Africa’s richest man Nigerian Aliko Dangote has faulted Kenya’s leadership for their greed, demand for kick-backs and persistent failure to place matters of national interest first when it comes to development.
60 year old Dangote is a renowned business magnate, investor, and owner of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities in Nigeria and other African countries. As of March 2018, he had an estimated net worth of US$14.1 billion and was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 100th-richest person in the world and the richest in Africa, and peaked on the list as the 23rd-richest person in the world in 2014.
Speaking to a renowned Kenyan journalist Jeff Koinange, Aliko declsred that he cancelled his plans to build a mega cement factory in Kenya after being put off by top decision makers in the country whom he described as “more corrupt than Nigerians.”
It is not known what kind of demands Kenyan ruling elite placed on Dangote but it was revealed that Dangote Cement has had registered two companies in Kenya with plans to build two multi-billion production plants of 1.5Mta each, near Nairobi and Mombasa, to serve the regional market.
Dangote was talking to Koinange on his breakfast show in a local FM station, and the journalist shared a private conversation he had with Dangote when he attended the billionaire’s daughter’s wedding in Nigeria last month.
“I asked him, ‘Al Hajj when are you coming back to Kenya?’ and he said ‘Jeff, there are people in that place (Kenya) who put greed and personal interest ahead of national interest. I didn’t think Kenya would be more corrupt that Nigeria.‘” Koinange narrated on air.
Dangote last visited Kenya in September 2013 as part of a high-powered delegation of 50 wealthy Nigerian businessmen accompany the country’s then president President Goodluck Jonathan who was on a dtstr visit to Kenya.
The Nigerian tycoon recently pushed the factory’s entry to Kenya to 2021, having earlier planned to build a cement factory in the local market next year.
Dangote is widely known for using lower pricing to gain market share in new markets and its delayed entry will give some reprieve to existing players in a market that is already witnessing stiff competition.