The secrets behind Dangote’s success
…And other lessons people can learn from this Africa richest man
By Charles Segun Adegbite
How did Africa richest man and President/CEO of Dangote Group of companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, got the money he is using presently to finance the sugar plantation and refinery in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, which when completed, will be the biggest sugar refinery in West Africa?
I know you will say, what kind of question is this, is he not the richest man in Africa, won’t he have a lot of money to embark on any project? But wait a minute and get the secrets which a lot of millionaires and billionaires are using to make more money, which make them to look as if they have two heads or are enigmas.
In fact, Dangote himself disclosed this secret consciously or unconsciously at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the acquisition of the 60,000 hectares of land for the sugar project in Nasarawa on Thursday, June 8, 2017.
He said, “The next person I want to appreciate is my very good friend, Mr. Godwin Emefiele (C.O.N) the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, for not only doing his job at the Central Bank, but for paying a lot of attention into agriculture.
He has gotten himself involved in funding …big scale farmers like us. We were able to get money at a single digit interest and long term refund for 10years. The prosperity today that we are having in agriculture, I can assure you, without the involvement and support by the Central Bank of Nigeria, it wouldn’t have been possible, “Dangote added.
From this statement, we can learn the following lessons:
1) HE USES OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY TO MAKE MORE MONEY
The rich use Other People’s Money (OPM) to trade and make more money to enrich themselves and those who borrow them. (NOTE: Not stealing or defrauding others, but legitimate borrowing). It is a win-win game.
While the poor are afraid of borrowing huge money, the rich don’t. They take the risk, but ensure they spend the money borrowed judiciously so that they don’t destroy opportunities of borrowing more money, another time. What they do is very simple. It means, “Look, I know how to use money to make more money. Rather than allowing it to just be there, bring it and let me use it. When I finish, the profit will be shared, and all the investors (borrowers/shareholders) will gain.
2) HE BEFRIENDS OTHER INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE TO BECOME WEALTHIER
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, who was formerly the Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, is Dangote’s good friend. Having governor of the apex bank in a country like Nigeria, as “a very good friend” means a lot; when it comes to raising money for any project from any bank.
This is Power of Association. The holy Bible says “He that walks with the wise shall be wise. A companion of fools shall be destroyed”.
3) HE ASSOCIATES WITH ALL RELEVANT PEOPLE & AUTHORITIES
Dangote said at the event, “I want to single out two people here today whose hard work, dedication, patriotism and passion for reviving Nigeria’s agricultural sector have made today’s event a reality. The person is Alhaji Tanko Umaru Almakura, governor of Nasarawa State. He single handedly mobilised all the necessary stakeholders in the state, to join him in creating the remarkably enabling environment that attracted us to take this huge investment decision on a very short notice.
He removed all the traditional huddles and road blocks usually experienced in conception and taking off of such a large scale agricultural project. As a result we were able to conclude and commit the investment in a record time. What we succeeded in doing in less than three months normally used to take us two to three years in other areas.
4) HE TAKES ADVANTAGE OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES
Dangote disclosed there also: “Today we have aligned ourselves with the government diversification policy by renewing focus on the non-oil sectors like manufacturing, agriculture and mining.
“We are today well positioned and blessed in each of these three sectors. ..We are here to sign MoU between Nasarawa State Government and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc.
“We are the leading producer of cement in Africa. We are proud of the roles we play in successfully transforming Nigeria from being the biggest importer of cement to now being exporters of cement.” He said. By aligning with government policies he takes advantage of available opportunities without having problems with constituted authorities. He doesn’t swim against the tide, but along with it.
5) HE IS DRIVEN BY DESIRE TO SOLVE PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS & MAKE MONEY THROUGH IT
Dangote said, “Our interest in agriculture is driven by our desire to generate thousands of jobs especially in rural and deprived areas of our country. In agriculture, we have launched mega projects in sugar, rice and dairy farming.
“In manufacturing we are building one of the world largest fertilizer, so that it could help agriculture, so that we would be doing 3millions tone of urea and ammonium, which is actually the largest.” He added. By helping to solve problems being faced by government and people, this wise man is creating more jobs for the jobless, bringing development to rural areas that might not witness real development in 20 years from now, reducing food insufficiency, helping to cut down importation of goods that can be manufactured locally and increasing the nation’s exportation capacity, among others. All these have become huge sources of wealth for this man.
His case therefore can be likened to what the Holy Bible says to those who have (and make good use of them) more will be added to them. While those who have not, even the little they have (which they are not making good use of) will be taken away from them. These are great lessons for those who can think deeply and learn.
Related: 12 Secrets of billionaires who started small