Nigeria’s billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, has said that his listing in the Forbes rich list as world’s 23rd richest will spur him to commit himself more to reduction of poverty among Nigerians through creation of more jobs.
Dangote said he believed that the worth of a man does not consist in his wealth but the number of lives he is able to touch.
He implored the Dangote Foundation, to extend its poverty reduction and health management with renewed vigour.
“Dangote Foundation is now 20 years old. This initial endowment will ensure that Dangote Foundation has secure and steady funding to carry out its mission as we significantly scale up our work,” a statement from Dangote group said.
The statement also announced the reconstitution of the foundation’s board of trustees.
Members are Dangote himself as Chairman, Sani Dangote, Halima Aliko Dangote, Olakunle Alake, A B Mahmoud, SAN, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Angela Adebayo, Hajara Adeola and Yvonne Ike.
“And last year we appointed Adhiambo Odaga Managing Director to grow the Dangote Foundation team. The stage is set now for the next stage of our institutional growth.
“Going forward- from the second quarter of this year, we will lay greater emphasis on youth and women empowerment through large scale efforts that cultivate meaningful change in their lives,” the statement added.
Dangote established the Foundation in 1994 to extend the impact of his growing business operations.
Current interventions that focus on youth and women include a national cash transfer programme designed to complement state governments’ poverty alleviation programmes by providing N 10,000 grants to at least 1,000 women and youth in each of Nigeria’s 774 Local Government Areas.
It has already reached 256,500 women and youth across the 157 local government areas in Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. The next phase of cash disbursement will target select states in the Southwest.
The N10 billion Dangote Foundation/Bank of Industry micro, small and medium enterprises fund stimulates economic growth and job creation.
Dangote Foundation’s funds are being offered at zero per cent interest rate. Bank of Industry’s funds are offered at 10 per cent interest rate, resulting in an effective interest rate of five per cent which is the lowest interest rate credit available in the country. 136 businesses in 27 states have accessed the fund so far.