Nigeria business magnate and philanthropist, Aliko Dangote, has revealed the reason why he refused to invest in Kenya in 2014 when he had expressed interest in putting up a cement factory in Nairobi.
In an interview with one of the Tanzanian dailies, Dangote, who is the richest man in Africa, said when he came to Nairobi to put up a factory, politicians led by Deputy President William Ruto demanded a bribe of Sh 385 million and he opted to go to Ethiopia where they needed no bribe.
He said Ruto even flew to Abuja to demand a bribe from him.
He said he was keen to invest in Tanzania as well but the same ‘hyenas’ from Kenya followed him and he decided to stop investing in Tanzania or Kenya.
“He flew to Abuja, back in 2014. He wanted my cement factory in Kenya. I was very welcoming to him and took him around factories. He loved it but he wanted a Sh 385 million bribe which was too much for us, I was shocked I went to Tanzania and his cronies and aides followed me there with similar demands and that is why we are exiting Tanzania,” Dangote told a Tanzanian daily.
The Dangote Group was established as a small trading firm in 1977, the same year Dangote relocated to Lagos to expand the company. Today, it is a multibillion-dollar conglomerate with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Togo.
Dangote has expanded to cover food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight.
The Dangote Group also dominates the sugar market in Nigeria and is a major supplier to the country’s soft drink companies, breweries, and confectioners.