By Omololu Ogunmade and Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday congratulated Africa’s richest man and philanthropist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on his 60th birthday, saying he was a kind hearted patriot.
Joining Buhari in pouring encomiums on Dangote were Senate President Bukola Saraki and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, as well as several other leaders of the business community who extolled his entrepreneurial acumen and wished him much more successes in life.
The president, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said he joined the business community, Dangote’s friends and family in congratulating the Forbes’ rated richest African and black man for what he described as his patriotism and kind heartedness in always making sacrifices to safeguard the health of the nation. Buhari referred specifically to Dangote’s worthy interventions in the battle against polio and Ebola.
Furthermore, the president hailed the business mogul, who turned 60 on Monday, for choosing entrepreneurship at an early age, saying he has trodden the path of diligence, perseverance and continuous learning to build some of the world’s largest manufacturing and distribution companies with household names in Nigeria and beyond.
He commended the humility, simplicity and cosmopolitan outlook of the entrepreneur whom he said defied ethnic and religious persuasions in extending support to the poor and vulnerable, providing employment opportunities without discrimination while inspiring and mentoring young Nigerians to greatness.
Buhari also acknowledged Dangote’s role in bolstering the economy through continuous engagement and counselling governments on best practices in promoting the ease of doing business.
He prays the almighty God to grant Dangote more wisdom, good health and longer life to serve his country and humanity.
Senate President Saraki felicitated with Dangote, describing him as a business guru, philanthropist, role model, and Africa’s biggest industrialist.
“Alhaji, you are Nigeria’s flagbearer across Africa as you make success of different industries across the continent and we are proud of you,” Saraki said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, adding: “It is our prayer that Almighty Allah (swt) will continue to endow you with more wisdom, great energy, good health and immeasurable grace to serve humanity for many more years.”
In a letter to Dangote dated April 9, 2017 and released on Sunday by Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Media, Tunde Rahman, the APC national leader described him as an inspiration to many people, commending him for his boldness and bravery in taking business risks that had paid off hugely for him.
He said the business mogul had broken all business barriers and was helping to industrialise Africa, with the operations of his Dangote Group in 17 African countries.
“I wish you many more years in life,” Tinubu said, adding: “I pray that Allah grants all you need to continue to impact the lives of many more people.”
First lawyer in Northern Nigeria and former President of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Alhaji Ganiyu Abdul-Razaq, was also on the felicitation train as he commended Dangote for his diligence, commitment and sense of discipline which he said earned him the Forbes rating as Africa’s richest man and wealthiest black man across the globe.
The nonagenarian in a statement hailed the business mogul whose business empire in both logistics and manufacturing transcends Nigeria’s business community.
Abdul-Razaq recalled Dangote’s indelible footprints as the President of SEC between 2009 and 2014 as well as his invaluable contributions to the Nigerian economy through his chain of businesses, which had provided jobs for thousands of Nigerians.