Dangote Has Picked Cement and Refinery, Pick Electricity, Clean Water, Roads, and Ask for Government Support

Dangote Has Picked Cement and Refinery, Pick Electricity, Clean Water, Roads, and Ask for Government Support

So many interesting comments on my piece on Dangote Refinery. Let’s respect and commend Alhaji Aliko Dangote. Here you see me, even as a village boy from Ovim Abia State, if you have $5 billion to invest in Nigeria and you have money to rent my brain, my advisory package will include getting some major concessions from the government for you. I have called that Conglomerate Tax and it is global (Amazon HQ2 got $billions of waivers from US cities, GE got waivers to develop special plastic for US military, etc).

Dangote’s problem is that he is alone in doing many production things in Nigeria, and that is why we have the jealousy from many who do not understand how markets work. There is no businessman or woman with $10 billion to invest that will not ask for special treatments. Not doing so is stupidity!

I am a player in the US semiconductor industry. As I write, the US government is distributing $52.7 billion to major players. While Nigeria does not have funds to distribute, it offers some incentives to great pioneering entrepreneurs with capacities to do big things.

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In the US, they do not have silver or bronze in competitions; win or go home. That is why Elon Musk has received $billions via grants, incentives, etc from the US government because he is always #1 in the categories. You can accuse the US government of favouritism for picking Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring, and ignoring other companies which fade over; they do not care.

While a student in Johns Hopkins, there was a specific year Johns Hopkins received close to 18% of the National Institute of Health grant, with other universities in the whole US sharing the rest. Why?  Focus on the best, winners, the Gold, with capacities to do big things.

Let us celebrate this man. If you are offended, raise your $10 billion and ask the government what you need to fix our electricity, clean water, health care, transportation, etc. Those are opportunities which remain available. But dismissing his efforts on the grounds of government support is unfair to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to do big things in the future.

Note this: the government of Tanzania promised him $600 million incentives. He built and they reneged. He was about to close the factory when the new president realized the risk and acted up. He won 100% and the president understood that you do not threaten a man who is putting $$billions in your economy.

For almost a year, Tanzanian officials had been in a bitter $600 million dispute with Dangote Cement over investment incentives related to a new cement plant in Mtwara, southern Tanzania.  The Nigerian company had claimed the government was reneging on promises made by the previous administration of president Jakaya Kikwete, who left office thirteen months ago.

The cement plant launched last year and was flourishing until John Magufuli became president. In the last 12 months, new regulatory challenges undermined operations to such a degree, that the company suspended production last month. It caused an uproar in Tanzania. And Magufuli had to get directly involved and eventually struck a last-minute deal with Dangote on Saturday (Dec. 10) to keep the factory in the country and save thousands of jobs that were at risk if it closed.

My Response: I am not sure about that. There are many banks in Nigeria today. Dangote’s Liberty Bank did not survive because govt had given winners the goodies. People like to make it look like Dangote has a strike rate of 100%. Check, Dangote Capital, Dangote Noodles, Liberty Merchant Bank, etc all went bankrupt. He competes and fails on some but whenever he wins,  many think it is because of the government. I find that offensive from Nigerians. What has govt done for him that bank owners do not get in our distorted FX regime?

Take time and see investments he wasted $$billions and recalibrate this illusion that he wins because of govt. In 3 years, someone will write “How Nigeria Gave Dangote Our Petrol Sector” as memory fades on how it used to be

My Response: Even China picks winners. In short, China’s one is legendary. It is an illusion to think someone will invest $10b without incentives.  Tanzania was giving Dangote Cement trouble. He closed the factory. Then months later, those local entrepreneurs could not create an alternative and the govt came calling because cement scarcity hit the land. This is not an app, this is an asset-heavy industry.

Comment 3: The Ibeto cement was killed by the Nigerian government for the obvious . Now, the refineries owned by the Nigerian government cannot function but the NNPC already has a stake in Dangote refinery. It is outrageous!

My Response: Yes, it is Dangote that killed all the refineries in Nigeria. Yes, Nigeria has not allowed them to work for decades so that Dangote will own the sector. Yes, it is because of the investment NNPC made in Dangote Refinery a few years ago that precipitated the collapse of all refineries in Nigeria. That is not fair!

Comment 4: Sir, I must say one admirable quality of your submissions lies in their unwavering objectivity, to my mind. Despite being delivered at nearly lightning-fast speeds, reminding me of a mass-production conveyor belt, your responses rarely compromise the depth and accuracy of your knowledge base. It is indeed impressive to see such a consistent level of excellence you maintain in your submissions. I like how you deliver top-notch content with impartiality.

To my mind, it’s the cultural conditioning that is causing many to wonder about the issue of this laudable and indeed patriotic venture. Imagine DanCash entering the Nigerian business space with this same chef-d’oeuvre and easily drawing in a profound ‘sense’ of assurance, confidence and trust(the type the Super Eagles-in their winning ways,O- inspire in all of us, or even Hilda Baci, last 2 weeks)! Such a heightened sense of collective ownership and patriotism would significantly impact the entire country, giving it that hard-to-describe energy that moves nations to prosperity and well-being. Respectfully, please.???????

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41 thoughts on “Dangote Has Picked Cement and Refinery, Pick Electricity, Clean Water, Roads, and Ask for Government Support

  1. People argue or disagree from their position or state of mind, but anyone who has tried to build anything significant won’t argue against whatever Dangote enjoys. Business at the highest level is not activism, those who build things focus on what works and how to make the best of it, while those who neither build nor understand market only fantasize on what could have been.

    The question remains, the sectors Dangote is not playing in, who has taken up the challenge? It is all talks, no action. Many will even discourage anyone close to them that wants to sink hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructural project in Nigeria, telling you how Nigeria will soon collapse or why the ‘government’ will not allow you to build. If you have money to invest, please step forward, we will get the government to agree with your terms, your job is to solve big problems.

    Nobody needs to be distracted by mosquito bites and noise, many things always seem impossible here, until someone does them, and then people will come up with theories and conspiracies to undermine a great undertaking; that is how to spot failures anyway.

    People are running away, acquiring second citizenship, so anyone staying put and believing in Nigeria is the real MVP.

    1. I love your submission sir.One thing about Nigerians,even though we have an entrepreneurial mindset,we always want the easiest way out,which I believe is our bane.The government agencies like the Nigeria orientation agency(NOA)are not doing their jobs

    2. Unlevel play ground is real because government support depends on which part of the country you come from. Check out what Air Peace is going through to keep their aircraft in flight and on the ground. If not for the resilience of Dr Alex Onyema Nigeria govt through their customs n excise policies would have killed the airline by now despite the benevolence of the company to Nigeria and Nigerians

        President Buhari is the reason my business is booming. He approved zero pay duty on imported aircraft, zero VAT on imported aircraft, and gave all the airlines loans. We have never had it this good in Nigeria. I bought 13 brand-new planes and they are coming in. I couldn’t afford them if Buhari didn’t put this policy.

        We have to enable the environment to do business


        Air Peace CEO Allen Onyema

        President Buhari is the reason my business is booming. He approved zero pay duty on imported aircraft, zero VAT on imported aircraft, and gave all the airlines loans. We have never had it this good in Nigeria. I bought 13 brand-new planes and they are coming in. I couldn’t afford them if Buhari didn’t put this policy.

        We have to enable the environment to do business


        Air Peace CEO Allen Onyema

  2. There is merit in the argument on both sides. Some government policies can make some businesses thrive or not thrive. And some of these policies may be targeted with individuals and groups in mind, rather than what the country will benefit from them. The policies may be induced by lobbying and other primordial consideration.

    However, a lot of people have benefited from such policies without making a difference in the sectors that they operate.

    This is where Dangote should be commended for remaining focused to win the trophy.

  3. We have looked forward to Business Men, who won’t fail us, Most have, Few have been very Exemplifying.
    I have been studying SEMI-CONDUCTOR CHIPS manufacturers in the US and the Top 50 Globally, i saw the Size Scaling, the Placing and Positioning in terms of Production Capacity.
    I feel we all must really know how to Start Businesses and how to Pitch to a Global Size. That makes you a Force, no longer a Competition.
    Most Nigerian Businesses are still in the Range of COMPETITION.
    Truth be told, i was telling some groups of Friends that Dangote’s Investment doesn’t have a Global Stand, because what he is into does not benefits more than Nigerians and at Large; Africans, until I was listening to Dangote Himself in one of his Foundation’s talk with Bill Gates about ‘Malnutrition and how he started Vitamins Fortification in Dangote Sugar Production’, to reduce Vitamins deficiency in African Children and I understood immediately the Passion of a very Great Man to make his People Good and Healthy.
    I wish we all will just make a Little Positive impact at Preserving our Closest People and Citizens from Shame.
    Just do it,
    Let’s us All do our Part.
    Thank you Uncle Alhaji Aliko Dangote for loving Nigeria and Africa as myself.

  4. Three years from now, we will recount how Dangote killed Nigeria refineries. That will be the storyline. We won’t remember that even in the time of IBB the refineries were less than 50% functional. By the end of Abacha era, they were dead. We won’t remember that OBJ paid several billions of dollars for turnaround maintenance that labour started asking OBJ to turnaround for once and name the contractors that always got the turnaround maintenance contracts. We won’t remember that in frustration, OBJ decided to sell the refineries to the same Dangote and Otedola. Sold Steel complex to Mittal. But Yar’Adua turned around the frustration and revoked the sales of the refineries. Today our refineries are functional and producing at over 1000% above installed capacity. Since the time of GEJ Nigeria has been exporting refined petroleum products all over the world. We have earned over 500billion dollars in the last 8years from refined petroleum products export. Dangote through his Fulani hegemonic connections have now come to kill all our refineries. This time around, the Nigerian youths must not accept. This is our storyline in three years time. We dey wait. 36months go soon reach. DSS I can help import waterboarding equipments if you need them in three years time for stupid people treatment.

  5. Dangote bought Oshogbo Steel Rolling mill in 2005. He spent ?15 billion to refurbish it. Unfortunately for him, he used Indian and Turkish management to refurbish it. These guys didn’t understand the German technology that was used to build the mill and so they messed up. The mill refused to work. ?15 billion wasted and not a single ton of steel produced.
    Meanwhile, the previous retired management who understood the German production were producing at 20% installed capacity. But the Turkish and Indian management didn’t listen to them when they recommended that the more costly German technology be used to refurbish the mill. It’s not all the time Dangote wins. He is like a bettor

  6. Dangote has not only chosen electricity and Cement, but he has also gone to produce food commodities E.g Spagethi, macaroni, flour and even sugar. When government is there for you seen to thrive unless the God factor is totally against you….. I remember I read a magazine some years back and Dangote said he wants to be like Arasco in Brazil….Dangote will come for more..

  7. Dangote his come to finish this country, soon feul will become one thousand naira per lite,, Nigeria should not depend on this man refinery, now is asking Government for road, water, and light., before him blind the refinery he did know there is light, water and road. Many of all this men are the problem of this Nigeria.

      1. It’s only lazy ones and haters of Nigeria’s development will always see this man in bad light. There are thousands of problems and needs crying for exploration in our local domains. Yet we keep complaining daily.

    1. Here comes one of the unlettered pull-him down agents with his irrational comment where wisdom reigns. You ought to be pitied for the heavy-duty bitterness and envy you self-loaded on your head which will eventually sink you to perdition. Those who feel bitter about other’s success do not go far.

    2. The white men think on how to help his people but average African men and leaders think only of himself. May God help Nigeria.

  8. What do you say of the so many Nigerian Politicians having their REFINERIES OUTSIDE the country because their point of sales was Nigeria? Or all are represented in Dangote?

  9. What do you say of the so many Nigerian Politicians having their REFINERIES OUTSIDE the country because their point of sales was Nigeria? Or all are represented in Dangote?

    1. The truth remains when you haven’t started any business in Nigeria and see how the favouritism goes, you may think those who have ventured and failed as a result of government policies, favouring a set of tribal entrepreneurs.
      What is happening to Innoson today? We all heard his battlings with some banks. He is even considering pulling his automobile industry out of Nigeria to other African countries. Yet same Dangote has also established his auto plant in the north. What happened to Bath Nnaji some years ago in power sector? The truth remains we know the truth and pretend or assume that we never know. And those of writing against other investors who have in Nigeria are writing out of honest objectivity of what they think or how things should be but do not know the other things that play with politics of supremacy.

  10. Many ill comments can’t undone what has been achieved by this man called Dangote. He has built it let’s give it to him.

  11. What of all the smaller modular refineries across the country? Why aren’t they functional? Why is the government so focused on only Dangote’s refinery?

  12. The fact that you are educated or write good English doesn’t make you visionary .. Nigeria government are the best when it comes to corruption and manipulation .. This Dangote refinary is another setup by Nigeria government to destroy the country .. just be warn because we are about to by fuel 1000 per letter or more .. Nigeria politicians will do anything to destroy other investor just to support Dangote coz their all have a shear in is business .. What stop Nigeria government from fixing our own refinary and yet you can borrow money for u profiting , uncompleted project and still steal from the funds borrow ,,Nigeria is a mess . Is high time we carry everybody along rather than this tribal and religious sentiment .. well congratulations Dangote but consider the masses .. today rice ,sugar ,cement etc are so expensive because of u . We are already battling with fuel before ,,make sure this refinary will benefit the masses
    Thank you .

  13. Ibeto as an igbo man was suppose to be like dangote but the government pulled him down because he is an igbo man, nigerian government has hated the igbos just because they are scared of them, the have fought the igbos in all area that may profit the igbos and this is unacceptable. WHAT HAS THE IGBOS DONE TO NIGERIA AS A NATION.

  14. Ibeto as an igbo man was suppose to be like dangote but the government pulled him down because he is an igbo man, nigerian government has hated the igbos just because they are scared of them, the have fought the igbos in all area that may profit the igbos and this is unacceptable. WHAT HAS THE IGBOS DONE TO NIGERIA AS A NATION.

    1. You need to STOP lamenting Mr Dan, there are many business men of Ibo extraction doing well in almost all the parts of Nigeria. I’d never believed in that notion, I think the ethnic game, just like this slogan is a tool for average Nigeria politician to get a slot.

      Dangote has brought pride to the black race, we shouldn’t forget, the CBN governor account that JP Morgan, the US bank never believed such mega project was attainable by one person, talkless a black man. I think we should be grateful to this man and encourage other Nigerians business men to follow his style.

      1. For where you can go and try on your own and see what will happen to you whether you will solve it or do you think that is only Dangote that has the money to do all this things that his doing now, we have many people in this our country Nigeria that has money more him and are ready to invest but no way for them many has tried it and they lost huge amount of money and mind you no body want to lose his or her money just like that our Nigeria goverment are very wicked and they really know what they’re doing or are telling me that no body in our country Nigeria has money to invest? Is it what you are telling us? My dear just forget one day is one day monkey go market he will not return again meaning that one all this things will come to an end in this country Nigeria

  15. The government of Nigeria is a fraud, the fact that the government is running Monopoly, is enough for all educated elite to condemn the government. A country of 220,millions people one person is supplying almost every product use in the country and now he has built refinery, we are happy. Do you know how many persons the fraudulent government of Nigeria had denied liencense to produced many product including refineries
    This same government that denied others gave Dangote his liencense to built refinery. Some educated illiterate are cerebrating them. We in the southern part of Nigeria are not happy.

  16. No doubts about it ,there is corruption in our system but that does not stop a vision man or woman from achieving his or her goal

    1. It does my dear it takes highest grace of God for someone to succeed in the midst of evil wicked people, if not you are going no where at all at all, so many people could have made it very biger it’s bec of this our noneses goverment do you know how many people this our useless goverment has fustracted? It’s uncountable many left the country our government has killed many visions, dreams, and lives, let us just forget all this things only the almighty God will save our country Nigeria, our government is only supporting evil promote evil things.


  18. When a hungry man looking for attention talks, u will notice @ just a glance , Ndu or what is ur name is , do not write epistle u had no backgrounds or fundamental knowledge off…
    Again, lemme educate you one sec. on Dangote, if the buisness can’t be monopolized, Dangote wouldn’t deal…
    So cut the crap..

  19. Please no need for plenty talk, come and pick one section in Nigeria and invest in it before talking.

  20. Which one have you picked and how much support have you received. We have picked but insecurity will not allow us do business. Dangote is probably investing in Zamfara Gold reserves that we know nothing about.

  21. Before Dangote there were several industrialist in Nigeria.
    Within Lagos, Ibadan and Ogun axis the likes of Odutola , Baba Ashamu, Adeola odeku, etc.
    They never enjoyed the kind of government patronage that Dangote enjoyed.
    Cement industries in Nigeria were virtually killed to pave way for Dangote cement industries.
    Monopolisation of Nigeria industrial Estate in favor of one person is dangerous.
    There must be a room for a healthy competition and not unhealthy dominance of one anointed person to the determent of other struggling business men and women.

  22. No matter the matter, I have enjoyed reading these comments; very educative and inspiring.

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