President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has urged private sector operators and Government at all levels to adequately empower women as a means of poverty reduction.
Dangote said once our women have been successfully enabled to support their homes and families, poverty will gradually become a thing of the past in the country.
Speaking while flagging-off the disbursement of N130million to 13,000 women in Lafia, Nasarawa state under the Aliko Dangote Foundation micro-grant scheme, Dangote promised to do all within his power to spread his wealth across the country, towards reduction of poverty in the country.
The Micro grant scheme, according to Dangote was one of the components of the economic empowerment programme of the foundation.
He said the grant was aimed at providing the disadvantaged and vulnerable in the society with an unconditional N10, 000 cash transfer to boost their household income generation.
“This we believe will help the beneficiaries meet their livelihood needs,” he added.
He explained that the scheme, which was launched a few years back, was targeted at a minimum of 1,000 women in each of the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the country.
“It is estimated that we will spend about N10 billion on the scheme, some states with large population will get a little bit more than others,” he said.
Dangote said he started the foundation in 1993 with the belief that by supporting social and economic changes through strategic investment and interventions that improve the lives of the less privileged he would make a positive difference in the growth of the country’s economy.
He said the four major goals of the foundation are -health and nutrition, education, economic empowerment and disaster relief.
He said the foundation was partnering with Access bank to open bank accounts for the all the 13,000 beneficiaries in the state, so they can be issued with customised debit cards.
He said the essence was to introduce banking to the beneficiaries in their local communities.
According to him, the beneficiaries’ accounts have been credited with the grant and that the bank’s agents have been adequately trained and mobilised to provide the beneficiaries with the basic banking activities.
“The foundation and the Access bank team will be going to each of the 13 LGAs in the state to distribute the cards to the selected beneficiaries in order to be able to redeem their cash,” Dangote said.
Also speaking, Gov. Umaru Al-Makura thanked Dongote for the gesture describing it as strategic, considering the hardship currently pervading the society.
“The efforts of the foundation is in tandem with the Federal Government’s social investment programme aimed at providing succor to the aged, vulnerable groups and the poorest of the poor in the society,” he said.