By Aliyu Dangida
Customers and distributors of Dangote Cement Plc have hailed the magnanimity of the Founder and Chairman of the company and Africa’s largest conglomerate, Aliko Dangote. The customers described Dangote’s humaneness and philanthropy as unrivalled among his peers in the business community in Nigeria and Africa.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 2023 Dangote Cement Customers Award and gala night held in Lagos weekend, the customers who came from various regions across the country described their business relationship with Dangote Cement Plc as the ‘best alliance’ with a partner who provides great opportunities for the growth of its partners.
At the glittery event, the distributors carted away handsome rewards for keeping faith with Dangote Cement and patronising its products.
While both Kizz Daniel and Tuface Idibia were on standby to thrill and entertain the customers, prominent Nigerians were also in attendance to felicitate with Aliko Dangote and the Cement’s customers. Among top dignitaries in attendance were: Former Governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Executive Chairman of Geregu Power, Femi Otedola and the Former Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, among many others.
Kazab Heritage Limited won the overall Best Distributor of the Year award, while Gilbert Igweka Global Concept and Nwa Ado Resources Nigeria Limited occupied the second and third positions, nationally respectively. Winners in the regions include Twins Faja Enterprises as overall winner in the Lagos/Ogun region, while Nwa Ado Resources Nigeria Ltd, Abdullahi Fugu, Giwa Dynamics Ventures, and D.C. Okika Nigeria Limited were overall winners in the North Central, North East, North West, and South East regions respectively.
“For the past 20 years that I have been a distributor of Dangote Cement, my business has grown so big beyond our imagination”, Mr. Wale Fajana, the Chairman of Twins Faja Nigeria Ltd enthused. He explained that he started business with Dangote Cement way back in Apapa and ever since “Alhaji has ensured that my business with him grows. I credit him with my success today. Without his support to my business, I would not be where I am today.
“He (Dangote) also provides us with financial support in many forms to grow our business relationship with Dangote Cement. On a personal note, Alhaji Dangote has been very close to my family and his humanity second to none as he showers us with gifts to encourage the distributors performance yearly,” Fajana said.
Another distributor, Chief Lawrence Onyemelukwe, the managing director of Lafanex Nigeria Ltd, describes Aliko Dangote and Dangote Cement as “legendary”, adding that, “Alhaji has a large heart, and he has taught us how to do big business, with his support which has become a centre of our success story.”
Chief Onyemelukwe, who is a leading distributor in Asaba, Delta State explained that Dangote Cement has introduced different technology and automation into their business model that distributors have now adopted to improve their sales revenue. He described working with Dangote Cement over the decade as beneficial to him and all his customers.
Abdullahi Fugu of A.A Fugu & Sons, who is based in Northeast Nigeria disclosed that he started in a small way with Dangote Cement, and added that with the personal touch of Dangote and the support of the company management, he has become a top distributor of the product. “Alhaji Dangote has a magic touch and his input has helped grow my business to become very big. Dangote Cement has provided platforms for the distributors to flourish and employ people,” Fugu added.
On his part, Chief Akukalia Igwebuike, the CEO of Nwa Ado Multi Biz, a top three cement distributor attributed his business success to the tremendous support of Dangote Cement management and particularly Aliko Dangote. He said Aliko Dangote took a special interest in his business growth and has never stopped looking out for him as he continues to excel in business. “All I have to say is ‘Thank you to Alhaji’ for his support to my business. I promise to double my effort in 2024 and improve my number three position as a distributor of Dangote Cement”, he said.
In her own remarks, Mrs. Beatrice Chinwe Okika, the CEO of DC Okika Nigeria Ltd, a top distributor in the Southeast region of Nigeria says Dangote Cement is more than a business to her. “Right from when I lost my husband, Alhaji has never left me and my business. He has always shown concern for the family and the business. He has provided financial help in all forms to support the business and the family. I have enjoyed so much support I can’t even count.”
According to her, “Dangote Cement has continued to provide support to all distributors to ensure that the partnership works. May God bless him and continue guide his steps.”
Engr. Festus Abononkhua of Raybale Nigeria Ltd described Dangote Cement as the best trade partner. He said even though as an engineer he was initially ashamed to start out trading in cement, now he is immensely proud to be a distributor of Dangote Cement products. He added that today, with the support of Dangote Cement, the size of his business has grown tremendously in the South-south region of Nigeria.