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Op Ed

For SIM/NIN Registration, A Little Appeal

By Okoh Aihe

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For SIM/NIN Registration, A Little Appeal

Nothing could have made it more expedient than the lives that would be involved. And there are so many. Looking at the images on television now, looking at pictures in the newspapers, of thousands of people swirling in desperation to do a comprehensive registration of their phones by syncing the numbers with NIN, troubling questions pour in.

What amount of stakeholder engagement was done? Apart from discussions with telecommunications operators and other interloping agencies, was there ever a stakeholder mapping to paint a picture of what would happen when the actual programme begins? There used to be something called environmental impact analysis, did it ever enjoy any consideration on this matter? Did anybody ever think that COVID-19 was going to be waved away with a magic wand for Nigeria to carry out an indeterminate project?

READ ALSO: Telcos Risk Withdrawal Of Operating License, Here’s How

Questions and more questions. Lots of materials, including editorials, have been written on this matter. Some writers are outraged while a few others are cautionary and conciliatory. But whatever your position, what we have before us, fueled by human desperation and a government importunate policy, is a tragic monstrosity whose scope may be difficult to sketch.

Since the announcement was made mid-December last year for operators to require all their subscribers to provide valid National Identification Number (NIN) to update SIM registration records, chaos has been the supervening picture of the telecommunications industry, even forcing government to begin to repel the fire it has ignited with gasoline. As a friend would explain to me, most Nigerians who are already down to nothing, not wanting to lose their only prized asset, have tossed caution and fear in the air, and have been waking up at NIMC centres across the country. Wherever you turn, the story is the same: grim, chaotic and very foreboding.

Perhaps also troubled by these pictures, government has been acting on-the-go, changing some decisions midway; and of course deracinating its two-week window it has given as ultimatum, while giving an extension to a time in January and February, depending upon the window that is most commodious. This has done very little to assuage the feeling or the pain.

But who woke up one day in a season of pandemic with the nightmare that what is best for us is the fusion of phone and NIN for subscribers to live in peace ever after? Mercifully, the operators have been on maximum overdrive, giving out short codes to the subscribers who would want to start the process online. For the time being industry figures stand above 207m subscribers; experts have argued that such figure couldn’t be processed and treated within two weeks without creating absolute chaos.

READ ALSO: NCC Orders Suspension Of New SIM Sale, Registration

Meanwhile the second wave of COVID-19 is here as in most parts of the world. A new strain of the virus has been detected in some countries, leading to worries whether that strain is already in Nigeria. Deaths from COVID-19 are increasing in the country and so is the case load. For me, what seems to conceal the ruinous harvest are the deaths from several other sources – banditry, kidnapping, Boko Haram, ritual killings, cultism and even road accidents, especially from bad roads all over the country. Wherever you go in Nigeria, death stalks you. Only those in government believe things are normal, very normal according to their gospel.

At a briefing on Monday, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) raised the alarm that Nigeria have crossed the grim number of 100, 000 mark of confirmed cases while also observing that the number could be more as the tests are coming from some states, adding there is no state in the country without COVID-19. Last week alone over 9,000 cases were recorded, meaning that Nigeria is recording over a 1,000 daily.

The spike was blamed on increased travel, business activities, including social-related ones, nightlife, religious programmes and reopening of schools without strict compliance with protocols.

The foregoing observation is true but not the whole truth. It is disingenuous, if not totally dishonest, to exclude the intimidating introduction and intrusion of the SIM/NIN registration which, across the states of the federation, daily assails us with images of phone users nearly crushing each other to salvage the use of their phones from a government which has little to offer but wind and promises.

Make no mistake we need to have the statistics of our people and their activities. One reason behind this is that it can help resolve a lot of security issues. This is why the exercise enjoys the cooperation of critical stakeholders, especially the operators. But the fact that the ominous effects of such policy in these troubled times could be overlooked fuels the conspiracy theory that some people are whispering about, to effect that there is more to the registration than what we see, and the forcefulness and intensity in execution is not only a pointer to such remote possibility, but actually quite superfluous, very bewildering and perplexing.

READ ALSO: Minister Orders Cancellation Of NIN Retrieval Charges Across All

All said, this is a time to put a hold on our pomposity and braggadocio in forcing down policies that are obnoxious and detrimental to the people. The stories coming out of the isolation and treatment centres are very unnerving. People are in pains. But those are the lucking ones. Others have died and are dying. We know those with names – those in business, academia and government, among others. But you also have those without a name – the Anonymous, for whom there will be no grave stone or well-minted epitaph. Their death enjoys no whisper. They don’t go with the wind. They are simply driven into the dark of the night. And that is eternal!

There are indications now that school resumption date earlier fixed for January 18, 2021, will be moved again because of rising COVID-19 cases. No. Please. We need our education sector to formally open. The schools should be mandated to put all protocol practices in place to provide a safe environment for learning. My appeal is for government to suspend the SIM/NIN registration and then use the intervening period to plan for the exercise.

A major purpose for telecommunications is to help save life and ease pain for humanity. Let it never be said that ours served the ignoble contribution of taking lives because of a government policy that has no dated significance.

 

For Nuhu Hamman’Gabdo

The self-effacing guy with an undiminishing smile on his face. Friendly but very self-assured. Diligent in his ways and clinical in executing assigned tasks. The end came very suddenly, with most of your loved ones, leaving us in total wrench and distraught. The end comes for everyone, someday. But yours is a blow without provision for healing. May your journey in the other side provide eternal healing to your souls, and may your memory be a blessing to your families, including the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

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Op Ed

The voice of Bishop Kukah crying in the wilderness

By Owei Lakemfa

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EASTER is a season of peace. But what peace can there be when evil struts the land in the garb of bandits and terrorists maiming and killing? What peace can be proclaimed over a land in which even state governors with full security complement are being attacked?

Bishop Kukah’s Easter Sermon Was Ungodly - Presidency

Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah

It was, therefore, logical for the reflective Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, in his 2021 Easter Homily to address these issues and those of deficit governance that engender them. He lamented that the country has become a massive killing field with people seeking solace and protection, but that frustration and darkness threaten to drown them. So he asked the pertinent question: Is the government on AWOL?

Kukah regretted that: “When governments face legitimacy crises, they fall back on serving the sour broth of propaganda, half-truths and outright lies. They manufacture consent by creating imaginary enemies, setting citizens against one another by deploying religion, ethnicity, region and other platforms while appealing to the base emotions of patriotism.”

He noted that the Buhari government’s war against corruption “has not moved the needle of transparency forward.” Kukah, believing that we shall know the truth, and the truth shall set us free, said: “We forget the reality that without truth, the throne of power often turns into a cage, and the occupant is turned into a prisoner. In reality, the truth needs neither a judge nor a witness. The truth is its own judge and witness. Without the truth, as the old song says, all else is sinking sand!” His conclusion is that the marked rise in the frustration curve across the country is that Nigerians’ cup of sorrow is permanently full.

The Bishop who does not oppose the call of sinners to righteousness, argues that it is reprehensible for this government to invest billions of naira rehabilitating so-called repentant bandits and terrorists in the belief that they would change while refusing succour to their victims. He lamented that thousands of these victims are left to cry alone and bury their loved ones alone, yet government expects them to be patriotic. He added: “A critical deficit of empathy on the side of government makes healing almost impossible for the victims. We have not heard anything about a rehabilitation programme for the thousands of schoolchildren who have been victims of abduction. We seem to assume that their return to their schools is sufficient. Left unaddressed, the traumatic effect of their horrors will haunt them for a long time. Tomorrow’s parents, military generals, top security men and women, governors, senators, and ministers will come from today’s pool of traumatized children. The security quandary is the greatest indictment of this government.”

But the Buhari Presidency which is allergic to criticism says the Bishop’s comments are ungodly. Its Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, declared that Bishop Kukah “… did not speak like a man of God”.

I chuckled when specifically, on the issue of lack of empathy for the victims of terrorism, the Buhari spokesman said: “An administration that has created a whole Ministry, for the first time in the country’s history, appropriating enormous resources to it, to deal with issues of internally displaced persons cannot, in all rightfulness be accused of not caring for them.” Do we need to remind these Buhari people once again, that Nigerians are no morons? It was General Idi Amin, the infamous human butcher of Uganda who set up his country’s human rights commission. Under his leadership, Uganda was a member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1977-79. Did these facts mean he respected human rights? In Nigeria, General Sani Abacha, the most infamous violator of human rights in our country who set up killer squads that murdered innocent citizens like Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, was the same person who established the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria in 1995. Did that fact mean he respected human rights?

The Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Ministry the Buhari government says it set up for victims is the same agency that claims to have fed school children during the COVID-19 lockdown. Until today, it has been unable to explain to Nigerians how it was able to spend billions of naira feeding school children who were on lockdown at home. Just as setting up the Niger Delta Development Commission in 2000 and a whole Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in 2008 has not meant Nigerian leaders are interested in the development of the Niger Delta, so does the establishment of the Disaster Ministry not mean the government has empathy for victims. In fact, it is better to prevent the minting of Internally Displaced Persons than establishing a Ministry to display empathy.

Bishop Kukah reminds me of Elijah, the furious prophet who spoke truth to power. When accused of being ungodly like the Buhari government has accused Kukah, Elijah challenged the false prophets to a contest and then courageously told the powerful King Ahab that his actions will not go unpunished.

Breaking the mirror Kukah has placed before the Presidency does not matter. Even if the Presidency breaks all the mirrors in the country or declares owning a mirror of treasonable felony, that would not change the true image of the Buhari government. What the mirror does is to reflect reality; so it is not true when Buhari’s spokespersons talk about versions of the truth. It is a disingenuous way of plagiarising Trump.

It is not just the Presidency that deliberately misrepresents Kukah’s messages, including claiming that he is inviting an unconstitutional change of power. It is not only government that is threatening the Bishop, there are legions of its minions doing the same. In fact, one group demanded that Kukah be forced out of Sokoto. But I have known Kukah since the mid-1980s after he had planted his ‘Mustard Seed’ in our country’s soil; he was a patriotic and courageous soldier of the masses who has risen to become a full general of the people and the truth. It will, therefore, be foolhardy for tired non-commissioned soldiers like Garba Shehu to think they can intimidate or frighten him.

We need to ignore such jobbers and face the real issues in the country. The fact is that there are leaks in the Nigerian ship and we are taking in water, but the Buhari government insist we listen to the discordant tunes being played by its band on the deck and claims that Nigerians like Kukah who cannot appreciate the cacophony it calls music, are enemies of the Federal Republic. But like Uthman Dan Fodio is quoted to have said: “Conscience is an open wound, only truth can cure it.”

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Op Ed

Vision and Myopia of the Fulani and What Other Nigerians Must Do

THE PUBLIC SPHERE with Chido Nwakanma

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Vision and Myopia of the Fulani and What Other Nigerians Must Do

The Fulani by their own attestation is the wisest of the ethnicities in Nigeria. They are so smart they assert imperiously that Nigeria is their inheritance, and her land space belongs to the Fulani to take when they desire. Fulani from all over West Africa and anywhere else are thus welcome to the geographical space called Nigeria.

The Fulani ethnic group, from available reports and assertions by their kin, is at war with Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Berom, Bachama, Tarok, Tiv, Jukun, Edo, Nupe, Ebira. They commit atrocities all over the land. They rape, steal, ransack territories, abduct, and kidnap. The abduction of school children for handsome ransoms is the latest trick in their bag. Travelling from Abuja to Kaduna was a breeze in the past. Now it is walking through the valley of the shadow of death, as are most roads in the country. If all these are true, as many think they are, what manner of humans are these with no respect for humanity?

It is part of their wisdom that in hundred years of dominating Northern Nigeria they did not negotiate to get a land space they could call Fulani land just as you have places for the Yoruba, the Tiv, Berom, or the Ijaw. There is no indigenous space called Fulani land. Rather than negotiate for or buy such spaces as other people do, they want to claim it by conquest. In the 21st century?

READ ALSO: Fulani Leaders Say Only 107 Herders From Oyo State Relocate to Kaduna

The Fulani are atavistic. In their wisdom, it is a matter of culture. While the world has moved on from walking cattle across the land to placing them in ranches, the Fulani insist that the old-fashioned way is the best. Well, climate change and urbanisation caught up with that lifestyle forcing modifications elsewhere. Not to the Fulani. Their response is to move their cattle to invade the farmlands and crops of fellow citizens. They kill where the owners protest such unwarranted damage. They have gone to bring their kin from across West Africa for the mission of despoilation and conquest of the lands of the various other ethnicities of Nigeria.

The Fulani would seem to have what William Shakespeare called vaulting ambition. “Macbeth: I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on the’ other”. The dictionary says vaulting ambition is “a strong wish to be extremely successful, powerful, rich, etc. and a belief that this is more important than anything else.” The Fulani are seemingly ready to sacrifice the country for their vaulting ambition.

Greed undergirds that ambition. The Fulani are so wise they did not hear the counsel in all the Holy Books to do unto others as you would want them to do to you. Wherever they gain power, they exclude others, as they did in the Central African Republic. In Nigeria, they have connived to place in their care all the military authority.

The Fulani need to hear the counsel of B.C. Forbes. “Any business arrangement that is not profitable to the other person will in the end prove unprofitable for you. The bargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is apt to be repeated.”

In the modern world, the Fulani can be as successful as they want. They have many bright stars, including the lady next in rank to the Secretary-General at the United Nations.

Somehow, when convenient, they delink from the Hausa-Fulani that we all knew. Maybe they should do that more often.

The Fulani should try to emulate the ethnic Hausa Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man. Dangote understands the importance of “the bargain that yields mutual satisfaction” as the one that would be repeated and sustainable. He manufactures and provides essential items to consumers in 16 countries and counting across Africa. Dangote strikes deals with governments everywhere. Dangote illustrates the conquest that is acceptable today, not the one obtained by brute force. Force begets the counter of force.

Yet the Fulani example shows in some of the business practices of the Dangote Group. Dangote Group recently canvassed that only firms with an active refinery license be allowed to import petroleum products. Their representative did not hide the motive: when Dangote Refinery is down, all others should not and cannot import to make up the shortfall! He also wants to shut off other players in cement and sugar businesses.

Note, however, that Dangote Group uses the law track in its quest for monopoly. He wants to persuade our National Assembly to grant him a monopoly in law, and not by force of arms. It is up to our representatives whether they consider the national interest or the Dangote interest.

The Fulani want to pull down the house if the rest of Nigeria will not consent to their kin’s banditry and violence. On the bandits, the Fulani have engaged deliberate incoherence and obfuscation. The “bandits are not criminals”, they say, although banditry is a crime. They declare that the bandits are non-Nigerian Fulani. When the rest of the country tries to push away these criminal foreigners, the homegrown Fulani rises to their defence. Are the criminal herdsmen one of yours or not? What are you doing to curb the criminality of those who give Fulani a bad name? When will the Fulani elite speak up against banditry and show that these people do not represent them?

Then the Fulani tried unsuccessfully to launch a starvation war against fellow citizens in the South. Cruel, inciteful, and brazen. The South would not budge.

The Fulani Grand Vision is to own Nigeria- land, people, and faith. Their elite and commoners believe it. The vison is bold but suffers myopia and astigmatism. They should think in win-win terms of collaboration. They cannot go it alone no matter how much force they appropriate.

READ ALSO: Samuel Ortom To Bala Mohammed: You Are A Terrorist

Moreover, the other ethnicities of Nigeria must show tough love. Sustain over 100 years of love to the Fulani. However, resist their imperialistic drive, firmly but fairly. Refuse to be dragged down to banditry and such animalism. Governors must grow a spine, legislate against open grazing everywhere and enforce the legislation. There are no “unoccupied public spaces” as of Bola Tinubu for anyone to allocate for ranching in the South.

The rest of Nigeria’s ethnicities must also deploy the law, advocacy, and civic resistance to this Fulani drive.

Citizens must engage better with the civic process. We should realise that farming out the responsibility to elected leaders will not work here. The sad news is that majority of them lack the moral fibre to withstand blackmail and intimidation when it comes to shove unless citizens provide the bulwark.

Other Nigerian ethnicities must help the Fulani see reason. With all their power and wealth, Fulani can make a statement of development with the Sambisa Forest and turn it into Fulani Wonderland. We shall applaud.

What a boring canvass a Fulani-Moslem-only Nigeria would be compared to the vibrant multiple colours now on display.

 

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General News

Aisha Yesufu Goofed, Here’s How Dangote Helped Vulnerable Nigerians

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Dangote Alerts Public Of Fake Recruitment, Empowerment Scheme

Social commentator and activist, Aisha Yesufu has ignited controversy on social media, after tagging business magnate, Aliko Dangote, as a man who’s rich with a poor mentality.

Social Commentator and activist, Aisha Yesufu

Her criticism followed recent news reports that Dangote petitioned the Federal Ministry of Trade, seeking the shutting down of BUA Sugar refinery.

Reacting to one of the reports, confused and misinformed Yesufu wrote: “Dangote might be the richest man in Africa, he has the scarcity mentality of a poor person.”

But below are what you should know…

Yesufu’s comment attracted wild reactions, as many social media users threw their caution in the air, alleging how the business tycoon has not been helpful to average Nigerians. But unaware to many people, Dangote has not only exercised his business prowess in the past years, but he has also pushed to fore his love for humanity, putting billions of dollars to work for the sake of people’s comfortability in and outside the shores of Nigeria.

Founded in 1994, Dangote Foundation has since been serving as a conduit pipe through which Dangote demonstrates his course for humanity. With the mission of enhancing opportunities for social change through strategic investments that improve health and wellbeing, promote quality education, and broaden economic empowerment opportunities, Dangote Foundation has impacted millions of people positively. And as a result, the foundation has become the largest private foundation in sub-Saharan Africa with the largest endowment by a single African donor.

READ: Dangote: VAT Hike, Petrol Right Pricing Are Pertinent To Nigeria’s Survival

Some of Dangote’s goodwill:

Polio projectsDangote Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnered to eradicate polio in Nigeria by strengthening primary health care and making provisions for routine immunization across Northern Nigeria. The initial project commenced in Kano and Bauchi states.

Dangote Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnered to eradicate polio in Nigeria

In 2016, Sokoto, Yobe, Kaduna, and Borno States were added to the partnership. In 2019, the partnership was extended to the Republic of Chad. As seen in a document exclusively obtained by Newsrand, the total money spent on the project was $10 million.

Primary healthcare centres – In a bid to complement the government’s effort in providing access to quality healthcare services to Nigerians at the grassroot level, Dangote Foundation spent a total of N127 million in the construction of units of Primary health care centres across Local Government Areas in Kano (N72 million) and Yobe (N55 million) states.

In Kano, the primary healthcare centers were built across Fagge, Kano Municipal, Kura, Gwale, Bichi, Dala and Gezawa Local Government Areas while in Yobe the foundation built the healthcare centres in Gujba and Gulani Local Government Areas.

The Primary Healthcare Centers have been completed and have since been delivered and handed over to the respective state government for utilisation. All the facilities were built in accordance with the Type 2 Model of the newly revised minimum standards for primary healthcare centers in Nigeria as approved by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA).

Water and sanitation – In line with its efforts of providing potable water supply to rural communities, the Aliko Dangote Foundation constructed no less than 220 units of handpump boreholes in 220 rural communities across Northern Nigeria. Amongst other things, this project was also launched to complement the foundation’s polio eradication and other health initiatives.

Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital Kano – The Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano (MMSH) is the largest government-owned hospital in northern Nigeria with over 1.5 million patient visits per annum and growing. The foundation was building three new specialist units covering maternity, accident & emergency, and surgery & diagnostics, as well as improved water supply, drainage, and electricity systems. The foundation’s intervention also includes the supply and installation of critical equipment, tools, fittings, and consumables for the operations of the new builds, as well as capacity development within the affected departments and units on the use of these elements.

In March 2017, the foundation handed over the completed renovation works for nine existing maternity wards (complete with new mattresses, bedding, and furniture, as well as vital medical equipment and aids), a new blood bank and laboratory, two new boreholes, and medical supplies as part of a temporary assistance pending the completion of the main works. This project gulped N7 billion.

Aliko Dangote Foundation Integrated Nutrition Programme (ADFIN) – In 2016, the foundation announced its intention to launch a community-based nutrition program. Using proven interventions linked to behaviour change, fortification of staple foods with essential micronutrients, the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), as well as local production of nutrition Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) and nutrition foods.

In 2017, Dangote announced the new flagship programme for the foundation; the $100 million ADFIN programme at the 2017 UN Global Nutrition Summit. “Nigeria’s high malnutrition rate is undermining progress towards improving child health and survival and putting the brakes on economic development,” said Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director and CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation.

With this $100 Million commitment, the foundation would promote scalable and cost-effective nutrition interventions such as breastfeeding, healthy sanitation practices, disease prevention, food fortification, and supplementation. These activities complement other long-term programmes on education, empowerment, food security, water, sanitation, and health care. “We recognize nutrition as a cross-cutting issue which affects other critical development goals, that is why nutrition has become our core focus. We want to reach one million malnourished children in Nigeria by 2021 and we know that for every dollar invested in nutrition, the nation as a whole will reap huge economic dividends,” said, Dangote.

Feeding -The foundation had so far spent jaw-dropping N1.2 billion for the daily feeding of people in Kano. Over 10,000 people were said to be benefiting from the feeding programme in and around the state metropolis.

READ: Prince Philip’s Funeral to be Held on April 17 – Buckingham Palace

Banking on nutrition –The foundation made a contribution of $1 million towards a collaboration with African Development Bank (AfDB) and Big Win Philanthropy on Malnutrition in Africa that would boost economic returns from the AfDB’s $33-billion investment portfolio by reprogramming suitable investments in sectors ranging from agriculture to education, to generate nutritional benefit for children.

End Malaria Council –This initiative was convened on the sidelines of the 2017 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), by nine founding members to which Aliko Dangote was one, as Nigeria’s global malaria ambassador and Africa’s most successful private sector leader.

Members of the End Malaria Council would work in collaboration with the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and other key partners to help countries and regions achieve their malaria control and elimination goals. This project cost Dangote about $100 million.

Africa Business Coalition for Health -In September 2017, Aliko Dangote Foundation partnered with Global Business Coalition for Health (GBCHealth) to build African Business Coalition for Health.

Building on the leadership, reputation and convening power of the foundation and the experience, reputation and global reach of GBCHealth, the African-led coalition of companies and philanthropists would seek to improve the health and wellbeing of Africans, both within the workplace and within the broader communities. The partnership would develop and scale impactful health programs across Africa, deepening knowledge, building evidence for future investment and strengthening coordination among African philanthropists, business leaders, companies and local business networks.

This initiative which was formally launched in 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, cost the foundation no less than $1.5 million.

Education –The foundation has supported the Infrastructural improvement to a number of Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria, including the ones listed below:

  • Construction of a N1.2 billion Dangote Business School, Bayero University Kano, Kano state.

  • Construction of a N1.2 billion Dormitories in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna state.

  • Construction of Dormitories and provision of power supply to Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil, Kano State at the cost of N500 million.
  • Construction of Dormitories in Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
  • Construction of Aliko Dangote Complex within the premises of University of Ibadan Business School, Ibadan, Oyo state.
  • Construction of school blocks at Nawair-ud-deen Comprehensive College, Idi-Oro, Mushin, Lagos at the cost of N120 million.
  • Construction of students’ dormitory at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, at the cost of N204 million.

 

Economic empowerment –The Aliko Dangote Foundation floated a N10 billion micro-grant programme, which was designed to provide a N10,000 one-off grant to at least 1,000 vulnerable women, and in some cases, youths, in each of the 774 LGAs across Nigeria. It was a national programme launched in Kano in 2011 and is being systematically rolled out across the country.

So far, the sum of N3.924 billion has been disbursed to 392,490 women across Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Lagos, Niger, Nasarawa, Sokoto, and Katsina States as follows:

  • Kano – 88,000 women benefitted from the sum of N880 Million
  • Jigawa – 27,000 women benefitted from the sum of N270 Million
  • Kogi – 22,000 women benefitted from the sum of N220 Million
  • Adamawa – 31,500 women and youth benefitted from the sum of N315 Million
  • Borno – 54,000 Women and youth benefitted from the sum of N540 Million
  • Yobe – 34,000 women and youth benefitted from the sum of N340 Million
  • Lagos – 40,000 women benefitted from the sum of N400 Million
  • Niger – 25,000 women benefitted from the sum of N250 Million
  • Nassarawa – 13,000 women benefitted from the sum of N130 Million
  • Sokoto – 23,990 women benefitted from the sum of N239.9 Million
  • Katsina – 34,000 women benefitted from the sum of N340 Million

In a similar vein, the foundation and the Bank of Industry (BOI) set up a N10 billion micro, small and medium enterprises, (MSMEs) fund, with a N5 billion initial provision to create one million direct jobs. The Aliko Dangote Foundation committed N2.5 billion to the Fund, while BOI also contributed a matching fund of N2.5 billion to launch the Fund, which is used for lending to identified groups/business owners in the informal sector of the economy in the six geo-political zones in the country.

The first phase of the project was expected to impact directly on up to 13,000 registered business groups in the entire country. Each group would have an average of 20 entrepreneurs, thus impacting the lives of up to 250,000 micro-entrepreneurs, through job creation spread across all six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

READ: Obaseki: Buhari Ordered Printing Of N60bn For States​

Disaster Relief –Dangote, through his foundation, has provided numerous relief programmes, some of which are listed below:

In continuation of its efforts to rehabilitate and resettle the Internally Displaced People in the Northeast, Nigeria, the Aliko Dangote Foundation commissioned 200 Housing Units of the Dangote Village Housing Estate for the Internally Displaced Persons in Maiduguri, Borno State, with Award Letters issued to the chosen beneficiaries – mostly widows with dependents. In addition to the houses, ADF also provided the following as additional supports:

  • A cash grant of N100,000.00 to each of the 200 Widows that benefitted from the Housing units.
  • Undertake to support the Operational costs of the school within the estate for the next five years.
  • To continue to support the State Government with its Schools Reconstruction Efforts across the state.
  • The building materials donated by the Foundation were also used in reconstructing other infrastructures in Bama, Gwoza, and Konduga LGAs across the state.

For the past seven years, the foundation has spent over N7 billion in the course of feeding, clothing and the general welfare of the Internally Displaced Persons in the Northeast.

Also, in response to the unfortunate fire incidents that ravaged the four major markets in Kano State in 2017, the Kano State Government set up a fundraising committee to raise funds and assist the victims of the disasters. At the fund raising event in Kano, Dangote made a pledge of N500 million on behalf of the foundation. The Foundation subsequently presented a cheque of the pledge to the Governor of the State, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

Further to the passionate appeal made by the then Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, to Aliko Dangote Foundation to support the victims of the unfortunate communal clash between the Hausa and Yoruba communities in Ile-Ife, Osun State, that resulted in loss of lives and property, the foundation intervened by compensating the victims of the disaster with the monetary value of what each victim lost to the tragedy. In liaison with the Ooni of Ife and the Sarkin Hausawa of Ife, a total of 220 victims were identified and a cash donation was given to each. Individual cheques were handed out to each beneficiary during a ceremony at the Ooni’s palace.

More so, during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Aliko Dangote Foundation directly supported the Nigerian government’s Ebola containment efforts through strategic investments that built the resilience and strengthened Nigeria’s health system in a manner expected to endure beyond the Ebola crisis period. These interventions include the followings:

  • Provision of funding for the establishment of the National Ebola Emergency Operations Centre (EEOC) in Yaba, Lagos,
  • Provision of 12 units of Thermal Cameras across Nigeria’s International Airports with training for 160 staff/personnel of the Federal Ministry of Health, Port Health Services Department, on the use of the Thermal Cameras,
  • Provision of W.H.O-certified Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs, against Ebola,
  • Donation of US $3 Million donation to support Africa Union’s intervention against Ebola in West Africa, and
  • Complete logistics support for the returnee volunteers on Ebola intervention across countries ravaged by Ebola.

Newsrand learnt that Dangote Foundation has spent no less than N906 million on reliefs in the past years.

Dangote’s international interventions include the followings:

  • Children of Africa Foundation – Cote d’Ivore – $750,000, the Foundation supported building and equipping of Children’s hospital in Abidjan. In 2018, the Foundation gave additional grants to support the operation costs of the hospital.
  • Grand Heart Foundation – Chad ($25,000)
  • ONE Campaign ($2 Million)
  • WEF Young Global Leaders (CHF 390,000 annually)
  • Emergency response to meningitis outbreak in Niger Republic ($500,000)
  • Donation of mobile clinics to serve 5 counties in Kenya ($575,000)
  • Emergency response to victims of earthquake in Nepal ($1 million)
  • Global Business Coalition for Education ($60,000 Annually)
  • Sustainable Development Goal – Center for Africa – $2 million
  • Obama Foundation – $5 million

These philanthropic efforts, however, leaves Yesufu with ‘how a man with the scarcity mentality of a poor person achieved these much?’ A question that begs for answers.

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