Nigerians and Africans in the social media have celebrated Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest businessman and philanthropist.
The cement mogul, who is building one of the world’s biggest petrochemical complexes in Lagos, is 63 today.
And there is no animus against the man, who has symbolised industry and success in Africa’s most populous country.
Most comments on Twitter celebrating his special day all praised him.
And there were some jokingly appropriating Aliko as ‘their uncle’, ‘brother’ or family member.
President Muhammadu Buhari earlier wished the businessman a happy birthday.
He described him as a “foremost industrialist, investor and philanthropist”.
He saluted Aliko’s large-heartedness and his deployment of his wealth “to the glory of God and for the good of humanity”.
Dangote was born 10 April 1957 in Kano to a wealthy family.
His mother, Mariya Sanusi Dantata was the daughter of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, the richest West African at the time of his death in 1955.
He was educated at the Capital High School, Kano and Government College, Birnin Kudu.
He later received a bachelor’s degree in business studies and administration from Al-Azhar University, Cairo.
Dangote started his business trading.
He soon became the largest sugar importer in Nigeria. He also imported cement.
He restructured his business later and went into cement, sugar, pasta and juice manufacturing.
Today his Dangote Cement controls about 70 per cent of the Nigerian market.
He also has other plants across Africa.
At present, he is busy building a $15 billion petrochemical complex in Lekki Lagos.
His estimated net worth as at March stood at US$8.1 billion, making him the 88th wealthiest person in the world and the richest person in Africa.
Nigerians, and some Africans, were effusive Friday in their praises for Aliko, chorusing a ‘Happy Birthday’ on Twitter.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK