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Aliko Dangote: His Political Influence and Deals with the Nigerian Govt

Aliko Dangote is one of the most successful and influential business leaders in Nigeria. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of the Dangote Group, which is the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa.

The group has interests in cement production, sugar refining, flour milling, and pasta production among others, which makes him one of the most powerful business figures in Nigeria. Dangote’s business empire has a significant impact on the Nigerian economy, and his companies are major contributors to the country’s GDP. He is also a major employer in Nigeria, providing jobs for thousands of people.

Dangote’s business success and wealth have also given him a significant level of political influence in Nigeria. Throughout the years, he has leveraged his political power to secure government deals and shape government policies. Let’s have a look at how Dangote has leveraged political influence over the years.

Dangote’s first deal with the Central Bank of Nigeria

In the 1990s, Dangote approached the Central Bank of Nigeria with the idea that it would be cheaper for the bank to allow his transport company to manage their fleet of staff buses, a proposal that was also approved. This deal allowed Dangote to expand his transport business and gain a foothold in the Nigerian transportation sector.

His early deal with the Nigerian Ports Authority

In 2012, Dangote approached the Nigerian Ports Authority to lease an abandoned piece of land at the Apapa Port, which was approved. This allowed Dangote to build facilities for his sugar company, making it the largest refinery in Africa and the third largest in the world, producing 800,000 tonnes of sugar annually.

Financing Political Campaigns

Dangote has also had a prominent role in the financing of political campaigns in Nigeria. In 2003, he had a prominent role in the financing of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s re-election bid, to which he gave over N200 million (US$2 million). He contributed N50 million (US$500 thousand) to the National Mosque under the aegis of “Friends of Obasanjo and Atiku”. In 2017, rumors circulated that Dangote was considering a run for President of Nigeria in the 2019 election, but he declined to run and instead went on to serve on a special advisory committee for Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection campaign.

Dangote’s Political Appointments

In addition to these, Dangote was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan to serve as a member of the economic management team. This appointment gave him a direct line to the government and allowed him to shape economic policies that would benefit his businesses.

Dangote’s political influence has also been apparent in his ability to shape public opinion and discourse. He is a well-known figure in Nigeria and has a strong media presence. He is often featured in the news and is considered a celebrity in the country, which gives him the ability to shape public opinion and influence public discourse.

Despite concerns about the political influence of Aliko Dangote, it is undeniable that he has been a trailblazer and an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs in Nigeria and across the continent. His business success and wealth have allowed him to shape government policies and shape public opinion, but it is important to ensure that his influence is used ethically and in a way that benefits the people of Nigeria. Through his hard work and determination, Dangote has grown his small trading firm into one of the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa, and continues to be a shining example of what is possible through entrepreneurship and business acumen. There were rumour that Aliko Dangote was considering a run for President of Nigeria in the 2019 election, but he declined to run and instead went on to serve on a special advisory committee for Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection campaign.

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