President and Chairman of Dangote Group and the Dangote Foundation Alhaji Aliko Dangote have revealed that he does not only want to be known as an African richest man as its biggest philanthropist.
He vowed that he will continue to use his resources to help shape a better Nigeria and Africa in general.
Dangote stated this Wednesday in Lafia during the launching/disbursement of N130 million donation to 13,000 vulnerable women in Nasarawa by the Aliko Dangote Foundation micro-grant program.
“I do not only want to be known as an African richest man but the biggest philanthropist in Africa. I will continue to use my resources to help shape a better Nigeria and Africa as a whole, said the billionaire.
The Aliko Dangote Foundation, he said, was established in 1993 with the belief that supporting social and economic change through strategic investments and interventions that improves the lives of the less fortunate is what will make a positive difference in the nation.
Dangote said that the four major goals of the Foundation are health and nutrition, education, economic empowerment, and disaster relief
“The micro-grant program is one of the components of economic empowerment scheme of the foundation; it provides the advantage of the vulnerable women with an unconditional N10,000 cash transfer to boost their household, income generation.
“This, we believe, will help reduce their vulnerability and meet their livelihood needs. The program was launched a few years ago, is being systematically rolled out nationwide, targeting minimum of 1000 vulnerable women in each of the 774 local government areas in the country
“It is estimated that we will spend about N10 billion, some few states with the large population will get a little above more. Apart from this, we also have a program of which we lend money through Bank of Industry at zero interest, and this will be given to people in the media industries
“The program is equally aimed at complimenting the effort of the state government in the economic empowerment and poverty reduction drive. For the first time in the history of the program, we have partnered with Access Bank to open accounts for all the 13,000 beneficiaries in Nasarawa state.
“We will issue them with customised debit cards which we are unveiling today. The essence of this, in addition to the program, is that we are introducing banking to their doorsteps in their local communities
“They no longer need to travel the long distance to the local government headquarters for banking services as they can do their banking transactions communities going forward,” he said.
He explained that the accounts have all been credited with the grants and an adequate number of the bank’s agents, trained and mobilised to provide the beneficiaries with basic banking activities.
He said the Foundation and the Access Bank team will be going to each local government across the states to distribute the cards to the selected beneficiaries.
“We at Aliko Dangote are happy to continue to provide support to most vulnerable members of the society across the states,” he said
Also speaking, Nasarawa State Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura said the program will complement government efforts in its determination to provide and secure the necessities of life for citizens.
He said the benevolence is in consonance with his administration’s initiative on women empowerment.
“We distributed funds to 10 women each from all the 147 electoral wards in the state. They included widows, the indigent and physically challenged, among others.
“I assure you that arrangements have been concluded to commence another batch of such endeavour, particularly to the aged women, aimed at sustaining our efforts in this direction,” the governor said.
He revealed that government will soon commence a robust recruitment of Nasarawa state indigenes into the services of the government of the state.
“Accordingly, N1.2 billion has been earmarked for the purpose,” he said.