Hunger in the Land: Dangote launches N15bn food intervention program in Kano

Group Executive Director, Commercial Operations, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Fatima Aliko Dangote; President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; and the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, presenting a bag of 10kg rice to one of the beneficiaries at the flag-off ceremony of Aliko Dangote Foundation’s (ADF) Food Intervention Programme, which was launched in Kano on Saturday, March 23, 2024

Renowned as the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, unveiled a significant food intervention initiative in Kano on Saturday, March 23, 2024. This impactful program, spearheaded by his foundation, the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), is set to allocate nearly N15 billion towards its implementation. 

The launch commenced with the distribution of over one million 10kg bags of food across all 774 local government areas spanning the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Nigeria.

Speaking at the official flag-off of the intervention programme, Dangote said the initiative is a crucial step towards alleviating the ongoing economic challenges faced by our nation.

He also emphasised the importance of compassion and generosity during the holy month of Ramadan, stressing that all stakeholders must play a part in supporting the government to alleviate hunger in the land. 

"Our distribution of rice symbolises our commitment to upholding the values of compassion and solidarity, which are at the core of our humanity," he explained.

ADF will spearhead the food intervention programme and will run from March to early April 2024.

For the distribution of the over one million 10kg bags of rice across the country, he said: “The modalities for the programme involve collaboration with state and local governments and local community partners to ensure effective delivery of the rice to the most vulnerable across the country, regardless of state, tribe, gender, religion, politics, or other attributes.”

Speaking also, MD/CEO of the ADF Zouera Youssoufou said the Foundation is also distributing 10,000 iftar meals, during this month of Ramadan in Kano municipality. 

She said this is in addition to the Foundation’s daily bread relief programme, that is producing and distributing, over 32,000 family-size loaves of bread across Kano and Lagos States every day since 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kano State Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, who was at the flagging-off ceremony urged other wealthy Nigerians to emulate Aliko Dangote by supporting the government in the provision of palliative to cushion the harsh economic condition in the country. 

Governor Yusuf said: “I do not have enough words to express my heartfelt gratitude to Alhaji Aliko Dangote on behalf of the good people of Kano State. “This is because the gesture he is offering today will undoubtedly alleviate the burden of many families facing economic hardship in our state. I urge all other wealthy individuals and businesses in our community to take heed of this noble example set by the Dangote Group and extend similar gestures of support to those in need in our dear state.”

Also at the programme, and in a chat with the Press, Group Executive Director, Commercial, Fatima Aliko Dangote, said the company will not rest on its oars and would continue to support the poor and vulnerable Nigerians. 

She said: “This programme marks the latest nutrition and humanitarian intervention by the Foundation, continuing its tradition of impactful philanthropy. Since the 1990s, the Foundation has been providing 10,000 cooked meals daily to the vulnerable in Kano State, reaching hospitals, schools, care homes, prisons, mosques, and individuals." 

Ultimately, the goal is to build a society where each person has an opportunity to fulfil their potential and lead dignified, prosperous lives. This requires a collective commitment from both individuals and institutions to address systemic challenges, promote social justice, and create an inclusive and equitable society for all Africans.

Speaking further, Zouera Youssoufou said: "It is noteworthy that Dangote’s efforts in nutrition strengthening in Nigeria extend well beyond the foundation’s food relief programmes and nutrition activities. The Dangote Group has been actively investing in food fortification across the Nigerian food industry, including through its iodized salt, vitamin A fortified sugar, and research into micronutrient fortification of staples like rice, wheat, and bouillon cubes," she said 

Over the past decade, the Aliko Dangote Foundation has consistently provided direct humanitarian relief in response to unrest and conflict in the North-East region of Nigeria, as well as food relief to displaced communities in the North-West region. Its wider work over the last three decades spans nutrition and health, education, and economic empowerment, not only in Nigeria but also in Africa and the rest of the world through various policy, programme and project initiatives. 

In addition to carrying out direct interventions, the foundation works with federal, state and local governments, international development partners and institutions, local communities, and other philanthropists to deliver on its mission. 

The Foundation urges all well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support and assistance to those who are less privileged or disadvantaged in society. It is only through sincere collective action and social responsibility that we can find lasting solutions to issues of inequality and poverty.

It further urges governments at all levels to intensify their efforts to improve the economic environment of Nigeria through the implementation of policies and initiatives aimed at fostering economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction. By creating a conducive environment for private enterprises to thrive, governments can stimulate investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship, which are essential for sustainable development and prosperity, it concluded.
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