Succor came the way of the distraught people of Borno State when the business mogul and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote disbursed a sum of N540 million to vulnerable women and youths in the state.
The disbursement carried out under the Micro-Grant National Programme instituted by Dangote Foundation is meant to lift and empower women, widow and youths to 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 ceremony in Maiduguri, 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 more on women who bear the greatest brunt of poverty.
Said he“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 Chairman of Dangote Cement, 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 partnerships 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 compliment state governments’
poverty reduction efforts.”
Lauding Dangote’s philanthropic gesture to his state especially at this period of insurgency, governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima expressed the appreciation of his government and people of the state to Dangote for the rare gesture to the state.
“In line with his enormous contributions to humanity, especially the less privilege, Alhaji Aliko Dangote through Dangote Foundation, donated N540 million in the form of N10, 000 direct transfer to 54, 000 vulnerable women and 13, 000 across Borno State’s 27 local government areas.
“We are grateful the disbursement is ongoing with payments being made in batches, the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria. Persons impacted by insurgency in our state, including orphans, widows, female headed households unemployed youths and other vulnerable people are the beneficiaries of this programme.”
The governor said that by this singular act, Alhaji Dangote has positively empowered some of “our most vulnerable people, injected much needed funds into the state economy and strengthen our resolve to keep living our lives despite the security challenges.”
Shettima added: we are proud of Alhaji Aliko Dangote and our gratitude goes to him for standing by us in this hour of need. We are reminded that a friend in time of need is a friend indeed.”