The world’s renowned business mogul and one of the world’s richest men, Aliko Dangote, yesterday revealed one of the major secrets behind his huge success in business, during the plenary session, at the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA), however, rounding-off today, in Abuja.
Dangote, who disclosed that he was planning $16 billion rice investment project across the country, stated that a resolute and focused entrepreneur would not wait for government to supply stable electricity before marching forward, adding that, at the private sector level, industries could actually be developed and economy grown without relying on power generation by the government or connecting to the national grid.
While citing his own personal experience, Dangote, whose business conglomerate ranges from sugar to cement manufacturing, explained that when he began the production of cement around 1994, he relied on self-private power generation rather than on government, amidst harsh investment environment, such that borrowing from the banks was at about 45 percent interest rate, which was too high for any borrower.
He noted that there were lots of business opportunities in Africa and in Nigeria in particular, for both local and foreign investors to take advantage of, with a view to generating jobs and creating wealth, thus developing the continent socially and economically.
Dangote, however, condemned, in strong terms, the attitude and practice of some African entrepreneurs or investors, including those of Nigeria especially, who would not invest at all in their own countries but invest massively in other countries, even at the expense of theirs.
He pointed out that such development would not allow for investors’ confidence in a country like Nigeria that had been in need of foreign investors to come and invest in it, apart from the fact that it would not help the economy to grow, adding, “When you invest in your own country, you have created confidence in foreign investors willing to invest in your country”.