By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
Group Executive Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Halima Aliko-Dangote, has said that the Aliko Dangote Foundation will provide 18,000 women across the 18 local government areas of Edo State with micro-grants to improve their livelihood.
Dangote, who is also an Executive Director of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, said this during a plenary session on ‘Enhancing Social Welfare in Edo State,’ at the Alaghodaro 2019 Summit, held in Benin City, to mark Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s third year anniversary.
She said the board of the foundation has approved the sum of N1billion for the micro-grant scheme to be implemented across Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara and Edo states this year.
“The Foundation is planning to come to Edo and empower 18,000 women in 18 Local Governments through the micro-grants scheme and it is expected that these funds will generate a positive ripple effect on the incomes, livelihoods and poverty levels of the beneficiaries,” she added.
She said the programme is already running in other states in Nigeria and was being extended to Edo State to empower women, noting, “So far, since the ADF micro-grants began in 2012, the sum of N3.584 billion has been disbursed to women across Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Lagos, Niger, Nasarawa and Sokoto states.”
She said thousands of beneficiaries across the partner states, who are mainly small-scale entrepreneurs, market women, subsistent farmers and petty traders in items like soft drinks and pure water, have been able to expand their business, improve their incomes and livelihoods, and take better care of their families.
According to her, “In some states, a mobile phone/bank cards to start up or improve their income-generating activities were also added to the grants as a delivery mechanism for the funds in partnership with the respective State and Local Governments and mobile money/bank operators.”