President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday commended the public-spiritedness of some wealthy Nigerians and organisations for standing up to be counted in the battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President thanked members of the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against Covid-19, for their contributions in the sum of billions of naira to curb the spread of the disease in Nigeria.
They include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu of BUA Group, Femi Otedola, Tony Elumelu (United Bank of Africa), Herbert Wigwe (Access Bank), Segun Agbaje (Guaranty Trust Bank) and Jim Ovia (Zenith Bank).
He noted that UBA donated the sum of N5 billion to Nigeria and Africa, while the former Vice President pledged N50 million.
According to the President, First Bank is partnering with the government, the United Nations, and innovative technology firms to provide e-learning solutions to at least one million children under the ‘Keep Them Engaged, Keep Them Safe’ initiative.
He commended every other helping hand that has been lent by individuals, groups, and organisations, which may not necessarily be in the public domain, praying that God who sees all things would abundantly recompense.
President Buhari, however, recommended the laudable strides to other high net-worth Nigerians and organisations.
He stressed that collectively, Nigeria would overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic, and chart a new course in nationalism and brotherhood.
Nigeria’s billionaire businessman and President/CEO of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has topped Forbes Africa’s Billionaires list for 2020 for the ninth time in a row.
The list according to Forbes captures only eight countries who have billionaires; Egypt and South Africa are tied with five billionaires each, followed by Nigeria with four and Morocco with two.
Maintaining the number one spot with a net worth of $10.1 billion, 62-year-old Dangote, an industrialist with investments in cement, oil and gas, flour and sugar surpassed Egyptian billionaire, Nassef Sawiris whose net worth stands at $8 billion.
Mr Sawiris’ most valuable assets are in Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa.
He also has stakes in cement giant, Lafarge Holcim and Adidas, where he sits on the supervisory board.
Popular businessman, Aliko Dangote; the Chairman, Channels Media Group, John Momoh; Chairman of UBA and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu were some of the prominent Nigerians who received the 2019 National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) award on Thursday.
A total of 26 individuals and seven organisations were honoured at the ceremony which was held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige explained that the award is in recognition of their contribution to national development and productivity.
The NPOM Award was instituted by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Employment to honour deserving Nigerians in recognition of their hard work.
President Muhammadu Buhari has met with Bill Gates and Business mogul, Aliko Dangote in New York.
During the meeting on Wednesday, the President applauded the contributions of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as Aliko Dangote Foundation to humanitarian and developmental activities in Nigeria.
Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has fulfilled his pledge of $50,000 per goal to the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced this on Wednesday via its verified Twitter handle.
This comes a day after Nigerian billionaire businessman Mr Femi Otedola paid the sum of $25,000 to the Eagles.
Mr Dangote was represented at the NFF’s office in Lagos by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Dangote Group, Mr Olakunle Alake, accompanied by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Mr Anthony Chiejina.
The Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has called on governors in Northern Nigeria to do more in mobilizing local private sector investors in their states.
Dangote made the call at the Kaduna Economic and investment summit on Wednesday, where he stated that such a move can spur huge inflow of private capital, reduce insecurity, unemployment, and poverty.
“Northern Nigeria will continue to fall behind if the respective state government does not move to close the development gap. Closing these gaps requires huge multi-year investment and government will not be able to raise the capital required to fund this. Only the private sector can raise the capital required to fund the level of investment this country needs.
“Efforts should be more in terms of attracting local investors, there is no foreigner that will come and invest without seeing the local investors invest. So local investors are key to attracting foreign investments and we must pay attention to that.”
According to the business mogul, the partnership to establish an automobile assembly plant between the Dangote group, Peugeot and the Kaduna State government would help grow the domestic automobile industry and SMEs will benefit from the supply chain.
“On our own part, we have already progressed to establish billions of naira automobile assembly plant in conjunction with Peugeot of France and the Kaduna State Government.
“It is in the hope that the state government will also incentivize the SMEs to take advantage of opportunities inherent in the supply chain. This is the only way we can grow and develop our domestic automobile industry and economy in general.
“Government must create a conducive environment that will trigger a huge inflow of private capital into attractive sectors of the economy. Private investments will create jobs and will ameliorate the twin challenges of unemployment and poverty,” he added.
Dangote tasked state governments to work hard by creating the necessary legal and regulatory framework, offer attractive sector-wide incentives, identify the sectors of the economy where their state has a comparative advantage and provide information and data to enable prospective investors to evaluate the opportunities in these sectors.
Philanthropist and Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has challenged the Nigerian government to invest in human capital development, saying it would lay a good foundation for the nation’s prosperity.
He made this known on Thursday while delivering a speech at the Expanded National Economic Council on Investment in Human Capital held in Abuja.
According to him, although Nigeria has enormous potentials, they can only be maximized when the citizens are well equipped.
Making reference to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, he, therefore, urged the Federal Government to take practical steps in prioritising human capital development.
“Nigeria has unmatched economic potentials but what becomes of that potential depends on the choices you make as Nigeria’s leaders. The most important choice you can make is to maximise your greatest resource – the Nigerian people.
“Nigeria Will Thrive when every Nigerian Is able to thrive, If you invest in their health, education and opportunities, the human capital that we are talking about today, then that will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity.
“If you don’t, however, it is important to recognise that there would be a sharp limit on how much the country can grow,” he stated.
“Much of Nigeria still looks like a low-income country. Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth.
“With the fourth-worst maternal mortality rate in the world, ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, and Chad. One in three Nigerian Children is chronically malnourished.
“The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies investing in our people as one of three strategic executives but the execution priorities don’t fully reflect people’s needs – prioritising physical capital over human capital,” he stated.
Also addressing the issue, President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, asked the Federal Government to provide solutions to human capital challenges experienced in the country.
He stressed that human capital is a critical component of Nigeria’s future economic growth , noting that while the nation has largely achieved growth by extracting natural resources, the youths have to be equipped both physically and mentally to drive the nation’s future success.
“In Nigeria, we have largely achieved growth by extracting natural resources and we’re not building on that through our physical infrastructure. But we must also remember that it is our young people that will drive our future success.
“By 2050, Nigeria is projected to be the 3rd largest economy in the world.
“For this next generation to thrive as adults and drive economic progress, we need to invest in their health and well-being and in their ability to learn and apply new skills.
“As a business leader, it is my responsibility to offer jobs and opportunities but I can only do that when people themselves are healthy and have basic skills.”
Speaking further, the business mogul explained how nutrition and infrastructural development also play a huge role in equipping the youth for the future.
According to him, malnutrition has been identified as one of the biggest factors undermining the potentials of children and for Nigeria to be able to truly compete globally, we must prioritize investment in health, education and other key sectors.
He said: “As a philanthropist and development expert, I have seen first-hand and critical gaps and proven interventions that can help set those young people up for success especially the poorest.
“A key example is nutrition; a primary focus for the Dangote Foundation.”
“Today, one of the biggest factors undermining our progress is malnutrition. Poor nutrition prevents children from realizing their true potentials, stunting not only their physical and intellectual growth but also educational and employment opportunities.
“As a business leader, I feel the consequences of malnutrition. An inadequately skilled workforce is a constraint to my businesses. Again as a philanthropist and development expert, it is the kind of challenge I am committed to helping solve.
“By this, is where my two roles converge because all sectors, businesses, philanthropy and especially government will need to step up to address the human capital challenges we are now facing in Nigeria.
“For Nigeria to truly compete globally, we must prioritize investment in the health, education, and opportunity of our people alongside other critical areas like infrastructure,” he stated.
Daughter of business mogul, Aliko Dangote, Fatima, on Friday tied the knot with her soulmate, Jamil Abubakar, son of the former Inspector General of Police Dikko Abubakar, in Kano State
In attendance were President Muhammadu Buhari; the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje; Former Head of State Abdulsalami Abubakar, Emir of Kano H.H. Muhammadu Sanusi II, Senate President Bukola Saraki among other top government officials.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has inaugurated the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (NIPCAC), at the State House.
It will be recalled that the Federal Executive Council earlier approved the establishment of NIPCAC in March 2017 as a vehicle for partnering with the private sector to drive Nigeria’s industrialisation agenda.
Osinbajo, on Monday, chaired the meeting of the NIPCAC alongside other stakeholders of the industry.
Two ministers of Industry, Okechukwu Enelamah and Aisha Abubakar are chairs of the public-sector team while Alhaji Aliko Dangote chairs the private sector group with Atedo Peterside as alternate chair.
During the meeting, Osinbajo said the council’s duty was not just patriotic but one to enable Nigerians to create livelihoods for themselves.
Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote says the first move he will make if he succeeds in buying Arsenal is to fire Coach Arsene Wenger.
The Nigerian billionaire said in an interview with Bloomberg that he has coveted the English Premier League club since he became a supporter in the mid-1980s.
“The first thing I would change is the coach; he has done a good job but someone else should also try his luck,” Dangote said.
Europe’s longest-serving manager Wenger has won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup trophies for the club since he became Arsenal manager in 1996.
He extended his stay at the Emirates by another two years in May to end months of speculation over his future at the club. after they failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
The Gunners have failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
American billionaire Stan Kroenke, Arsenal’s biggest shareholder, controls almost 67 percent of the company while Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov holds a 30 percent stake.
Earlier in 2017, Usmanov sought to buy out Kroenke in an offer that valued Arsenal at £2 billion ($2.6 billion).
Dangote, however, reiterated his determination to buy the North London club when he completes the construction of the $11 billion oil refinery in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
He noted that Kroneke and Usmanov can be persuaded if they get someone to offer them a “walk away” price for the club.
“If they get the right offer, I’m sure they would walk away. Someone will give them an offer that will make them seriously consider walking away.
“And when we finish the refinery, I think we will be in a position to do that. It’s a great team, well-run. It could be run better, so I will be there,” he said.