So in an interview with Dr Mo Ibrahim, at the 2019 Ibrahim Forum in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, he was asked if he had money on him? And his reply was
I HAVE NONE.
He also said he didn’t believe how wealthy he was until he withdrew $10 million from his bank account all at once, and took it home in the butt of his car. He said he took the money inside his house, stared at it, and returned it to the bank the following day.
Afterwards, he believed he was a millionaire.
“YOU KNOW THE WAY IT IS IS THAT WHEN YOU FIRST START BUSINESS, YOUR TARGET IS TO MAKE YOUR FIRST MILLION. OKAY, FINE, I DID THAT.
“BUT AFTER A YEAR OR SO, I REALISED THAT LOOK, I HAD ABOUT 12, $13 BILLION. YOU KNOW, I SAID ‘OKAY FINE, ALL THESE NUMBERS ARE JUST WRITTEN NUMBERS’.
“SO, ONE DAY, I WENT TO A BANK. THAT TIME, THERE WERE NO RESTRICTIONS OR ANYTHING. SO, I WROTE A CHEQUE AND CASHED $10 MILLION. AND I TOOK IT HOME… I PUT IT IN THE BUTT OF MY VEHICLE AND WENT HOME. AND I LOOKED AT IT AND I SAID ‘OKAY FINE, NOW I BELIEVE I HAVE MONEY’.”
According to HIM, the refinery project he is undertaking in Lagos has, so far, gulped between $12 billion to $13 billion.
When asked why it was so expensive, Dangote explained that the project is multifaceted, covering the refinery, petrochemical, fertiliser, and gas pipeline.
He then described the project and the facility it is located on which, according to him is “huge”. And just so you know how huge, it has 30 kilometres of fencing!
He also talked about some of the challenges they’ve faced, including having to build a port for the facility. This is because regular Nigerian ports cannot handle the weight of some of the equipment they are shipping in.
The projected incomes/profits from the refinery project is huge, just as the project itself.
What this means, therefore, is that Africa’s richest man is positioning himself for more wealth, as soon as the project begins operation in just a few years.
As Dangote stated, what he hopes to replicate the same success he has recorded in the cement industry. Nigeria will become one of the biggest exporters of refined petroleum products in Africa. And this means more money streaming into Dangote’s many fat account numbers.
There is no gainsaying the fact he will never again have to question how wealthy he is. He is Africa’s richest man, a position he most likely will retain for a long time to come.