Alhaji Aliko Dangote
THISDAY SPECIAL RELEASE
Towards ameliorating widespread poverty in Nigeria and appropriately empowering both women and youths across the 774 local governments in the country, the Dangote Foundation has continued the disbursement of N10 billion grants to all women and youths in all local governments nationwide.
The disbursement of the fund is meant to enable recipients meet immediate family and livelihood needs by providing a one-time grant to start up enterprises that will boost their economic and consumption activities and help reduce their vulnerability.
Speaking at the continuation of the disbursement in Lokoja, Kogi State, President, Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said the foundation in response to the widespread poverty in Nigeria in 2011 instituted a cash transfer intervention - the Dangote Micro-grants Programme - to provide cash transfers to select poor and vulnerable Nigerians. The disbursement is expected to be completed in 24 months.
He explained that the cash transfer intervention focused on women who bear the greatest brunt of poverty.
He said: “Our programme provides a one-off grant that enables recipients to grow or start an enterprise, invest in product assets, improve the health of their families, and/or take on new activities that reduce their vulnerability and enhance their economic standing. It has successfully assisted women and their families in Kano and Jigawa States.”
According to the business mogul, the cash transfer intervention programme is national in scope and will systematically cover all the 774 local government areas of Nigeria working through partnerships with state governments.
Explaining the partnership with state governments, he said: “This is in keeping with Dangote Foundation’s belief in working through partnerships for effectiveness, scale and impact in tackling the challenges that we face as a nation. This is a key feature of the programme which aims to support and complement state governments’ poverty reduction efforts.”
Lauding Dangote’s philanthropic gesture across the country and even internationally, the Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, urged other rich Nigerians to emulate Dangote and share part of their wealth with the masses. He assured the people that Kogi would do everything possible to partner Dangote Group in any area the company is interested in.
On the partnership with Kogi State, Dangote said: “We are pleased to be able to partner the Kogi Government to support 22,000 women across the state’s 21 local government areas. One thousand women per local government area, plus an additional 1,000 women from Obajana, our host community, are recipients of the Dangote micro-grants, totalling N220 million in Kogi.”
A total of N1.31 billion has been disbursed already, with Kano State getting N1.04 billion and Jigawa N270 million. The disbursement in Kogi brings the total disbursement to N1.53 billion.