The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) empowered no fewer than 34,000 vulnerable women from all the 34 local governments in Katsina State as they were beneficiaries of the N10 billion micro-grant that was given to disadvantaged women across the country. The money which was meant to empower women economically to start or boost their businesses was gotten amidst excitement from the beneficiaries.
Aliko Dangote, the chairman of ADF at the ceremony held in Batagarawa Local Government in Katsina State where the state governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari and other top government officials were present disclosed that 1,000 women were taken from each of the state’s 34 local government areas with each woman receiving N10,000,00 each.
He explained that the foundation had in 2012 earmarked N10 billion for empowering vulnerable women in the 774 local government areas in the country. He also noted that so far about 360,000 women from Lagos, Borno, Nassarawa, Kogi, Kano, Adamawa and Yobe, Niger, Sokoto, and the Jigawa States had benefitted which represents 40%.
“The micro-grants programme is a major component of the economic empowerment pillar of the foundation. It provides disadvantaged and vulnerable women with a one-off, unconditional N10,000,00 cash transfer to boost their household income generation. This we believe will help reduce their vulnerability and meet their livelihood needs,” he added. He noted that “In the coming weeks we would be proceeding to Kebbi, Zamfara, Edo and Osun states to conduct a similar programme.”
Dangote who is known to be Africa’s wealthiest and top philanthropist said: “I do not only want to be known as Africa’s richest man but the biggest philanthropist. I will continue to use my resources and my voice to help shape a better Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.”
Governor Masari extolled the Aliko Dangote Foundation during the event for the generosity extended to vulnerable women in his state and he encouraged them to use it to start small businesses and use the profit to educate their children.
The Managing Director/CEO of the foundation, Zouera Yussouffou, said the micro-grant scheme was part of the four cardinal interests of the foundation which are: Education, Health and nutrition, economic empowerment and disaster relief.
The Group Executive Director, Commercial, and daughter to Aliko Dangote said the foundation was poised to help lift the economic status of womanhood in the country, adding: “If you empower a woman, you empower the whole nation.”
The Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Land, Hajiya Rayannatu Lawal, also urged the women to use the grants to transform their lives as purposed by the foundation.
One of the beneficiaries, Habiba Abdullahi, said the grant would help her in starting trade in clothing, soap, and perfume. She prayed to God to continue to bless the family of Dangote and his group.
Another beneficiary, Nana Muhammad said she was highly elated and that she almost couldn’t believe it, she added that she would use the money to boost her trading in groundnut cake and other petty businesses.