Many people are wondering whether the billionaire Alhaji Aliko Dangote (the owner of Dangote group of companies) is a cabinet minister in the current regime of president Goodluck Jonathan. His current romance with the regime depicted him as one of the members of his executive team; the other time he was in Kenya with the President and his cabinet showering all kinds of praise on the man, including associating his success as businessman with the efforts Jonathan is making to revamp the economy. Immediately after signing that loan agreement (in Abuja) with some Nigerians banks for the financing of his refinery and fertilizer plants he headed to Jonathan office and do the same praise singing where as usual he attributed all his success to President Jonathan. This week he was in New York together with other inner cabinet members of the regime doing the same praise singing. Some would say that he is a member of Jonathan economic management team as justification for all he is doing now as the image maker of the regime. But, many other people will not see it that way. What will come to many people minds is that as 2015 is fast approaching Jonathan is using the successes of Dangote in building his business empire to realise his desire to get re-elected in 2015 general election. But, that is not where the real issue for Dangote lie, should Dangote mortgage his future and that of his empire for this regime even if it means the regime win re-election - it will only last for another four years till 2019. But, ordinarily business empires such as that of Dangote should last for much longer than that - for decades or centuries.
In countries such as China you cannot make it as far as Dangote made it here in Nigeria without belonging to the communist party or being in their good book. Likewise in Russia you must be in the good book of Mr. Putin, but, come to think of it of Billionaire Bill Gate having to be in this kind of romance with Obama or any other US President for him to maintain his wealth. I am not here trying to exonerate the US system and its inherent weakness, but at least they are doing better than this. It is acceptable for businessmen to follow the President of their country when he is on a mission abroad to generate business back into the country, but not with the kind of desperation i have seen here. Dangote should remember that now he is not like any ordinary developing country Billionaire, he is a global star and all the eyes of the world are on him. And, activities such as the one he is involve with this government now will cost him direly and affect his international image and money making potentials. In the run off to the 2007 Presidential election, the then CEO of the Nigerian stock exchange Mrs Ndidi Okereke was involved in an embracing mess of sourcing money (albeit illigally) to fund the election of Obasanjo's candidate. It is this sort of corruption that is slowing the efforts of African countries to sources foreign investments. It is not normal that a businessman has to be in bed with every African government in power for him to make money for his business. African nations such as Nigeria should at least have the courtesy to excuse business people with highly needed money and ideas from their dirty politicking.