Before the Forbes magazine declared Alhaji Aliko Dangote, once again as the richest man in Africa, his Dangote conglomerate had injected over N1billion into the nation’s educational sector, as part of its commitment to educational development in Nigeria.
As the only African in the list of 100 richest people worldwide, his company recently donated about N15.5billion in 2011 as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Breaking down some of the programmes that warranted such huge spending, a statement from the group, said the sum of N200 million donation was made to Katsina state University.
The conglomerate donated N500million for the development of Bayero University Business School, Kano, in addition to funding a 500 student capacity hostel complex of the University of Science and Technology, Wudil.
It also donated N118million for the construction of the squash complex at the main campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and N50million to the University of Port Harcourt.
The pan-African conglomerate also donated N100million to the proposed Otuoke University in Bayelsa State to enhance smooth take-off of the tertiary institution.
As part of the company’s contribution to empowerment and informal education, the Dangote Foundation last year donated N600million to women in Kano State.
Meanwhile another approach the conglomerate adopted in helping to ginger education in the country is through the introduction of the Dangote Academy which runs a special training school for graduate engineers.
Head of the Dangote Academy, Mr. Haruna Adinoyi disclosed recently that the academy located in Obajana, Kogi State also runs vocational training for diploma graduates. He said the students are retrained for 12months so that they could be employable in the Dangote Industries.
Other academic programmes in the pipelines include: The Sugar Academy, and Finance and Account training scheme.
“As it is now most of our graduates are not employable. We want them to be grounded. This is part of our contributions to this country,” he said.
Thirty fresh graduates from engineering fields are currently undergoing a one year intensive training at the Dangote Academy.
Meanwhile Alhaji Aliko Dangote has remained the Africa’s richest man, with a total net worth of $11.2bn is ranked 76th in the world. According to a Forbes report, he is the only African in the list of 100 richest people worldwide.
The source of Mr. Dangote’s wealth was described as “sugar, flour, cement.” He fell two places from last year’s ranking which put him in the 74th position in the world. His fortune has also dropped by $2.6bn down from the $13.8bn it was in 2011. The report by Forbes describes the billionaire as “Nigerian commodities titan,” saying he is “Africa’s cement king.”
In February, Dangote announced the opening of a new $1 billion Nigerian cement plant. The launch of the cement plant in Ibeshe, Ogun state, was attended by President Goodluck Jonathan; Ibikunle Amosun, the Ogun state Governor; and other top public officials at Federal and state levels.
The cement plant is expected to increase the Dangote cement production in Nigeria by 40 per cent. Mr. Dangote is a major financier of political parties in Nigeria, particularly the PDP. He was one of the largest donors to the elections of late President Umaru Yar’Adua and also Mr. Jonathan. Some of his donations include $1bn to the re-election of President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, N200bn to the Obasanjo library project, N3bn to the PDP secretariat among others.
In November 2011, he became the first Nigerian non-public official to be decorated with the second highest national honour in Nigeria, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).