Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian billionaire who recently declared an interest in buying Arsenal, has revealed the reasons behind his designs on the north London club.
The 58-year-old business mogul believes that buying a Premier League team will help to raise the profile of his home country. Dangote had been criticised by some people in Nigeria for not investing in the domestic league there, but he thinks that the Gunners represent a better project.
'The issue is that if I buy all the Nigerian clubs, the Nigerian flags will continue to remain here,' Dangote told Forbes.
He added, 'Buying Arsenal will take the Nigerian flag worldwide. Just like whenever (Chelsea owner) Roman Abramovich is mentioned, the name of his country comes up. Everyone knows he's Russian.'
Dangote amassed his fortune by becoming the majority shareholder in giant cement, flour and sugar companies and currently supplies 90 per cent of Nigeria's 170million population.
His business empire also extends to oil and he is building a private refinery in one of the country's jungle swamps due for completion in 2018.
Five years ago, Dangote attempted to buy a small stake in Arsenal but was rebuffed. He tried to take over the 15 per cent owned by Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith who eventually sold Stan Kroenke.