By David Oladimeji
Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has made known its readiness to empower additional 106,000 women across four states in Northern Nigeria, with a sum of N1.1 billion before the end of 2019. This initiative is in continuation of its micro-grant programme aimed at poverty amelioration through economic empowerment of women.
The Foundation was said to have commenced the identification of eligible beneficiaries, towards the implementation of the programme across these northern states and will be actively targeting and empowering 23,000 women in Sokoto, 34,000 women in Katsina, 21,000 women in Kebbi and 28,000 women in Zamfara.
The Dangote Micro-Grant scheme which was launched in 2011 in Kano State is a N10 Billion project, targeting indigenous and vulnerable women nationwide and is being systematically rolled out nationwide to cover 774 Local Government areas in the country.
So far, 334,500 women and youths have benefitted from the programme across Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Lagos, Nasarawa and Niger States.
The scheme provides recipients with a one-time, un-conditional N10, 000.00 cash grant to meet immediate household consumption and economic needs. As far as possible, participants also receive training tailored to bolster their income-generating activities which are critical for the welfare of millions of Nigerians.
Beneficiaries of this programme are evenly selected from the target communities with primary consideration for vulnerable women, food distressed household with infant or children under-five year old, disabled, divorcee, widow with multiple dependents, extremely poor residents in these communities.
It would be recalled that the programme is implemented in partnership with state governments to complement their economic empowerment and poverty reduction drive across the country. The executive governor of a benefiting state sets up a committee to oversee the implementation of the programme alongside Aliko Dangote Foundation in the state.
From 2016, the foundation automated the beneficiary enrolment and payment processes. Also, in addition to the cash grants, beneficiaries were also given mobile phones and SIM cards by the foundation. In the last two states, the scheme was implemented, the Foundation partnered with a leading commercial bank to open bank accounts and provide ATM card for each beneficiary.
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