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Understanding Aliko Dangote’s ambitions to find a new wife and buy Arsenal FC

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Aliko Dangote

SOCIAL media users are reacting to a wide ranging interview that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote gave to London’s Financial Times, in which he shared the vision of a $12bn oil refinery he is building, his ambitions to buy Arsenal and why he is considering taking on a new wife.

With a fortune estimated at $14.1bn, the CEO of the Dangote group, which has significant business interests in cement production across Africa and agriculture back home is ranked the 100th richest person in the world by Forbes.

A wife for Africa’s richest man?

In the interview with the Financial Times Africa editor, David Pilling, 61 year old Dangote, who is twice divorced and has three grown up children, intimated that he might need to take a new wife to help him ‘calm down.’

‘I’m not getting younger. Sixty years is no joke,’ Dangote told the Financial Times, ‘but it doesn’t make sense to go out and get somebody if you don’t have the time.’

‘Right now, things are really, really very busy, because we have the refinery, we have the petrochemicals, we have the fertiliser, we have the gas pipeline.I need to calm down a bit.’

Twitter users predictably reacted with lots of enthusiasm.

Other users have reacted with anger at the dominant media coverage of Dangote’s need for a wife over other issues covered in the interview including his sponsorship of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo’s presidential campaign and the subsequent limitation of cement imports that have benefitted Dangote Cement at the expense of the Nigerian citizens.

Dangote to buy Arsenal

In the same interview, Dangote, who is racing to finish a 650,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery near Lagos, said on completion of his several ambitious projects, he intends to reward himself by purchasing his favourite football club, Arsenal.

‘I love Arsenal and I will definitely go for it,’ Dangote said, adding that he deems the club to be worth about $2 billion.

Dangote is not the only influential Arsenal fan in Africa. Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, who is an ardent fan of the English club, was recently criticised by European lawmakers after the country’s development board paid $40 million to become Arsenal’s shirt sleeve sponsor.

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