From left: Benin National Order Chancellor, Mrs Koubourath Ossen; Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Mr. Lawrence,Obisakin; and Alh. Aliko Dangote during Dangote’s decoration as Grand Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Benin, by the Benenoise President ,Dr. Boni Yayi
…Bags country’s highest national honour
Africa’s richest man and President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, plans to invest about $300 million (N47 billion) in a coal-fired 200 megawatts power plant in Benin Republic.
In that regard, a memorandum of understanding for the plant was signed during a brief ceremony where chief of staff to Aliko Dangote, Engineer Joe Makoju signed for the group while Minister of Power, Benin Republic, Kassa Barthelemy signed for his country.
Before the signing of the MoU, Dangote was conferred with the highest national honour in the Republic of Benin, the Grand Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Benin.
President, Republic of Benin, Boni Yayi, who bestowed the award on him at a ceremony held at the presidential complex in Cotonou, said the country was proud of the business exploits of Dangote in Africa and was rewarding him to motivate him to do more and for others to emulate him.
Yayi described Aliko Dangote as a true son of Africa and deserving of the award having proved his mettle in the private sector, noting that the category of award conferred on Dangote is reserved for presidents and heads of state of his country and that Dangote is the first person outside government to bag the award.
He then called on Dangote to come and invest in the country, pointing out that opportunities abound in sectors like power, agriculture, telecommunication, agriculture, ports and aviation.
In his response, Dangote expressed gratitude for the award which he described as a great honour. He said it has placed a great burden on him to stay, invest and help develop the Republic of Benin.
He promised to partner with the president and the country’s private sector to develop the country.
It would be recalled that the billionaire businessman was on November 14, 2011, conferred with the second highest national honour in Nigeria, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) making him one of the 10 individuals to be given the honour till date.
President Goodluck Jonathan had praised the business tycoon when he said that Dangote’s entrepreneurship spirit justified the award of GCON bestowed on him by his administration and that he (Dangote) has contributed to the country more than any of the other recipients of the award.
The president said that the Dangote Group alone has provided close to 30, 000 jobs for Nigerians, noting that all the other recipients of the award have not contributed up to 5 percent of what Dangote has done for the country.