Aliko Dangote Emerges NESH Entrepreneur of the Decade


Oladipo Awojobi

Africa’s richest man and multi-billionaire owner of Dangote Industries, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has been voted as the Nigeria and Entrepreneurship Summit and Honors (NESH) Entrepreneur of The Decade.

Dangote won the award, which had other nominees such as the founder of Globacom Nigeria, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Akpabome Atunyote (Alibaba), the Chair Centre (SMEs), Awosika Ibukun, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Elumelu Tony, Co-founder, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Ltd (Oil & Gas Upstream), Orjiako ABC, Oba Otudeko, and Mr. Jim Ovia amongst others.

The voting session for the award was part of an event tagged ‘Impactful Nigerian Entrepreneurs’ organised by NESH recently at the Film House, IMAX, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

The special guest of honour at the event, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, who spoke on the policy thrust of the 2017 Budget, called for the support of the private sector to grow the economy.
Enelamah, who promised that the country would have a productive 2017, urged Nigerians to come together and work with the Federal Government to achieve the desired results in the New Year.

According to him, 2017 is not a time to come up with new ideas, but a year that the nation must do everything possible to make things work.
“We must all think of what we need to do to help the economy. There must be partnership between the government and the private sector for growth, employment and diversification. We need an enabling environment for business to grow and make the country more attractive for investment.

“2017 has to be a delivery year. We will focus on immigration, movement of goods and services, implementation of monetary and fiscal policies and we should have a better co-ordination and alignment for the budget to work,” he said.

The minister revealed that other areas of interest for the government in 2017 were infrastructural development and power generation, which he said were necessary for industries to work, saying that the government is interested in industrialisation.
Enelamah stated further that the government was also looking at developing petro-chemicals, adding that the nation has major industrialists with much potential.

He posited that Nigerians had much potential to invest in the country than foreigners, and advised that Nigerians should join hands to promote the nation’s economy.
Prof. Pat Utomi, who was the chairman of the occasion, opined that apart from the public and private sectors, a third sector was needed. Utomi warned that Africa must produce or die, while revealing that the Ministry of Trade and Investment in Japan facilitated the country’s industrial revolution.

In his remark, the Founder of NESH, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, emphasised that the essence of the event was to examine the nation’s economic problems and provide alternatives for the year 2017 to be a better year for the nation.
Another highlight of the event was the donation of a return ticket to London by Arik Air, which was won through a raffle draw by a lady with Ticket No. 77.