- Aliko Dangote, revered business magnate in Africa, said manufacturing made him grew gray hair.
African richest man Aliko Dangote has revealed that venturing into manufacturing is a stressful exercise, such that he started having gray hair the moment commenced production.
He made this known as he discussed his business with Dr. Doyin Salami, a revered economist, at the High-Level Roundtable Discussion on Industrialisation in Africa to heralds the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
“Before I started manufacturing I do not have a single gray hair,” he stated.
Lamenting the stress that comes with manufacturing in Africa, Dangote explained that there were many factors responsible for why entrepreneurs are often frustrated out of their businesses in the continent.
“For manufacturing, you will need very stable government policies. You need to have electricity. These two things are the most important. And I am glad that today we have a good relationship between the government and the MAN. The government’s own is to listen as we tell them areas that are not implementable,” he stated.
When asked why he ventured into manufacturing, leaving trading, Dangote stated that “it is better that I go into manufacturing than trading.”
According to him, “trading does not add value and is just a temporary thing because one can be trading today and tomorrow decides to shut down his shop. But manufacturing is where you will create massive jobs and also leave a legacy and the whole thing for me is to build something that I should leave as a legacy to future generations.”
“At a time, Nigeria was importing almost 90 percent of the cement consumed in this country. But we took it upon us to make sure that we will make Nigeria self-sufficient and also export the excess that we have.
“For me, trading is really not the right way to go. I know, yes, that manufacturing is really difficult but we have to work together with the government to make it much easier so that we can add value. Somebody who is trading has a simple lifestyle: he sits in his office and order goods, they arrive and he sells without adding any value. But for manufacturing, you are creating value for yourself, for the society, for the country, and for everybody,” he added.
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