar, which is used widely consumed in offices, and restaurants accross the country is produced by a French company. Surely you must have heard of the name Lafarge Cement Company – it is not owned by Dangote. Then we have the Flower Mills, which is into pastries. Dangote has next to no monopoly in this country, and when you want to write a piece about our economy, I believe, he should be the last man to use as an example. And please stop giving a shout out to your home boy Chude at the end of your article; it is in bad taste – especially at the end of a piece as horrible as this!

    1. I gave a shout out to my home boy chude? Not sure I understand your argument. I guess 70% of the sugar market is not a monopoly? Yes offices use Louis but guess who uses more sugar? Nigerian Breweries. Who supplies them? No its not louis.

    2. St. Anger I am simply explaining the author's point of view. I didn't write the article i simply read it and gave an opinion. I put links to verify facts about the little i explained you can check them. I am simply stating that the government needs to do more to discourage Monopoly. Dangote supplies sugar to many of the confectioneries, breweries, and other plain sugar you get in the market. Dangote controls above thirty percent. Love him or hate he occupies 30% of the market or more. he is a monopoly. Without explaining too long. My own view is this we need a trickle down effect that allows other small enterprises to participate in the industry. IT should trickle down to individuals too not just other cronies and friends. I am just saying the government needs to create laws to break up monopolies. we can't have five major players in an industry it is too small. we need 20 or more major players in every industry so we are not enslaved to a price regime. No one has beef for Dangote. We just want an environment where Setting up a business is encouraged, and foreign investors are happily coming to Nigeria. We have the population, but the question is why is there no major growth in the economy. Ask yourself the same question

  33. Mr intelligent abeg just educate us abeg…i am sure you have done research shey?

  34. I understand the anger of the folks saying Dangote is not a monopolist. Monopolist doesn't mean you don't have competitors. Once you dominate more than 40% if the market you are monopolist. In America the department of justice anti-trust usually sues, any company that dominates more than 30% of the market. Thats how it happens in the united states. John D Rockefeller, was sued by the anti-trust department of justice. Roosevelt was the initiator of the lawsuit, despite Rockefeller contributing a ton towards his election. Look i understand where the writer is coming from. There is nothing like that in Nigeria. AT&T the largest telecommunication firm in the USA was broken down into various parts to reduce its monopoly. After having 30% of the market, their recent merger with t-mobile was blocked simply because it brings monopoly. SO the writer is not jealous of Dangote or his wealth, and he is not denying his street smartness. He is just saying he is a monopoly, in that areas he has businesses he occupies more than 30% of the market. He can easily control prices, affect the market and influence Government with such influence. There are two problems with Nigeria. Over-regulation, and poor infrastructure. Until those two problems are solved, it would be hard to progress. A GSM licence cost $285 million dollars and only 4 players were initially allowed to participate, that smells monopoly. There should be almost 20 people initially, then the numbers can increase. The banks in Nigeria only 24, compared to texas with over 500 independent http://texas.usbankslist.com/ banks but here is a list of top 100 http://www.dob.texas.gov/pubs/topbnks/top0911.pdf . The reason the banks misbehave is simply you have no option we are 24. if it were like 100 banks in Nigeria. The services would improve and the outrageous charges would cease to exist. There needs to be more competition, and only the government can do that. They need to sue any business with over 30% domination in an industry to allow for other people come into the market. The idea of locally made product to me doesn't make any sense. The western world outsources their production to the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Apple is able to sell their device at reasonable prizes simply because production is done in China. If it was in the United states i promise you the price would be in the thousands. Almost every big IT firm has a massive infrastructure in India as a development center. That is the idea of a global world. SO many anti-trust lawsuits are out there in the western world simply because they want to give an opportunity to the small business to become a big business one day. A know statistics is that 86% of American Jobs is provided by small business. Outsourcing most of the services to other small businesses is what makes the western world as strong as it is. Defence contractors, Suppliers, service providers Not Hoarding every aspect of your business is what has made western world advance not Monopoly. I don't envy dangote he is a fantastic business man, he has provided jobs, but it would have been better if a smaller business was providing jobs also not only big businesses. Brethren when only 3 or 5 players exist inan industry, and they are so big it is simply Monopoly. we need competition. One credit i would give Sanusi is licencing 16 companies to participate in the first phase of mobile payment. The second Phase would bring in more players and that way consumers can enjoy a reasonable pricing model.

    SHOUT OUT TO MY HOME BOY CHUDE……

  35. Iyinoluwa, I hope you're reading these responses. These lies about the person of Dangote have been circulated for a long time. Lafarge (WAPCO) has been manufacturing cement for years if not decades in Nigeria before Dangote came unto the scene. How about that for a monopoly? Golden penny, honeywell, grand cearels, Chivita even St Louis sugar are formidable competition well established before Aliko came on board fully. So what are you talking about? The guy is a genius. Simple. Do you know how many jobs he has created? Let government give you this supposed monopoly and let's see how you will do?

    The % of GDP thing, thats demographics; US has almost twice the population of Nigeria.

    Take this away: Aliko may not be a saint but his wealth is far from being accidental.

    PS: YNaija people have not been exactly pleased with your articles recently. Be careful.

    1. How many jobs has he created? A paltry 11,000 + jobs. he is on hand for 22,000 jobs but it doesn't justify the high prices we have to pay for cement.

      No doubt Lafarge is in the same catgegory. I am not absolving them.

      The government is really who I am blaming here. Why do we need import restrictions on something as important to our development as cement anyways?

      Finally, I am not writing articles to please anyone though. I am not entirely sure if that was the aim of this forum. I do realize they have to be submitted on deadline though 🙂

  36. This is classic Nigerian news/opinion writers fair. Do zero research. Have total disregard for the facts or the truth. Take on a 'big' subject so that you can look fearless. Display your ignorance all the way through. Run on assumption and beer palour commentary.

    Every paragraph of this article has a lie or modified fact in it. The writer's conclusions are all flawed. All of them! He lacks the intellectual discipline to do any kind of background study on the subject matter. So, his conclusions are based on faulty thinking and untruths.

    This is an article of a huge shameful proportion.

    1. Mr intelligent abeg just educate us abeg…i am sure you have done research shey?

  37. Atleast the writer has tried in writing something that catch peoples' attention. I don't know much about academic economics but I am not totally ignorant of how people make their riches. The statistics the writer cited at the beginning of the article to prove his point cannot hold water at all.

    John D Rockefeller's wealth was 1.53% of his countries' GDP even at the time of his death while the fortune of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet put together does not reach 1%. But do you know that each of the later duo possess more than double of what the former possessed? Why is their wealthe put together not up to 1%? Why is it much easier for Americans to make bulk fortune and you think and profess Nigerians to make less instead of more when government do the right things? Bill Gates acquired the fortune that John D acquired in 30 years within 10 years what do you say about that? Mark Zukerberg acquired his money in relatively half of the time or less than the time Bill Gates got his. I think good government policies should rather Facilitate the coming on board of more billionnaires rather than shrinking the number. Why despite our huge resources and big market Egypt produced majority of Billonnaires from Africa?

    It seems you will have to revisit your "economics literacy".

    Why is Jimoh Ibrahim and Femi Otedela not able to make the list.

    Between Dangote and Jimoh Ibrahim who benefited most from Government largesse? You have to think twice, mhmm?

    1. I used one example, the most prominent one.

      Same thing applies in a lot of other spheres.

  38. I'm really tired of reading these craps from our Nigerian writers. The writer fully betrayed himself by rushing to write on a sector and someone he doesn't even have the flimsiest knowledge of. I will advise him to go and study hard. A week of genuine study and research into the industry and the person of Dangote will make him rush out with an apology. Intelligent people don't write on topics they don't know.

  39. This one is for YNaija. Stop allowing people to use your platform to promote lies and ignorance. There was never ever a time Dangote as a person or as a business enjoyed any government aided monopoly. If Dangote could import something – anybody else interested in doing same could. These are lies repeated over and over again in the media and informal beer palour conversations that have now taken root.

    If I got to FB, I don't expect facts. But if I come to YNaija, I want to read truth and comments based on the truth or facts of a situation. People can't just wake up in the morning, make up things and start writing 'intelligent' analysis based on these made-up stories and then you publish them.

    It's rubbish!

    1. bros you allege that the above statements are untruths but you dont back up your allegations with solid information…if i am to be honest you sound like a govt aide but then i could be wrong please come with clear cut counter arguments with data to back it up?

  40. I have restrained myself from commenting on YNaija. But this one just caught me. This is just about the most ignorant bigotted article I have read in a long time. Filled with untruths that are often circulated on social media platforms and just plain stipidity.

    Dangote is not a monopoly. He enjoys nothing special from the government. Policies are put out for all citizens to take advantage of. If he's smarter than you, why demonise him.

    Iyinoluwa Aboyeji: There is no such thing as an accidental billionaire. Successful people are so because they take right decisions and execute their ideas smartly. Stop recycling old and tired and discredited lingo. Go and make your own money and stop hating on rich people.

    1. haha! There is no such thing as an accidental billionaire? Really? BS. Sell that pile to people who will buy it.

  41. Economy issues are complex and attepmts to achieve an objective usually create problem in another area.The foundation of Dangote's wealth was the monopoly he used to enjoy in importation of basic goods like rice, sugar, salt,etc before he started manufacturing these goods. Yes, governments policy of promoting local production of goods is a good policy, but we must always mind the cost ordinary Nigerians pay. For example, the cost of cement is one of the highest in the world.

  42. Oh pls. Dangote did what every good businessman does – take advantage of every monopoly he can find yes – but that doesn't reduce the fact that if dis were a country at work he wudnt be so 'rich'. No innovation, no distinction. Brands are even spelt wrong! Thank u Iyi

  43. Question, does Dangote influence economic policy or does he simply capitalize on it as every savvy business person should? Let's not simply assume one over the other.

    Which monopoly does Dangote have exactly? Cement? Pasta? Sugar? Juice? Come on.

    Will an open market really be the best option for Nigeria? Protectionism is necessary if local entrepreneurs are to be optimally involved. The free market will see Nigeria swamped with slash and burn investors only interested in profit-taking. On this one, i'm sorta playing Devil's Advocate.

    "social propagandists armed with government megaphones, non-existent job promises and aimless philanthropy" Really? Non existent jobs? I'm with you on aimless philanthropy though, more the "aimless" than the philanthropy.

    1. Protectionism is not necessary. It isn't.

      Everything Dangote touches, the common man buys at a higher premium than elsewhere in the world. Its literally a midas touch.

  44. First, I think you need to check up the meaning of monopoly in the dictionary. Then, u need to a quick check on the Nigerian cememnt industry. Dangote has no monopoly in the Nigerian cement industry. There are close to 10 different cement manufacturing/bagging companies in Nigeria including Ibeto and Lafarge. With such competition I wonder how come Dangote is regarded as a monopoly. The only difference I see is dat while Dangote saw d prospects in manufacturing locally the others only wanted to import and bag cement.

    Secondly, I don't see how Nigeria's policies promoting local production can be blamed for Dangote becoming a powerhouse in West Africa. Do other West African countries have to buy their cement from Nigeria? If Dangote can build plants in these othher countries and become a major force tere, how is this due to Nigerian government policies rather than his own business acumen?

    Stop hating successful Nigerians and instead try to emulate them and build businesses locally.

    If u really knew anything about economics you would know that importation of cement is worse for our economy than local production. Importation puts a lot of pressure on our forex reserves leading to a fall in the value of they Naira. You would also know that a Nigerian company going international is good for both our economy and our image.

  45. Local content, anyone? 🙂

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail