Firms win by accumulating capabilities. From Google to Dangote Group, when companies accumulate capabilities, they operate in domains that generate higher value (usually upstream) compared with where typical firms operate (usually downstream). Dangote Group can deploy massive assets and technical know-how in cement production, making it harder for new entrants and rivals.
To rise to the level to extract Conglomerate Tax on nations and citizens, capabilities matter. Amazon taxes the digital economy through Amazon Web Services. Dangote Group taxes Nigeria because it solves problems which few can imagine. For solving those hard problems, the firm demands special treatments in different ways from the government. What it does is typical: Amazon, GE, and global conglomerate live on that.
It is not Dangote Group’s fault; it is simply Nigeria’s fault that it has only one true (industrialized) conglomerate in the 21st century.
1. Register for Tekedia Mini-MBA here (Aug 10 - Dec 3). Four months, online, and costs $140 or N50,000 naira. We also have Certificate courses on logistics, startups, career dev, etc.
2. Read my new book, The Dangote System: Techniques for Building Conglomerates.