·As Dangote Foundation disburses micro grants to rural women
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said private sector collaboration is critical in government’s fight against poverty, calling on corporate organisations and well-heeled individuals to continue to support government in lifting as many people as possible out of penury.
AbdulRazaq said this on Wednesday in Bode Sadu area of the state where the Aliko Dangote flagged off the disbursement of N10,000 micro grant each to 16,000 rural women across Kwara State.
“Government is particularly grateful to have private concerns committing their own funds to lift citizens from extreme poverty by giving non-refundable micro grants like this. It is a welcome development and we urge more well-heeled individuals to emulate the Dangote Foundation and others that are doing this. Such collaborations complement government’s multi-sectoral anti-poverty measures such as our own social investment programmes which also target the poorest of the poor and the vulnerable,” the Governor said, represented by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi.
He said the process to generate the names of the beneficiaries — including widows and women at the end of the economic pyramid — was bottom-up as it involved traditional and religious leaders as well as community based organisations.
“I want to sincerely thank Alhaji Aliko Dangote who has been giving back to the society in no small measure through the Aliko Dangote Foundation. I also commend the various committees that went round our communities to produce the list of beneficiaries of the micro grants for rural women. It is important to state that these committees comprise mainly community and religious leaders, women organisations, and community based groups,” he said.
“There are testimonials about many beneficiaries using same to make a difference. The story of the Agidingbi women here in Kwara State is one. There are multitudes who have made a difference with such modest interventions.
AbdulRazaq said the Government is grateful to have private concerns committing their own funds to lift citizens from extreme poverty by giving non-refundable micro grants like this.
“It is a welcome development and we urge more well-heeled individuals to emulate the Dangote Foundation and others that are doing this. Such collaborations complement government’s multi-sectoral anti-poverty measures such as our own social investment programmes which also target the poorest of the poor and the vulnerable,” the Governor said.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Development Kayode Oyin-Zubair, for his part, said the micro grants align with the programmes of the state government aimed at improving the welfare of rural women.
“I want to appreciate the leadership of Dangote Foundation for extending the programme to Kwara State where we are benefitting 16,000 rural women. This programme will take 16,000 women out of extreme poverty and hunger. We can never appreciate you more,” he said.
“Our joy is that your thinking aligns with the government of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq by taking development to the grassroots. Very soon, we shall be building cottage industries across local government in the state. We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation and this has been approved in the 2021 budget.”
Group Executive Director, Government and Strategic Relations Aliko Dangote Group Engr. Mansur Ahmed said the event was part of a N10bn programme designed to fight poverty and hunger by the Aliko Dangote Foundation in Nigeria.
“We are empowering 16,000 women (that’s 10000 vulnerable women selected from each of the 16 local government). The micro grant is one of the components of economic empowerment pillars of the Aliko Dangote Foundation. We will provide vulnerable women so identified by your selection committee one-off grant of N10,000 cash which we hope will either be used to expand businesses or start new ones. We hope this will help to eliminate poverty,” he said.
“This is a N10bn programme that we want to extend to every state in Nigeria. That’s from each of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria, we extend to work with relevant stakeholders and state authorities to identify and select 1000 vulnerable women in particular and give them one-off grant of N10,000 each. This, we hope will bring these women out of poverty.”
He said 400,000 women, representing about 50% of the target, have benefitted from the programme across several states, including Kano, Lagos Kogi, Jigawa, Adamawa Borno, Yobe, Niger, Nasarawa Sokoto and Katsina States and now Kwara.
He said the the goal of the Foundation is to cover the entire nation by the end of 2022.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries Mrs Rebecca Adebara thanked the Aliko Dangote Foundation and the Kwara State Government for the intervention.