“Richest man in the world? Why not?” – Aliko Dangote speaks to the Financial Times

by Lekan Olanrewaju

“Moderate in nature but ruthless in dealing”—those are just some of the words used to describe the president and founder of Dangote Group in a new article by the Financial Times.

Chief Aliko Dangote speaks to the Financial Times about various matters ranging from his personal life and exercise routines to business.

“The opportunities are here, the growth is here,” he said. “Where else do you get this type of growth? Maybe Asia, but the difference we have from them is that we are starting from a low level. The return on investment takes out the risk.”

He spoke on his beginnings in business in the late 1970s, and his failed textile business. “When we started having problems with electricity, it gave the Chinese room to destroy Nigeria’s textile industry.” he said. “I swallowed the bullet and got everybody out.”

He also spoke on his perceived market dominance saying: “Foreigners will not invest if locals are not doing so. We must lead or nobody will come. The economy of America was not established by the Chinese.”

Described as “the champion of homegrown investment in Africa”, he also talked about plans to list his businesses abroad, and the possibility of becoming the fifth richest man in the world.

“Still, his relaxed demeanour hides his drive. Unprompted, Mr Dangote says if things go according to plan, and his various companies were listed abroad, he could become the fifth-richest man in the world.

Even the richest? “Why not? Of course it’s possible. We will talk about this in five years.”

We can’t wait!


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