PROFILE: Meet Aliko Dangote, the billionaire who built Africa’s biggest oil refinery

 PROFILE: Meet Aliko Dangote, the billionaire who built Africa’s biggest oil refinery

On Monday, Aliko Dangote, the business mogul, inaugurated his much-awaited $19bn refinery in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub.

Dangote refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project under construction in the Lekki Free Zone near Lagos.

It is ranked Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility.

The project, expected to generate 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs, has continued to attract attention across the globe.

Amid the reactions trailing the project, it is worth spotlighting the brain behind it.

Who is Aliko Dangote?

Dangote is a Nigerian business magnate, investor, and philanthropist.

He is widely recognised as the richest person in Africa and one of the wealthiest individuals in the world.

Born on April 10, 1957, in Kano, Nigeria, Dangote is the founder and chairman of the Dangote Group, a multinational conglomerate with interests in various sectors, including cement production, sugar refining, flour milling, salt processing, and more.

Here are some key highlights of the billionaire businessman’s profile:

  1. Business Ventures: Dangote’s most notable business venture is the Dangote Group, which he established in 1977 as a small trading firm. Over the years, he transformed it into a diversified conglomerate that operates in several industries. Dangote Cement, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, is Africa’s largest cement producer and has operations in several countries.
  2. Wealth and Forbes Ranking: As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Aliko Dangote’s net worth was estimated to be around $12 billion, making him the richest person in Africa. He has consistently appeared on Forbes’ list of billionaires and has been recognized for his significant contributions to business and entrepreneurship.
  3. Philanthropy: Aliko Dangote is actively involved in philanthropic endeavours, focusing on initiatives related to education, healthcare, and poverty alleviation. He established the Aliko Dangote Foundation, which supports various programs and projects aimed at improving the lives of Nigerians and Africans in general.
  4. Awards and Recognitions: Dangote’s accomplishments and contributions to business have earned him numerous awards and recognitions. He has received honours such as the Forbes Africa Person of the Year, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) by the Nigerian government, and the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Philanthropy, among others.
  5. Personal Life: Aliko Dangote is known to be a private individual who keeps his personal life out of the public eye. He is married and has three children.

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