Dangote’s Outstretched Hand

•Adelabu (R) and Dangote

•Adelabu (R) and Dangote

Aliko Dangote’s investment in Ekiti State’s solid minerals, agriculture and education cements his place as Africa’s biggest investor 

Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group, has an undying romance with American magazine, Forbes. Recently, he was ranked the most powerful man in Africa and the 64th in the world. Dangote’s lofty ranking and endless praise are well deserved. His company’s investments in Nigeria and Africa are far reaching and only last week he added Ekiti State to the long list of locations where his company has immense economic impact and presence.

Dangote Group’s entry to Ekiti is a timely boost for the investment drive of Governor Kayode Fayemi. Dangote Group is expected to invest in solid mineral development, agriculture and education in the state.

Dangote told the state Deputy Governor, Professor Modupe Adelabu, at Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos, that his company would invest in the state. A statement signed by Bunmi Ogunmodede, Adelabu’s media aide, stated that both parties would work together to promote the investment drive of the government.

•Adelabu (R) and Dangote
•Adelabu (R) and Dangote

Dangote described his meeting with Adelabu as very productive and fruitful. “I have had a very good discussion with the Deputy Governor and we are looking at the areas of solid minerals; we are also looking at the area of rice production, which is agriculture. We will engage more of the local population in farming activities and this will create employment opportunities for the people. So, we’ll look into this and the possibility of collaborating with the state through the Ministry of Agriculture,” he said.

Dangote rated Fayemi’s administration very high and said he would invest in education as well. “I am also looking into the area of education. I have had a very fruitful discussion with the professor and we’ll take it up from there,” he explained.

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He reckons that Fayemi deserves support to push through his vision for the people of Ekiti State. “Ekiti people and Nigerians should allow him to continue with the great job that he has been doing. He (Fayemi) has not disappointed anyone of us who are his friends because we believed he went into politics on a mission and he’s doing very well. Ekiti people…should give their governor and his deputy all the support they require to succeed. They are a great team and I wish them the very best.”

Adelabu said her parley with Africa’s richest man centred on possible areas of collaboration between the two parties, particularly on education. “I am aware there is the Dangote Foundation that has interest in education. In fact, he was there at the last Education Summit that was held at the Banquet Hall, State House, in Abuja,” she said.

She added that Dangote has been saddled with the responsibility of improving education. “Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was at that summit, where Alhaji Dangote was saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the education sector. I have come to discuss how he can support the education sector in our state and how to have more of his investment presence in Ekiti State.”

Adelabu is optimistic that Dangote will not renege on his promise to foster a better relationship between the government and the business icon.

—Seun Bisuga