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Dangote donates 80,000 bags of rice to Lagos residents as palliatives

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Dangote donates 80,000 bags of rice to Lagos residents as palliatives

Dangote, Sanwo-Olu and others during the flag-off of rice distribution

Published By: Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) on Wednesday donated 80,000 bags of 10kg of rice to vulnerable people in Lagos State to cushion the hardship in the country.

The foundation flagged off the distribution of the rice at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Chairman of the foundation, Aliko Dangote and others present at the distribution event.

According to Dangote, the gesture was part of the over one million 10kg bags of rice that would be distributed to reach one million vulnerable people in the 774 local government areas of the country.

He said the distribution of the 80,000 bags of 10kg rice was another demonstration of the foundation’s commitment to upholding the values of compassion and solidarity that are at the core of humanity.

Dangote stated that the distribution of the rice was in addition to the daily distribution of 12,500 loaves of bread in Lagos, stressing that with the initiative, the foundation aspired to ameliorate some of the burdens faced by vulnerable communities across Lagos State.

Speaking at the event, Sanwo-Olu, applauded the many initiatives of Dangote to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians, while praising him for showing compassion to the needy in the society.

The governor said the gesture of the distribution of 80,000 bags of 10kg rice showed that the leadership of the Foundation prioritised the welfare of the people beyond the pursuit of profit and accumulation of wealth.

“Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian that has chosen to be different. You have choices but you have made the right one which is caring for the vulnerable. I appreciate Mr. Aliko Dangote for extending his kind gestures to the people at the bottom of the pyramid and we are grateful for supporting us in government. There is a lot of global disruption in different parts of the world, and it is a tough time to be in a position of leadership,” he said.

He encouraged other wealthy Nigerians to emulate Dangote, saying the distribution of the rice would support the initiative of the state in addressing the effects of the economic hardship.

Justifying the food intervention in Lagos, Dangote said: “While our traditional Ramadan food distribution has been focused on the Muslim Community, we recognize that the current circumstances where a significant proportion of Nigerians across the nation are experiencing severe hardship due to the prevailing high prices of food, require that we broaden our program to cover communities of all faiths.

“This is why we are extending the Ramadan initiative to cover all the thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory as a testament to our commitment to supporting our communities in line with our core values and the spirit of the Holy Month of Ramadan.”

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The CEO of the ADF, Zouera Youssoufou, said the Foundation is partnering credible NGOs, civil societies, religious bodies among others to ensure the donations go to the most vulnerable in Lagos State.

She said the Foundation is guided by a vision of empowering Africans to achieve their self-actualization and full potential as it believes that every individual, regardless of their circumstances, deserves the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

“In times of hardship, it is imperative that we stand together as one nation, one community, extending a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in their time of need as we have done with our female empowerment programme in Lagos State which targeted 40,000 (Forty thousand) disadvantaged women,” she added.

Group Executive Director Commercial Operations at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Fatima Aliko-Dangote, noted that the flag off in Lagos was a follow-up to the 120,000 bags distributed in Kano on Saturday, said the intervention is targeted to reach the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.

“We have been doing this for a while but we didn’t publicise it because our chairman believes this is between him and God but this year we decided to publicise it so that we can encourage and inspire others to do so.

“There are many other things the Dangote foundation is also doing. We are also serving 2,500 breads all over Lagos daily. We started this in 2020 during COVID-19. Also in our hometown in Kano, we have been doing breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past 35 years. The foundation has invested in many things. Years back, we gave women some money to be able to invest in their businesses,” she said.

Speaking further, Dangote said that Lagos State held a special place in the hearts of the Group, hosting two of its major investments – Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Dangote Fertiliser Plant.

He disclosed that the Dangote Group is also working on the nutrition agenda and has made significant strides in food fortification, investing in iodized salt and vitamin A fortified sugar.

He stressed that the Group actively promotes food fortification within the Nigerian food industry and is exploring fortification methods for staples like rice and wheat and bouillon cubes to help ensure improved nutrition nationwide.

 

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