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Dangote Foundation deepens micro grants for poor women

Dangote Foundation, a multi-purpose grant-making vehicle driving interventions in critical sectors including education, health, population and community have started a scheme targeted at vulnerable women in select states of the federation.

It would be recalled that the Foundation few years ago, designed a multi-billion naira micro-grants programme to assist the vulnerable women across the 774 local governments in Nigeria conjunction with the state governments.

Details form the Foundation show that at the end of the exercise, a sum of N10 billion would have been injected to revive the economy of some one million women. Already, the grant has been disbursed in seven states among which are Kano, Yobe, Adamawa, Jigawa, Borno, and Kogi. Presently, the foundation is disbursing in local governments in Lagos state.

President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote had argued that empowering women to be key change agents is an essential element to achieving the end of hunger and poverty.

He noted that “We thought of a response to the widespread poverty in Nigeria and how can we help in our own way and in 2011, we came up with this idea. So we instituted the cash transfer intervention.

“We call it the Dangote Foundation Micro-grants Programme, to provide cash transfers to select poor and vulnerable women and youths. The grant is to enable beneficiaries meet immediate family and livelihood needs by providing a one-time fund to start up enterprises that will boost their economic and consumption activities. He explained that the cash transfer intervention focused on women who bear the greatest brunt of poverty.

“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 the states where we have made disbursement.

“I have always believed that one of the surest ways of alleviating poverty is through job creation and that the kind of jobs that the masses in Nigeria need could be created through such grants. We need this kind of empowerment especially for our women because when companies are established jobs would be created but not on a large scale again because the machines are automated and would only require few hands.

“It’s only in agriculture that the opportunities are massive”, adding that this was the reason he is investing in sugar plantation and refinery where thousands of people can work and earn living. He said agriculture is the solution.”

On why the foundation is working with states governments, Dangote 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.”

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