Africa’s richest man and billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote has given the reason why he is aiming to buy Arsenal FC of England and not a club in his home country, Nigeria.
Dangote who recently restated his determination to buy Arsenal, had faced some criticisms. While some lauded his audacity and interest, others querried why he should contribute to the growth of football in a foreign land instead of leaving the money in Nigeria by buying one of the clubs in the domestic league.
Explaining his motive, Dangote said he chose a foreign club because it was a way of flying Nigeria’s flag outside and extending the country’s influence.
He spoke during an interactive session with media men recently.
His words: “The issue is that if I buy all the Nigerian clubs, the Nigerian flags will continue to remain here. But buying Arsenal will take the Nigerian flag worldwide. Just like whenever Abrahamovich is mentioned, the name of his country, Russia comes up, everyone knows he’s Russian”.
He also gave an insight into why it is sometimes easier to invest outside Nigeria
“By the end of 2017, we would have invested in about 16 countries and these are very heavy investments. I’m going to announce the expansion of the plant we just commissioned in Ethiopia. This is just to expand our operations. It is taking 40 Megawatts of power which is more than what Kano is getting today which is 38 Megawatts. We don’t have generators on standby. There is nothing like generator there which we normally have everywhere in Nigeria. It’s one of the few countries that is growing at double digits because they have power and because they are a bit more serious than we are in Nigeria. You hardly find potholes on their roads. A factory like that in Nigeria would need about 60 Megawatts of power and 30 Megawatts on standby which is a total of 90 Megawatts and it would have cost us about 130 million dollars. The cost of doing business there is less. In the last twelve years, they’ve had an average of 10.8% GDP growth. This year, they are running at 10.6% GDPA”