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Aliko Dangote: “We might go into steel” – how the magnate sequences market entry

By Nicholas Norbrook
Posted on Tuesday, 23 November 2021 10:33

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote speaks with Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo during a facility tour at the proposed Dangote oil refinery site near Akodo beach in Lagos
Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote (L) speaks with Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (R) during a facility tour at the proposed Dangote oil refinery site near Akodo beach in the outskirt of Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos June 25, 2016. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

If Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote can drop multiple billions into a refinery, it is because of income streams across several sectors, patiently built up over the past decade – in textiles, then sugar and cement, logistics and others. Each new commodity, once mastered, becomes the springboard for entry into a new sector.

Cement remains the biggest contributor to Dangote Industries Ltd, the financial slab on which other industries are built.

Net income from Dangote Cement, for example, hit nearly half a billion dollars in the first half of 2021, a 50% jump after a difficult and Covid-19-beset 2020. A useful chunk of change when paying off debts on a $19bn refinery.

With installed capacity of 48.6m tonnes per year across the continent, Dangote Cement is adding new capacity in Nigeria’s Edo State later this year.

The company wants to shake off the image that it only works because of a comfortable arrangement with government.