There is the popular saying that it is always better to err on the side of caution. While another age-long statement of wisdom also says quick to hear but be very slow in responding. In recent time, it appears billionaire banking mogul, Atedo Peterside is not in the mood to cue to those maxims. Undoubtedly, Atedo is one of the few men who have achieved greatness on the altar of passion. He is an economist, an investment banker, and a successful entrepreneur. But in spite of these awe-inspiring credentials, Atedo seems unhappy with a lot of happenings particularly about his fellow uber rich person, Aliko Dangote’s increasing influence. In the wake of Tuesday news reports by Bloomberg claiming that the Nigerian government has granted Dangote Cement a waiver to resume exporting cement to some West African countries through Nigeria’s land borders that had been closed for over a year, the founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc flayed this idea. Atedo —never one to hold his tongue or keyboard— took to Twitter to allege that the system has been rigged in favour of Dangote at the detriment of other entrepreneurs. “Allowing legitimate exporters & importers to move their goods across the border should be a no-brainer. Why refuse everybody else & allow only one company (Dan- gote)? This is why some of us argue that the Nigerian economy is rigged in favour of a handful of well-connected persons,” Atedo tweeted. But when the two major conglomerates —Dan- gote and BUA Group owned by an- other multi-billionaire, AbdulSamad Rabiu— cleared the air on the waivers granted both by Federal Government, rather than apologise for the initial misleading tweet, Atedo couldn’t be circumspect but simply posted another tweet: “I have since learnt that BUA
Group were also allowed to export goods through Nigeria’s “closed” land borders. FG should please accept that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. When will the FG consider small honest businesses that are not so well-connected?” Predictably, this Atedo’ stance generated a huge buzz on social media, especially on Twitter, with many active users praising him for his boldness in the face of the perceived government’s penchant for intimidating opposition figures. However, there are many others who see these responses as very unfortunate. And it’s understandable: Atedo is one of the personalities that many look up on to as a pride of the nation. Thus, they could not process his subtle bitterness against another great businessman to the extent of helping some elements in their business of spreading inaccuracies. But sources said it’s not only recently that Atedo and some of their upper crust colleagues have been unduly bitter about Dangote’s phenomenon rising within the business and social milieu. Yes, they were all in the rich and mighty bracket back then but now the horizon has changed and they cannot stand it but attacking Dangote who rules the roost among the Nigerian business elite. It would be recalled that sometime in 2019, this boardroom giant publicly took a swipe at Aliko alleging that he has been enjoying some protection on the account of his positioning in society and perceived ability to call any Minister and even the Presidency. Rather than be soured, the humble Kano- born Africa’s wealthiest man —who was present at the event— simply smiled over the remark and paid no attention to the jibe.
In the course of this year, the River State-born billionaire quit as the Chair- man/Director of several blue-chip companies he was part of, in order to focus on running the ANAP Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank which he founded in March this year. With a sprinkle of luck and a mean hand Atedo has achieved a lot in his over six decades on earth. Atedo, a calculating player, was said to have split his life into three segments —first 25 years to get educated, the next 25 to be productive, gain financial independence and be well invested and the final stage is to start investing his energy into giving back to the society and see how to improve the country. This final stage is what Atedo is devoting his time now through his ANAP Foundation —and also sparing more time on Twitter as a motivator and the troll.