“If I had challenges in my company, I would not hesitate to sell assets, to remain afloat, to get to the better times, because it doesn’t make any sense for me to keep any assets and then suffocate the whole organisation. “What we need to do now in my own thinking… we have a lot of assets to sell. We can sell part of the joint venture; part of the shares. You know government normally owns 60 percent.” Dangote to Vanguard Reporter
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, from all reports, is an amiable man who contributes to communities where he operates. While the family’s name had been made – or at least come into Southwesterners’ attention – through distributive trade, he came into prominence among Nigeria when he donated a then-whopping N50m (over $400,000.00) to the campaign of the former army ruler, retired General Obasanjo in 1979 who was running to become the civilian through the PDP, a party that was formed and became home to most of Nigeria’s money-bags.
Dangote has been a major player in the market of Nigerian government-owned companies up for sale since Obasanjo presidency.
Today, his stable of many high-yielding companies once belonged to the Nigerian people and while he purchased some that had been stolen dry by government officials, many Nigerians believe he owes a lot of his success to the infrastructure already on the ground at those concerns. Here are just three instances of cement & sugar production, steel mill, flour mills, sugar-production, et cetera of governments that were formerly owned by governments now golden egg layers for the Dangote Group.
One of the companies under the Dangote Group manages Terminal E of Apapa Port, Lagos. At the terminal, major huge bulk operations can be seen including rebagging of imported dry goods, including rice which, from Nigeria’s open markets in major cities, appear to be dominated by Dangote.
The Osogbo Rolling Mills in Osun State was bought Dangote Group and now operates as Integrated Steel Plc which produces steel bars and rods with a production capacity of 400,000 MT per annum.
Its near-monopolistic dominance of the cement trade in Nigeria through three major cement factories among which is the Obajana Cement Plant, the largest cement plant in sub-Saharan Africa, was once rumored as being jointly owned with former President Obasanjo which has never been proved nor am I aware it’s been disproved.
Here is a para from a 2006 essay during Obasanjo presidency; it’s from my old weekly newspaper essays. It was reproduced on this blog on Christmas Day 2013:
If not, why did Transcorp purchase almost the entire NITEL for $750 million when GLOBACOM bidded $1.2 billion for the same property? Vmobile sold a fraction of its shares for $1.2 billion.
• … This one man operates six farms in six states … source of the funds for these massive investments? What is the deal between this one man with the owner of Mittal of India? Why the hurry in granting Block 246 [oil license] to the Indian conglomerate?
• … who is the real owner of Obajana cement factory? … Eleme Petrochemicals? … the largest shares in Arik Air? Why did the government sell the Nigeria Airway Hanger to this airline not through bidding …? –
Information on the Dangote Group’s only link to high profile of former government employee is on Mr. Joseph Makoju, the managing director/chief executive officer of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), now Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the monster – by size and handiwork – Nigeria’s national electricity utility. And, for almost a decade, he also served as the M.D./CEO of the West African Portland Cement Company, (WAPCO) at that time Nigeria’s largest cement manufacturing company. After his tenure as the managing director/Chief Executive of NEPA, Makoju was appointed consecutively as Special Adviser to three presidents of Nigeria.
Both NEPA and WAPCO, like the Osogbo Rolling Mill, were government-owned.
Perhaps up to three-quarters of the 18-wheelers and such huge trucks that clog the roads of Southwestern Nigeria and cause the Lagos-Ibadan “expressway” to take several hours for a distance of a little over 100 miles, belong to Dangote. Just travel the major roads and count.
Dangote’s companies produces OR IMPORTS almost ALL Nigeria’s foods: rice, pasta, sugar, cooking oil … and through a subsidiary, Dansa Foods Ltd., produces –
Fruit Juices : 6 Flavours
Pasturised Milk : 3 Variants
Flavoured Milk : 4 Flavours
Yoghurt Drink : 4 Flavours
Table Water : Still Water
With Procter & Gamble, Fertilizer manufacturing, Bags & Sacks manufacturing mere parts in the Dangote stable, when a baby is born in Nigeria, he starts his life’s journey with no choice but under Dangote’s vice grip from wearing P&G pampers till after his death. A shop girl once repeated a sick joke she said she had heard in the market: ” …ti Dangote ba fẹ, ó lè pa gbogbo wa! [Since Dangote sells all foodstuffs, he can kill all of us.]
Calling for the sale of a major corporation like the NLNG by Dangote is, therefore, unconscionable and immoral albeit with the disingenuous provisoas the Vanguard has quoted him adding: “We can sell in an open tender be it Chinese …”
NOTE: Information used for this report was sourced from dangote.com
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2016. 9:20 p.m. [GMT]