AT the Financial Times’ 4th annual Africa Summit at Claridges in London, editor in chief Lionel Barber conducted an extraordinarily candid public conversation with Nigerian Aliko Dangote, Africa’s most successful business leader, in the presence of Nigerian vice-president Professor Yemi Osingajo, Congolese presidential hopeful Moise Katumbi, and about 300 business leaders.
Mastering detailed production statistics and highly-compelling demographics on promising sectors of the African economy, Dangote outlined the key to his success: self-sufficiency and backward integration, a manufacturing strategy that extracts value from entire processes. “We are not going to import anything any longer,” he said. “In Nigeria we are learning how to produce the entire value chain.” Once a heavy importer of fertilizer, Nigeria is now gearing up to produce 3M tonnes of locally manufactured fertilizer, transforming the nation into one of the largest fertilizer exporters in Africa.
In 2007 Nigeria was the second largest importer of cement after the US, Dangote reminded the audience of business elites. “Today, we have not only satisfied domestic needs; we have become a leading exporter of 6-7M tonnes of cement,” he added.
Diversifying into agriculture, Dangote has eyes on the dairy industry motivated by the fact that “98% of all milk consumed in Nigeria is imported.” Same for rice. Dangote Group has invested heavily in rice production by investing in local farmers and then offering to buy back the 1M tonnes at open market prices that they are growing. “Soon we will be able to feed not only Nigeria but the entire 320M large West African market.”
Dangote’s business accumen was on rare exhibition as FT editor Lionel Barber himself seemed impressed with the business mogul’s quick familiarity with the nuts and bolts of his businesses. “Are we going to continue to import everything?” Dangote asked. “Freight rates are now cheap but they will go up soon. A population of over 200M cannot continue to import basic needs on a daily basis,” he answered himself.
By 2100 Dangote stated Africa will represent 49% of the world’s population, up from 30% today. “If you don’t think big we won’t grow at all,” he said. “In Africa you have to play long-term.”
Aside from Nigeria, which African nations do you think are good growth opportunities? Barber asked Dangote. “Aside from Nigeria?” the business leader repeated and smiled. “I’d have to pick Nigeria. I am a big fan of Nigeria. We are only using 8% of our land.”
Dangote’s daughter, Halima Takes Charge of Dangote Group Commercial Operations
Halima Dangote, the second daughter of Nigerian business mogul Aliko Dangote has been appointed as the Group Executive Director, Commercial Operations of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) one of Africa’s largest and most diversified business conglomerates.
According to a release by the company, Halima Aliko Dangote is returning to the Group after serving on secondment in several capacities across two of its Business Units over the last five years. She is also a Trustee of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the conglomerate.
In her most recent role, Halima served as Executive Director of Dangote Flour Mills. Remarkably, she led the turnaround of the business from loss in turnover to a profitable status; a feat derived from consistent high performance over time.
Previously, she served as Executive Director of NASCON, a manufacturer of salt, seasonings and related consumer products, which are enjoying huge patronage among consumers. She continues to serve as a Non-Executive Director of NASCON.
Halima is the president of the Board of The Africa Center in New York, a uniquely focused center providing a forward-looking gateway for engagement with Africa, while encompassing policy, business and culture. She is a Board member of Endeavour Nigeria, and is also a member of the Women Corporate Directors (WCD).
She has over 12 years of professional experience and has held several executive management roles. In her new role, Halima will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Dangote Group’s customer strategy to drive customer growth, improve customer relationship management, enhance customer experience and increase long term customer value, according to the release.
She will also be responsible for the implementation of the Group’s shared services strategy with specific oversight for the following functions; Commercial, Strategic procurement, Administration and Branding & Communications.
Halima, who has a strong passion for women empowerment, holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Marketing from the American Intercontinental University, London, United Kingdom and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Webster Business School, United Kingdom.
She has attended a number of high profile leadership development programmes including: the Programme for Leadership Development (PLD) at Harvard Business School; Executive Development Programme at Kellogg School of Management; Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Executives at Columbia Business School.
The Dangote Group, which recently emerged as the Most Admired African Brand and the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria for the second consecutive year (2018 – 2019) is actively involved in manufacturing cement, sugar, salt, flour, poly-products as well as logistics, oil & gas and real estate.
Dangote Group, Togo partner to transform Phosphate into Fertiliser
Dangote Industries Limited and the Government of Togo (GoT) have concluded an agreement to develop and transform Togolese phosphate into phosphate fertilizers for the West African sub-region; in a bid to improve consumption of the product in Africa.
With over two billion tonnes of phosphate reserves, Togo is one of the leading phosphate producers in Africa. By partnering the Dangote Group, the country intends to benefit from the expertise and investment capacity of Africa’s largest industrial group, according to a joint release issued by the Dangote Group and the Communications Department of the Presidency of the Republic of Togo.
With the completion and commissioning of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Fertilizer complex in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Dangote Group will be the largest ammonia producer on the African continent, the release noted. Ammonia is an essential ingredient in the transformation of phosphate into fertilizer derived from phosphates. Under the agreement, Togo will provide access to phosphate resources and the Dangote Group will provide access to ammonia and to the Nigerian market.
The project, in line with second pillar of the Togo National Development Plan, should enable the production of more than 1 million tonnes of fertilizers derived from phosphates once completed. The cost of the investment is estimated at about $2 billion and is expected to create several thousand direct jobs. Mining development work will start before the end of 2019, it added.
On this occasion, Dangote Group also announced the establishment of a cement manufacturing plant with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tonnes in Lomé. This plant will use clinker from Togo and Nigeria and will meet both local and neighbouring countries’ demand, the release noted.
It further added that construction of the Lome plant is billed to start in first quarter of 2020 and its commissioning scheduled to take place before the end of 2020. The investment is estimated at $60 million and is expected to create 500 direct jobs.
Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé said, “The structural transformation of our economy is the main objective we have set ourselves in the context of the 2018-2022 NDP. By processing our phosphate we will not only create jobs but we will also be able to provide our farmers with good quality fertilizers at an affordable cost. Having an industrial investor like Alhaji Dangoté shows that our efforts to improve the business climate are paying off. We intend to continue in this dynamic for the well-being of Togolese men and women.”
President/CE Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said, ‘’This partnership is in line with our transformation agenda in creating prosperity and enhancing economic development not only in Togo but also in Affrica. In addition, the Dangote Group is determined in supporting the Government of Togo in its industrialisation strategy aimed at creating jobs for its citizens and making Togo an attractive investment destination.’’
The two investment agreements reinforce Togo’s industrialisation strategy adopted under the 2018-2022 National Development Plan.
FG Pledges Support Towards Completion of Dangote Petroleum Refinery
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has pledged support of the Federal Government towards ensuring the completion of the historic 650,000 BPD, Dangote Petroleum Refinery during an official visit to the Petrochemical complex located at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, Nigeria.
The minister who was led on a tour of the Refinery by the Group President, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, and the company’s Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, was accompanied by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Senator Sabo Nakudu; Chairman, Senate Committee on Services/member, Senate Committee, Upstream, Senator Muhammad Musa; GMD, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari; Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Ahmed Shakur; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote; and the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF), Mr. Ahmed Boboi; among others.
He said: “This is a very heartwarming moment for all of us as Nigerians. There is no way a project of this magnitude will be going on and government will not be interested. Anywhere in the world, if a citizen of a country has committed so much money into investing in this kind of massive project, government must show interest.
“I must say now that Dangote Group has turned this project to the story of all of us, we must all support this project to succeed, because the success of this project signals a lot. Of course, I am sure that the whole world is looking at the success of this project. Investors all over the world will look at the success of this project and will come to Nigeria to at least also enjoy the benefit of investing here. So, we are actually here to assure you, Dangote Group, that as a government, as NNPC, we will support this project as much as we can. You have definitely done very well.”
“As you can see, the whole team is complete, and whatever your concerns are, whatever your problems are, please feel free to let us know, so that we will together find a solution to problems that you might encounter. Because of course, in project of this magnitude, you cannot expect that you will not have problems.
Sylva said the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical was a testament that the country possesses enabling environment for businesses to thrive and added that the success of the project will boost investors confidence in the country’s oil and gas project. He implored Nigerians to support the refinery project with a view to ensuring that it creates more value addition to the economy.
Mr Mele Kyari, NNPC GMD said that “we are not competing with Dangote but complimenting each other to boost production capacity. Our objective is the same, to make Nigeria a net exporter of crude. We can’t do this until we have complementary activities between the private sector and government.”
“ln the next five years, Dangote will add 650,000 barrels, government with 445,000 barrels with others companies coming up to boost capacity,” he said.
In his remarks, Aliko Dangote, Group President and Chief Executive, Dangote Group said ” We believed in Nigeria and if we don’t do it ourselves, nobody will come down to do it for us. There is three per cent growth population increase annually in Nigeria, so, apart from that Nigeria are supposed to meet the needs of West, East and Central Africa in terms of supply.”
Similarly, Mr Devakumar Edwin,the company’s Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, said that the asset creates market for 11billion per annum of Nigerian crude and can meet 100 per cent of the Nigerian requirement of all liquid products.
He said that Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude oil producer, but lacks refining capacity to meet its own fuel needs.
“The Dangote refinery, which is designed to maximise petrol output, will produce enough to allow for a small surplus of that fuel for export. It will also be able to send a large volume of diesel and jet fuel to international markets.”
He disclosed that Dangote plans to take advantage of local crude supply, adding that it won’t participate in the crude-for-fuel swap deal that is managed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“We are going to buy the crude just at the export price and will sell our products at the import price, the crude swap is operating only for the importers of the product. The new refinery has been designed to process varieties of crude from sweet to light crude sourced both locally, and abroad.
“Dangote plans to export its diesel to Europe and gasoline to Latin America, Western and Central African markets, Edwin said.
He said that evacuation of refined products will be done by sea and through roads.
“We are thinking of investing in vessels. We want to make sure we are not held for ransom by any transport operators. Africa’s largest oil refinery had revealed that it would deliver its fuels to Nigerian consumers via roads and sea ports, and will effectively replace all of Nigeria’s fuel imports once fully operational.”
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