Dangote Cement Plc says 171 millionaires across the nation have emerged in its ongoing ‘Bag of Goodies Promo season 2’.
The company made this known in a statement signed by Mr Anthony Chiejina, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Dangote Industries Limited on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the promo, which kicked off in July, is expected to produce 1,000 millionaires by November 5, 2020.
According to the statement, the increase in the number of millionaires came as a result of new winners who were given star prizes at ceremonies held in Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Ibadan.
Speaking at the presentation of dummy cheques to winners in Port Harcourt, Regional Director, South-South Dangote Cement, Mr. George Okoro, said that the promo was to reward Nigerians. He said they were rewarded for their continued patronage of Dangote Cement over the years.
He added that the company was well committed to uplifting and raising the standards of living of Nigerians as well as their financial stability.
He charged the winners not to relent but invest the prize wisely to yield more benefits in the future for them.
The Dangote Regional Director stated the company’s readiness to give out one billion naira to 1000 customers.
He noted that other prices to be won included refrigerators, tricycles, recharge cards and television sets.
Also, Regional Director, Lagos/Ogun, Tunde Mabogunje, at the prize giving ceremony in Ikeja, commended the winners for their loyalty and continuous use of Dangote Cement in their projects.
He said the company was making progress because of consumers who formed the end chain in the distribution of any product. “Without consumers, no product will become a success,” he said.
Mr Bankole George, Regional Director, South East, addressing the winners at the event held at the regional office in Enugu, tasked them to buy more of Dangote Cement to improve their chances of winning.
He urged the purchase of Dangote cement in the completion of building projects by taking advantage of the timing of the current promo in a win-win situation.
“Whoever completes his projects this period and still wins one millionaire naira in the promo has won on two fronts,” he said.
In her remarks, Director of Marketing, Dangote Cement, Mrs Funmi Sanni, said the promo came at an appropriate time to cushion the effects and impact of COVID-19 on businesses and families. Sanni said the company had been making efforts to satisfy its teeming customers to the fullest.
She added that apart from the premium quality of the product, the firm has also introduced several customer-driven promotional offers in order to keep their relationship intact.
According to her, a customer could only win the N1 million cash prize on collection of the scratch cards that each carried letter D, A, N, G, O, T and E to make up the name DANGOTE.
“Winners were presented with dummy cheques and received alerts during the presentation ceremonies held in several cities across the nation,” she said.
Chief Commercial Officer, Dangote Group, Mr Rabiu Umar, in his remarks, said following the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy, Dangote Cement decided to award total of N1 billion to 1,000 winners across the country.
According to him, the company deemed it fit to continue with the second phase of the promo, tagged Bag of Goodies 2 in order to give back to the society to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
Umar noted that the promo was like palliative to the teeming customers in the wake of the pandemic as most of them had suffered economic hardship caused by the coronavirus.
“Despite effects of COVID-19 on global economy, Dangote cement company has decided to go ahead with the Bag of Goodies promo in order to give back to the society.
“This promo is like a palliative to our teeming customers who have suffered economic hardship, occasioned by the pandemic.
“Therefore, this would at least cushion the effects of the pandemic.
“We feel that despite the pandemic, it is worthy to put a smile on the face of our teeming customers across the country. I am sure we have achieved our aim in this round of the promo,” he said.
Africa’s largest cement producer, Dangote Cement Plc, has announced a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N162.90 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2020, even as two block makers have emerged winners in its ongoing Spell and Win a million national consumer promo.
According to the unaudited results of the company released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the declared profit was 4.7 per cent higher than N155.49 billion in the corresponding period of 2019. The results indicate a resilient half-year 2020 performance despite the impact of COVID-19.
The Group revenue went up to ₦476.9 billion, Group Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) was ₦218.1 billion representing a 45.7 per cent margin while Pan-Africa EBITDA was up by 31.6 per cent to ₦31.5 billion; a margin of 21.7 per cent.
The period under-review saw the maiden clinker shipment from Nigeria via the Apapa Export Terminal to Senegal in June while plans are on track to ship more vessels of clinker to West and Central Africa in the second half of 2020.
Speaking on the results, Group Managing Director, Dangote Cement, Michel Puchercos, said: “I am humbled by the fact that we continue to be in a strong position despite the economic downturn that the world is facing due to COVID-19.
Although April was greatly impacted by lockdowns and restrictions across our operations, we experienced a strong quarter. We achieved a record high volume and EBITDA margin in Pan-Africa of 4.7Mt and 21.7 per cent respectively. Group EBITDA was up slightly despite the impact of COVID-19.”
He added, “I am particularly pleased to announce that Dangote Cement shipped its first clinker cargo to Senegal from our new cement terminal in Apapa, Lagos. It has been a long journey for Nigeria, from being one of the largest bulk importers of cement, to being self-sufficient in cement production, and now an exporter of clinker.
“We are on track to ensure West and Central Africa are cement and clinker independent, with Nigeria as the main supply hub. We want to continue developing regional and continental trade between the ECOWAS countries and beyond.”
On the company’s measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, Puchercos stated, “We are committed to protecting our team members and communities by being fully compliant with health and safety measures. We remain focused on adapting to the rapidly evolving markets in which we operate. We continue to deploy our efforts to maintain our cost competitiveness while ensuring that our balance sheet is resilient.”
Barely a week after its launch, two Block makers from Lagos and Oyo States have become first star prize winners of N1 million each in the ongoing Dangote Cement Bag of Goodies Season 2 Consumer Promo.
The promo, which the management said was partly to reward loyal customers and ameliorate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on consumers, offered the winners cash prizes apart from other commercial and household items, and it is expected to run from July 15 to November 15, 2020.
A block maker based in Lanlate, in Ibarapa East local government area of Oyo State, Ojediran Kayode Stephen, who emerged the first N1 million winner in the “Spell Dangote and be a millionaire” promo, said he got the winning letters from among the 500 hundred bags of cement, which he bought to make blocks for customers.
Apart from the N1million, Ojediran said that he also won several recharge cards and extra N2,000 in the promo.
On what he would do with his winnings, he explained that he is going to invest the N1 million to expand his block making business. Said he: “I am very happy for becoming one of the first sets of people to win in the Dangote Cement Promo. I intend to use the money to expand my business. I am going to buy more bags of cement to produce more blocks.
“I thank Dangote Cement company for organizing this promo in this era of COVID-19 and I believe the money will go a long way to reduce the pain of the pandemic in the country”, he added.
Another lucky winner, the Managing Director of Afolabi Adefila Block Industry, said that he has been a user of Dangote Cement since the inception of his business, which he started several years ago.
According to him, he buys over 300 bags of Dangote Cement weekly for his block factory located in Lagos. “I patronize only Dangote Cement. This money is timely, most especially during this era of COVID-19. Dangote has been doing a lot to ameliorate the challenges of COVID-19 on Nigeria. I am aware of what the company has been doing to reduce hardship in Nigeria. The promo is just an added effort to what Dangote has already done in terms of poverty alleviation”, he said.
Reacting to the news of the first winners, the Block Makers’ association Secretary, Mr. Aina said that he is excited that members of his association have emerged as the first set of winners of the ongoing Dangote Cement promo.
He described Dangote Cement as best in terms of quality, saying the promo would help improve the association’s members’ revenue. He lauded the company’s innovate efforts at producing the best products for building construction from the stable of Dangote cement.
The newly-unveiled Dangote “Bag of Goodies 2” Consumer Promo has been described as a vital private sector intervention that would greatly reduce the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the consumers of Dangote Cement and Nigerians in general.
The Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lotteries Board, Mr. Abiola Bashir Are, who disclosed this at the media unveiling of Dangote Bag of Goodies Promo Season 2 in Lagos recently, commended the manufacturing giant for investing in the lives of its consumers.
According to him, the decision by the company to make 1,000 consumers millionaires is a testament that the company has the interest of the consumers at heart.
He stated: “A million naira is a big deal to most people in Nigeria now. We are here to validate the promo. It was done before during Season 1 and I believe that Dangote is doing it again. The promo is important especially in this time of global COVID-19 pandemic. Psychologically, these are things that give people hope. We are here to support the promotion. The purpose of the Lagos State Lottery Board is to support businesses, especially when it comes to promotion of products and services. I wish all the prospective winners good luck.”
Also speaking at the event, a representative of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Mrs. Susie Onwuka, said that the company has followed due process in its Season 1 of the Bag of Goodies Consumer Promotion.
“We are here today to ensure that the interests of the consumers are protected. The company has followed due process by registering the promo. We will also ensure that the company is able to deliver what it promised the consumers. So, we thank the company for always investing in the consumers of Dangote Cement. We have always witnessed the previous promo and they have always been carried out according to laid- down rules and regulations.”
Deputy Director/Coordinator, Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos Zonal Office, Mrs. Nkiru Onuzulu, said that the commission holds Dangote Cement in high regard due to its contribution to the general wellbeing of its consumers.
“My Director General holds Dangote Cement in high regard. This promo is a very big one, just like the one of last year. We all know that Dangote is a big brand and we don’t have any doubt that the promo is going to be a successful one. Dangote has started well by getting the consumer promotion regularised. It does not end here; we will always be available to ensure that all the interests of the stakeholders are protected.”
In his speech, the Group Managing Director, Dangote Cement Plc, Mr. Michel Puchercos, described the promo as part of the company’s strategies to continuously reward consumers who are the backbone in the cement business. “It is to reward valued consumers for their partnership in ensuring that or range of cement products remains today the first choice for construction purposes across the country,” he said.
He explained that the winning prizes were tailored towards changing the standards of living of consumers who are the end users of the company’s products. “These prizes have great economic values as they can be used to kick off small scale businesses especially in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic with many families losing their sources of livelihood.
“Most importantly, the Dangote “Bag of Goodies 2’ Consumer Promotion is a huge investment aimed at providing new and existing consumers with palliatives as we are creating nine millionaires and a total of 1,000 millionaires in 16 weeks,” he added.
Puchercos listed other prizes to include, tricycle, motorcycles, refrigerators, airtime and special combo packs of Dangote Foods Products. “Therefore, the Dangote Cement Bag of Goodies Promo Season 2 is serving a dual purpose, to allow consumers of our products to continue their projects while at the same time stand a chance of winning fantastic prizes.
Dangote Cement Marketing Director, Mrs. Funmi Sanni, said consumers are important and fundamental factor of production without which the company’s ability to remain in business becomes impossible.
According to her, “To grow our business, we must constantly create value in terms of quality, product, service, competitive pricing and depositing in consumer’s emotional bank accounts in order to become their preferred choice of brand at the point of purchase.
“As a business, we recognise the importance of every member of our value chain- distributors, wholesalers and retailers, as such, we have invested in growing their businesses through various empowerment schemes,” she said.
…Commend Dangote for transforming their lives
Previous winners of star prizes in the Bag of Goodies national consumer promo Season 1 done by Dangote Cement Plc in 2019 have expressed huge excitement over the approaching Season 2 version, which is billed to take off nationwide in this month of July.
The star winners, among the 40 lucky individuals across Nigeria who were each presented with a brand new saloon car for their wins in the Season 1 promo, also commended the cement manufacturing giant and its Chairman, Aliko Dangote for transforming their lives for participating in a promo unveiled to improve the lives of 21 million citizens through various prizes won.
Some of the enthusiastic winners, who were contacted by telephone, recalled how their wins in the past promo enhanced their good fortunes, hailed the sincerity of Dangote in handing over the cars to them, and urged Nigerians to participate in the Season 2 promo.
They insisted that the 2019 consumer promo was credible, real and a life-changing experience, and expressed willingness to actively participate in the new Bog of Goodies 2020 Season 2 promo.
The first star (car) prize winner in Season 1 promo, Abraka, Delta State-based cement retailer, Benjamin Igherighe in a phone interview endorsed the BOG2 promo, saying it is real and credible. The cement dealer urged the public to take advantage of the promo to buy cement for their building projects and at the same time stand a chance of winning life-changing prizes from Dangote Cement.
Benjamin said the car has changed his life and business. “People stop me on the road to make inquiries about cement supply and then place orders. It has become a marketing tool which attracts attention and increased sales for me. The branded car has made me an ambassador of Dangote Cement and I keep telling people that the company stands for quality, durability and trust”, he added.
Commending Dangote Cement, he stated that the company is known for doing great things such as giving out trucks to customers, therefor, customers and consumers of cement products should be confident that the promo is real and take advantage of the season to win prizes.
Elated 64-year-old Bricklayer, Mr. Iyowun Ezekiel from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, who also won a brand-new Star Prize of a GAC saloon car in Season 1, expressed joy at the phone call, and narrated how his prize has changed his life forever, courtesy of the Dangote Cement promo.
The artisan, who said his status has been elevated with the win, noted that the promo is real and Nigerians should participate in the new Season 2. He said many of his clients have switched to Dangote Cement product, which he insisted is the only brand he uses at his various project sites.
He also thanked Aliko Dangote, who he described as a humane person with the welfare of Nigerians in his heart. Iyowun, who proudly described himself as a Dangote Cement ambassador, pledged to participate in the Season 2 promo to enable him win another star prize among other prizes.
Another Season 1 star-prize winner from Onitsha, Anambra State, Mrs. Ugochukwu Joy was ecstatic when called on phone and kept asking when is Season 2 kicking off. She said the promo is real, adding that by God’s grace she is expecting to emerge as star prize winner again. According to her, the promo is real and transparent as Dangote Cement ensured that the prizes got to the real winners.
She added that the car prize has changed her life and status as people see her as a brand ambassador of Dangote Cement which opens doors and attracts favour towards her. According to her, the car has made movement easy and aided her family’s daily activities. She endorsed the promo, asking the public not to relent but purchase Dangote Cement for their projects while at the same time getting the chance of winning life changing prizes.
A contractor in Ilorin, Kwara State, Mr. Awojobi Olusegun, who also won a star prize in Season 1 said the car has added 100 per cent value to his life, business, and his family, and brought more clients to his business. He said since he won the car he has become well respected in his society.
“People who were not interested in transacting business with me are now doing so because of the branded Dangote Cement car prize. God has used Dangote to save me and family. I want to use this opportunity to thank Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the entire management of Dangote Cement for giving me opportunity to own a car. I will like to participate in any of their promo in the future.”
He encouraged people to continue to patronise Dangote Cement, describing it as one of the best brands in Africa. “Dangote Cement is the best in the country. The product is second to none in the country. The company takes care of its consumers and ensure they benefit from the its generosity all the time. Dangote products remain the best,” he added.
Under the new promo tagged Dangote Bag of Goodies Season 2, 1,000 Nigerians are expected to win a star prize of one million naira each over a promo period of 16 weeks, among other available prizes of tricycles, refrigerators, television sets, generators, Goodies packs, smaller monetary prizes and airtime.
Africa’s leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc, has posted a strong performance in the first quarter ended March 31 2020, with Profit Before Tax (PBT) up by 11%, increasing from N78.96 billion to N88.06 billion.
According to the cement company’s unaudited first quarter report, gross profit rose by three percent, from N140.68 billion to N144.86 billion. Group net profit stood at N60.60 billion.
Revenue was equally on the increase, growing from N240.16 billion to N249.18 billion, indicating an increase of 3.8%. Dangote Cement sold a total volume of 4.0Mt in Nigeria while Pan African sales accounted for 2.28MT.
Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Michel Puchercos, in his comments commended the resiliency of the management and staff of the company in delivering good results despite the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said “From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have proactively deployed all recommended measures to protect the health and well-being of our employees, customers, suppliers and communities. As such, we have implemented several rigorous protocols in all our operations across the continent.
We are closely monitoring all markets according to the guidance provided by the authorities in each country. We continue to provide superior services and deliver high quality products to our customers. 2020 started strongly, with growth across the board despite the early effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We achieved a record high quarterly EBITDA margin in Pan-Africa and a record high quarter in Nigeria, with revenues of ₦179B and domestic volumes at 4.0Mt.”
“In April, Dangote Cement successfully raised ₦100B series 1 Bond from the Nigerian Debt Capital Market despite the current challenging environment. This illustrates investors’ continuous confidence in Dangote Cement’s strategy.
This landmark transaction is the largest ever bond issuance by a corporate issuer in Nigeria. It allows us to further broaden our sources of funding by accessing long-term debt at competitive costs from the capital market” he added.
Dangote Cement recorded volume growth in 6 of our 9 operations; strong volume growth in Congo and Sierra Leone
Detailed breakdown of the results indicated that with Pan-African sales volume at 2.28 MT, it contributed 36.2% of Group volumes. There was strong volume growth in Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Congo. Plans are concluded to further deploy clinker and cement export strategy across West and Central Africa.
Dangote Cement Plc is Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest cement producer with an installed capacity of 45.6Mta capacity across 10 African countries and operates a fully integrated “quarry-to-customer” business with activities covering manufacturing, sales and distribution of cement.
The Group has a production capacity of 29.3Mta in its home market, Nigeria. It has three cement plants in Nigeria, Obajana plant in Kogi state, with 13.3Mta of capacity across four lines; Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta and Gboko plant in Benue state has 4Mta. Through recent investments, Dangote Cement has eliminated Nigeria’s dependence on imported cement and has transformed the nation into an exporter of cement serving neighboring countries.
In addition, Dangote Cement has operations in Cameroon (1.5Mta clinker grinding), Congo (1.5Mta), Ghana (1.5Mta import), Ethiopia (2.5Mta), Senegal (1.5Mta), Sierra Leone (0.5Mta import), South Africa (2.8Mta), Tanzania (3.0Mta), Zambia (1.5Mta).
Dangote Cement has a long-term credit rating pf AA+ by GCR and Aa2.ng by Moody’s due to its market leading position, significant operational scale and strong financial profile evidenced by the Company’s robust operating and net profit margins relative to regional and global peers, adequate working capital, satisfactory cashflow and low leverage.
Dangote Cement is a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited, a diversified and fully integrated conglomerate as well as a leading brand across Africa in businesses such as cement, sugar, salt, pasta, beverages, and real estate, with new multi-billion dollar projects underway in the oil and gas, petrochemical, fertilizer and agricultural sectors.
…Inspects road project
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has assured that the Apapa Port Wharf concrete road currently under construction by his company, AG Dangote would be delivered on schedule to save the people and businesses the hassles of the traffic gridlock being experienced now.
He gave the assurance yesterday when he visited the construction area in company with the Managing Director of the AG Dangote Construction Company, Mr Ashif Juma to assess the extent of work done.
The Apapa Port road which is the artery of the nation’s non-oil economy, has been in a state of disrepair over a long period of time with experts claiming that the nation is losing about N20 billion daily owing to the state of dilapidation of the road as imports are trapped in the ports for days as a result of traffic gridlock generated by the bad road.
Dangote Group, a pan African Conglomerate and a major stakeholder at the ports brokered a tripartite arrangement with Flour Mills, a leading Nigerian Food Company and Nigerian Port Authority, (NPA), taking over the road from the Federal Government and undertaking the reconstruction of the road into a lasting concrete pavement as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.
The road construction in which both NPA and Flour Mills have financial outlay as their contributions while AG Dangote Construction, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, is undertaking the construction, is to cost the three partners N4.3 billion
Dangote said the road will be completed in few months’ time and that Nigerians would be surprised to see the project delivered even before scheduled, saying efforts are being redoubled by his company to ensure quality job and timely completion.
According to him: by the time the road construction is completed, even some of the advanced countries would not be able to boast of the quality.”
He explained that what actually delay the take-off of the project was the gas pipeline that has to be relocated to pave the way for unfettered construction work “and having done that, you could see that the work is progressing at a very fast speed.”
The businessman while relying on the reports of the challenges encountered by the site engineers appealed to the authorities to help see to the disturbing issue of multiple check points being mounted by security agencies and which have been creating long queues of trailers and thus affecting free flow of work on the road project.
He also explained that his company has agreed with the federal government to do some palliatives on the Mile2 expressway road to ease the traffic congestion and ensure free flow of vehicular movement.
Dangote stated that the road was very strategic because Apapa and Tin Can Island ports handle about 80 per cent of the cargo that come into Nigeria and the condition of the road has made nonsense of businesses depending on the ports efficient operations.
He said that he more worried about the fate of small businesses and other port users that have imported cargo and whose charges are accumulating every day.
Mr. Juma took Dangote and his team round the construction area and showed him how they have been following the designs handed over to his company.
Speaking in similar vein, Group Managing Director of Flour Mills, Mr. Paul Gbededo said the three partners have shown how to be good corporate citizens saying by the time the road project is completed it would be one never seen before in the country.
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has emerged one of the selected ‘Best 50’ in the world in 2017 Bloomberg on Monday announced The Bloomberg 50, a new, annual, multi-platform initiative that honor 50 icons and innovators who have changed the global business landscape in measurable ways over the past year.
The first Bloomberg 50 honorees were selected by the Bloomberg Businessweek team after months of input from many of Bloomberg’s 2,700 journalists and analysts around the globe, leveraging the resources of the Bloomberg Terminal, and represent the most influential thought leaders in business, finance, technology and science, politics, and entertainment.
The executives, entrepreneurs, experts, and entertainers on the Bloomberg 50 all have a quantifiable metric underpinning their inclusion.
“What sets The Bloomberg 50 apart from other lists is that each person chosen has demonstrated measurable change over the past year,” said Megan Murphy, editor of Bloomberg Businessweek. “Readers will find many names they recognize, but will also discover new visionaries—people who are impacting the world in significant ways, and are rapidly gaining the attention they deserve.”
Other prominent honoree on the Bloomberg 50 include – Mohammed bin Salman, Crown prince, Saudi Arabia, a primary proponent of an initiative that would allow women to drive, a decision that is forecast to add $90 billion to the economy by 2030; Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies with a market capitalization of over $50 billion. Elon Musk nurses the ambition to establish human colony on planet Mars by 2022; Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon, the biggest global retailer, with a major interest in sending tourists into space in Blue Origin rockets; Masayoshi Son, Founder, Softbank Groups Corp., who engineered the largest ever technology investment fund, $93billion, to fund ride-hailing, artificial intelligence, connected devices, satellites, and the integration of computers to humans; Diane Greene, CEO, Google Cloud and the brain behind integrating advances in artificial intelligence and quantum computing to market; Ken Frazier, CEO, Merck & Co., a leader in drug makers market with an innovative drug for advanced lung cancer treatment.
Dangote, who only last week inaugurated his $300 million 1.5 mtpa capacity cement plant in Congo Brazzaville, has remained a top notch in various global ranking. Dangote said: “I am very delighted with this selection and I see the recognition as a call to do more towards youth empowerment, job creation, better health for the people and economic emancipation of the African continent”
As of February 2017, Dangote, according to Forbes Magazine had an estimated net worth of US$12.5 billion. He is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 67th richest person in the world and the richest in Africa, and peaked on the list as the 23rd richest person in the world in 2014. Bloomberg is a global information and technology company, that connect decision makers to a dynamic network of data, people and ideas – “accurately delivering business and financial information, news and insights to customers around the world”
Bloomberg in the preface written by Paul Wallace synopsized Dangote’s person and business in the following words: “the quiet billionaire for his relatively frugal lifestyle, Dangote fast-tracked plans to help his country of 180 million people import less of what it eats. Dangote, who made his fortune in the cement industry, is turning his attention to dairy and sugar farming; he’s earmarked $800 million to buy 50,000 cattle in the hope of producing 500 million liters of milk annually by 2019.
He’s also racing to finish a 650,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery near Lagos, set to be one of the world’s biggest, and says he intends to spend as much as $50 billion in the next decade on renewable energy and petrochemical refineries, including investments in the U.S. and Europe. Which is all fine, but not quite his grand ambition: buying Arsenal, his favorite soccer team”
Nigeria’s business mogul, Aliko Dangote has declared that Africa will soon become the food basket of the world.
Dangote told investors “Agriculture, agriculture, agriculture in the United Nations that Africa will become the food basket of the world.”
In a packed room at the headquarters of global law firm Shearman and Sterling LLC high level business leaders and international diplomats invited by the Corporate Council for Africa to hear Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and Rwandan president Paul Kagame openly converse on Africa’s opportunities and challenges.
Both leaders underscored the ongoing movement to diversify African economies. In the case of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, Dangote stated “we should pray that oil prices remain low. This helps wean us off the dependency on revenues from petroleum. We must take oil to be the icing on the cake. We already have the cake,” he added.
In addition to agriculture Dangote cited Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and gas as well and the need to manufacture more goods locally for domestic consumption. Both he and President Kagame cited continued need for heavy investments in education and connected the need for young people to be well trained for the jobs of tomorrow.
Dangote predicted that “five of the twelve million jobs needed in Africa soon must be created in Nigeria.”
Dangote’s fortune which stems from cement, sugar, and other household commodities has expanded into fertilizer and other processed high-value goods. “Technology of course helps us a lot and our factories are state of the art with the use of robotics but we shouldn’t be overly tech oriented to create wealth,” he told investors.
Mr. Dangote who is often cited as one of the most inspiring business leaders in the world today and a model for young entrepreneurs offered advice to Americans who tend to rely on outdated news and wrong perceptions of Africa, “Don’t be lazy. Go there and find the real story for yourself. Things have changed.”
Dangote noted the Rwanda success story where he has business interests as an example of positive change, good governance and leadership, and where corruption has been cured. He cited a personal experience of offering a $100 US tip for services at the Kigali Airport to staff who refused to take money for work they were paid to do. President Kagame was praised for delivering the environment for growth he promised. “There is nothing African about corruption,” the Rwandan president added.
The session was moderated by Rosa Whitaker, former US Trade Representative and author of the AGOA (African Growth Opportunity Act), whose business consultancy is credited for helping both African governments and US companies develop commerce.
Dangote said on Sunday in Lagos that this was in response to the request by the Benue State Government.
He said that the committee had also approved the release of one of its completed IDP Hostels in the state as a temporary shelter for some of the displaced people.
The former President Goodluck Jonathan had on Oct. 11, 2012, inaugurated the Dangote-led 34-member National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation.
The committee was charged with raising of additional funds to support the government’s efforts to provide adequate relief and post-impact rehabilitation to persons and communities affected by floods in the country.
Dangote said the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) had disclosed that more than 110,000 people in 24 communities, including Makurdi, were displaced by the recent flood in Benue.
The committee chairman said that asides the donation to Benue, his committee had also donated N150 million to provide relief assistance to flood victims in Anambra,
Dangote, in a statement by Mr. Sunday Esan of the Corporate Communication Department of Dangote Group, said that the committee had also released N118 million to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
He said that this was to augment the N1.6 billion released by the Federal Government for procurement of food and non-food relief materials in aid of flood victims in 16 states.
According to him, the states are Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Abuja FCT, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto.
He said that the committee was currently implementing the various projects in the 24 states affected by the 2012 nationwide floods.
Dangote said that the rationale behind the projects was to assist the benefiting states to better handle future emergencies, including flooding.
Weekly equity transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed on Thursday on upbeat note as the All-Share Index grew by 1.42 per cent.
The index rose by 507.12 basis points to close higher at 336,116.19 against the 35,609.07 achieved on Wednesday.
Market capitalisation, which opened at N12.249 trillion, rose by N175 billion or 1.42 per cent to close at N12.448 trillion.
An analysis of the price movement chart indicated that Dangote Cement recorded the highest gain to lead the gainers table by N9.79 to close at N216.91 per share.
Guinness followed with a gain of N8.94 to close at N1, 126, while Stanbic IBTC appreciated by N1.49 to close at N39.9 per share.
Nigeria Breweries gained N1.4 to close at N184, while Flour Mill increased by N1 to close at N30 per share.
Conversely, Seplat topped the losers’ chart, losing N24.1 to close at N457.9 per share. Mobil trailed with a loss 99k to close at N165.61, while NCR lost 36k to close at N6.97 per share.
FBNH depreciated by 20k to close at N5.76, while Oando shed by 23k to close at N6.3 per share.
The volume of shares traded, however, decreased by 20.99 per cent with an exchange of 222.69 million shares worth N4.17 billion traded in 4,622 deals.
This was in contrast to the 281.83 million shares valued at N5.42 billion traded in 4,066 deals on Wednesday.
Sterling Bank emerged the toast of investors, accounting for 36.58 million shares valued at N37.25 million.
It was followed by Royalex with 35.72 million shares valued at N17.86 million.
Fidelity Bank traded 21.91 million shares worth N29.39 million, while Access Bank sold 21.55 million shares worth N212.45 million.