Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The President of Dangote Foundation and Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on Monday revealed that he has invested in the North-east through his foundation a total of N7 billion.
He said the sum included the amount invested on job creation and on relief materials to bring succour to those affected by the perennial Boko Haram insurgency and herdsmenâ€™s attacks, which had forced millions of residents of the region to live in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
He said the money is spent mostly in four of the six North-east states including Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, all affected by insurgency, and Taraba, of late affected by herdsmenâ€™s attacks.
He said in Borno alone, which is the epicentre of Boko Haram, the Dangote Foundation invested N2 billion for the construction of 200 befitting housing estates for IDPs, in addition to the provision of food items and other relief items since 2012.
The billionaire business mogul, who spoke at the commissioning of 200 Dangote Estates, school and clinic in Dalori Village of Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State as well as the newly constructed edifice of Borno State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSPHCDA) along Damboa road in Maiduguri, Borno State, projects jointly constructed and equipped by Dangote and Borno State Government, commended the Borno Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, for the giant developmental strides in the troubled state.
He said despite the Boko Haram crisis, the governor has achieved a feat that other governors, even from the oil producing states of the country found it difficult achieving.
He called on philanthropists and other corporate organisations to assist the state government resettle and empower the IDPs who have since returned to their liberated communities.
He said: “I am very grateful to witness this important occasion which marked the official commissioning of 200 housing estate, and newly constructed Primary Health Care Development Complex built by Dangote Foundation in partnership with Borno State Government.
“Since 2012, Dangote Foundation has been supporting the North-east, particularly Borno, and have spent about N7 billion as part of efforts to ameliorate the sufferings of IDPs.
“We will continue to work and ensure that the IDPs are finally resettled back to their communities with dignity.”
In his address, Governor Shettima described Dangote as a symbol of Borno and a highest gift to Africa for always identifying with challenges posed by insurgency.
He noted that Dangote Foundation is the only organisation in the country that has given the highest donation in support of the humanitarian crisis not only in Borno but in the country as a whole.
He said: â€œI am so glad that with this support and construction of this village to our IDPs, Dangote will now serve as permanent symbol in the state.”
In their remarks, Borno State Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR), Professor Umara Zulum, and that of Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia, and the Executive Director, BSPHCDA, Dr. Sule Mele, commended Dangote and the state government for giving much priority attention to the plights of IDPs in the state, pointing out that the provision of the estates, clinics, schools and the befitting Primary Health Care Development Agency to the people of the state is timely, due to the relative peace currently enjoyed in the state.