Aliko Dangote, Nigeria’s foremost entrepreneur, has been ranked among 75 most powerful persons on the planet ahead of Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States of America.
According to the Forbes latest 2018 ranking of the World Powerful People, Dangote ranked among world leaders like Xi Jinping, the Chinese President; Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, and Donald Trump, the President of the US, all of whom were ranked first, second and third, respectively.
Dangote was ranked 66th most powerful person in the world, ahead of Mike Pence, the Vice-President of United States who ranked 67th and Qamar Javed Bajwa, the highly influential Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan, who ranked 68th.
Africa’s richest man was the only Nigerian on the list and one of the only two Africans who made the list with the other being the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was ranked 45th most powerful.
Dangote, it would be recalled, was the only black man who made the list, apart from President of the United States, Barack Obama, in the 2016 ranking released in 2017 and was listed at number 71 just above the then American presidential contender, Donald Trump, who was listed at number 72.
Dangote is the Chairman of Dangote Cement which produces 44 million metric tons annually across the African continent and still plans to expand and increase its output by 33 percent by 2020.
According to Forbe’s rich list, Dangote as at March 2018 had an estimated net worth of $14.1 billion and was ranked among the 100 richest in the world and the richest in Africa, a position he has held for almost a decade.
Dangote reached the peak in 2014 when he became the 23rd richest in the world and in 2013 surpassed the Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire, Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, by over $2.6 billion to become the world richest person of African descent.
It would be recalled that the President of the Dangote Group of companies has often made such lists due to his business concerns and humanitarian efforts in Nigeria and other parts of the world, especially his efforts through the Aliko Dangote Foundation, to rid Nigeria and Africa of polio, malaria, and malnutrition.
His efforts in this regard were recognised by the United Nations which appointed him, Malaria Ambassador.
Dangote stepped up his humanitarian activities recently spending billions of naira to build hospitals and critical hospital equipment, the lack of which had forced Nigerians of means to seek medical attention abroad.
He also donated a N1.2 billion Business School complex to Bayero University in Kano and is presently constructing a similar one for the University of Ibadan Business School.
The business mogul has continued through his foundation by disbursing N10 billion to vulnerable women across the 774 local government areas in the country.
Dangote made a donation of $2 million to the World Food Programme as part of efforts to help Pakistani nationals devastated by floods in the year 2010.
Aliko Dangote was made the chairperson of the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief which raised in excess of N11.35 billion, of which Dangote himself contributed N2.5 billion, an amount higher than the entire contribution from the 36 state governors in Nigeria.
Among the top ten most powerful people in the world as listed by Forbes are Angela Markel, the German Chancellor, ranked 4th; Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, the 5th; the Catholic pontiff, Pope Francis, ranked 6th; Bill Gates comes 7th; Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, the Saudi Prince, 8th; Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, and Larry Page, the Chief Executive of Google, who is the 10th most powerful person in the world.