Micro grants: Dangote Foundation empowers 700 widows, persons with disabilities with N540m

Source: huhuonline.com

To cushion the hardship occasioned by emergency imposed on some communities in three states in Northern part of the country, Dangote Foundation over the weekend commenced the disbursement of micro grants to vulnerable women and youths in Borno state to the tune of N540 million.

The grants disbursement which was flagged off by the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima and his wife Hajiya Nana Shettima, at Government House, in Maiduguri, saw about 700 beneficiaries including widows, youths and blind persons, filling out to receive the grants that would reduce the hardship faced by the most vulnerable in communities most affected by insurgency across the state.

Alhaji Shettima commended Dangote for 'standing by the people of Borno State in their hour of need' and for his support that would further strengthen his government's poverty alleviation programmes that will help the people to go into petty businesses and reduces the burden of the times which has taken toll on their finances.  

Impressed by the conduct of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Shettima announced the appointment of Emir of the Blind in Maiduguri, Mai Bukar Abacha as Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on People with Disabilities.

Speaking on behalf of Aliko Dangote http://www.twitter.com/alikodangote at the ceremony, the Managing Director of Dangote Foundation Dr. Adhiambo Odaga, said the initiative was born out of concern for the plight of the people in the state and that the micro grants were meant to go round all local governments in the country as a way of contributing to the upliftment of their standard of living and helping the state governments in the task of reducing poverty among the vulnerable women and youths.

According to her Dangote Foundation earmarked N 540, 000,000 to fund 54,000 micro-grants across Borno http://goo.gl/ybbDg4 State's 27 Local Government Areas as part of the special disbursement of N1.195 billion to support three affected states across Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. She also thanked Borno state government for their support in ensuring the success of the Programme.

Also speaking, wife of the Governor and founder of SWOT Foundation, Hajiya Nana Shettima thanked Dangote Foundation for their intervention in ensuring persons with disabilities were given priority as beneficiaries of Dangote Micro-Grants in Borno state. She encouraged other well-meaning stakeholders to join the efforts to make widows, orphans, the disabled, and other vulnerable members of our communities self-reliant financially.

After the flag off ceremony at Government House, a similar event took place at the palace of Shehu of Borno, Dr. Abubakar Umar Ibn Garbai El-Kanemi where Dr. Odaga conveyed the assurances of Alhaji Dangote's regards to the first class traditional ruler.

The Shehu of Borno who  spoke about the difficult times occasioned by the insurgency, thanked Alhaji Aliko Dangote http://www.twitter.com/AlikoDangote and his Foundation for the timely intervention even as peace is being secured across the state.

The Dangote Foundation Micro-grants Programme is providing a one-off N 10, 000 cash transfers to at least 1,000 poor and vulnerable Nigerians in each of Nigeria's 774 Local Governments. It is being implemented in partnership with state governments to ensure proper selection of beneficiaries and also to complement and align with on-going poverty reduction programmes.

Dangote Foundation's micro-grants enable recipients to grow or start an enterprise, invest in productive assets, improve the health of their families, and/or take on new activities that reduce their vulnerability and enhance the economic standing of their households and communities. To date, 177,500 women and 19,000 youth in Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa and Yobe states have benefitted from this initiative.