Nigerian rural women have received empowerment totalling about N4.2billion as part of the unconditional micro-credit grant from the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF).
Chairman of the Foundation, Aliko Dangote, said at the flag-off of the one-off unconditional micro-credit grants on Tuesday in Bauchi that no fewer than 20,000 poor and vulnerable women across the 20 Local Government Areas of the State benefited.
Dangote was represented at the event by the company’s Group Executive Director, Government and Strategic Relations, Mansur Ahmed, who said so far over 400,000 poor rural women have received empowermenr under the programme throughout the country.
In Bauchi State alone, Ahmed said about N200million has been disbursed to vulnerable women across the 20Local Government Areas od the state.
The unconditional micro-credit grant is part of efforts by Africa’s top philanthropist to support the government in empowering poor families in the State.
He said the Foundation earmarked N10billion to be disbursed to vulnerable women across the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.
Dangote said states that have also benefitted from the scheme include Lagos, Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Niger, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Katsina and Kwara state.
He the next states to benefit from the programme are Osun, Edo, Ogun, Rivers, Anambra and Ebonyi states.
“The micro-credit grants programme is one component of the Economic Empowerment pillar of the Aliko Dangote Foundation.
The Foundation aims at providing disadvantaged and vulnerable women with a one-off, unconditional cash transfer N10,000 to boost their household income generation.
This, he said, would help reduce their vulnerability and meet their livelihood needs,” Ahmed said.
He said it was gratifying to note that majority of women who benefitted from the scheme have been able to grow the seed capital to an appreciable level.
While thanking Aliko Dangote Foundation for coming to assist the vulnerable women in Bauchi State, Bala Abdulkadir Muhammad, who is the governor of the state, said he was very elated with ADF’s intervention across the country, especially in his state.
He expressed optimism that the intervention would support lives and livelihoods of women, children and poor families in Bauchi State.
“Aliko Dangote is a beacon of hope for the Bauchi people. He has been creating not only business institutions at the highest levels, but also touching lives at the lowest level,” he said.
The governor said Dangote appears to understand Nigeria more than some of the governors who are politicians.
He is supporting our mothers who will help put food on our tables and train their children in schools.
“We’ve just named the School of Nursing and Midwifery after him. This is to mark his huge contribution to our societies in Bauchi,” the governor said.
“We are also using this opportunity to inform him that he should come and invest in Bauchi. We have the highest deposit of limestone in the country. We have the largest arable land and the largest forest. Bauchi is also very peaceful and secured.”
The Governor also presented a book to the Aliko Dangote Foundation.
The book was written over a 100 years ago by Sheik Uthman Danfodio, and titled: The Principle of Leadership.
Speaking also, the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Abubakar Y. Suleiman described the intervention as huge saying it would go a long way in supporting the poverty alleviation stride of the state government.
He said the state would continue to collaborate with the state in area of economic empowerment and de elopmemr of the womenfolk.
Commending the foundation, First Lady and wife to the Governor, Aisha Bala Muhammad said the intervention would help lift families from economic problems, even as she urged the women to invest the grant wisely.
One of the beneficiaries, Amina Musa, 50, said she would start micro business and use the profit to support her family.
Another beneficiary Jumai Rabiu, 47, described the intervention as timely, adding that she would use the money judiciously and employ others.