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Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said he didn’t believe how wealthy he was until he withdrew $10 million from his bank account all at once.

Dangote disclosed this during an interview  session with fellow billionaire — Dr Mo Ibrahim, at the 2019 Ibrahim Forum in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Mo was full of questions – The renowned industrialist was asked about how he felt when he first achieved success.

In response, Dangote stated that he didn’t believe he had money until the day he drove himself to the bank, withdrew the sum of $10 million, and took it home in the butt of his car. He said he took the money inside his house, stared at it, and returned it to the bank the following day.

Afterwards, he believed he was a millionaire.

“You know the way it is is that when you first start business, your target is to make your first million. Okay, fine, I did that.

“But after a year or so, I realised that look, I had about 12, $13 billion. You know, I said ‘Okay fine, all these numbers are just written numbers’.

“So, One day, I went to a bank. That time, there were no restrictions or anything. So, I wrote a cheque and cashed $10 million. And I took it home… I put it in the butt of my vehicle and went home. And I looked at it and I said ‘Okay fine, now I believe I have money’.”

Mo also asked for details about  the Dangote Refinery 

About $13bn expended on the project– According to Africa’s richest man, the refinery project he is undertaking in Lagos has, so far, gulped between $12 billion to $13 billion.

When asked why it seems so expensive, Dangote explained that the project is multifaceted, covering the refinery, petrochemical, fertiliser, and gas pipeline.

He then described the project and the facility it is located on which, according to him is “huge”. And just so you know how huge, it has 30 kilometres of fencing!

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He also talked about some of the challenges they’ve faced, including having to build a port for the facility. This is because regular Nigerian ports cannot handle the weight of some of the equipment they are shipping in.

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Dongote is poised to cash out – The projected incomes/profits from the refinery project is huge, just as the project itself. What this means, therefore, is that Africa’s richest man is positioning himself for more wealth, as soon as the project begins operation in just a few years.

As Dangote stated, what he hopes to replicate the same success he has recorded in the cement industry. Nigeria will become one of the biggest exporters of refined petroleum products in Africa. And this means more money streaming into Dangote’s many fat account numbers.


There is no gainsaying the fact he will never again have to question how wealthy he is. He is Africa’s richest man, a position he most likely will retain for a long time to come.



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