• Gives N100,000 each to IDPs, Shettima commends gesture
Two weeks after donating 150 cars to the Nigeria Police, the Aliko Dangote Foundation yesterday launched the Dangote Village for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The Dangote Village is a self-sufficient set of 200 housing units worth N2 billion, with a school, hospital, irrigation farms and poultry farms, among others. According to the foundation, the gesture would enable its occupants to eke out a living, even as Dangote gave each of the beneficiaries N100,000 to start a new life.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, chairman of the foundation, Aliko Dangote, said it had donated about N7 billion to support displaced persons affected by Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast.
Besides the cash donation, Dangote also promised that the Foundation would take care of teachers’ emolument for five years and share in the ongoing educational revolution of Governor Kashim Shettima.
Dangote commended the governor, saying he had run the state efficiently and paid salaries in spite of the security challenges.Speaking, Shettima noted that the intervention was unprecedented by a single institution, describing the Foundation as the fourth arm of government in the state, while pointing out that the Dangote Group was the single largest employer of labour outside government in the country.He said the Dangote Village, though very massive, was a ‘tip of the iceberg’ compared to what the Foundation had done to support humanitarian efforts in the region.
“When Aliko Dangote came in 2016, he pledged N2 billion. We requested that half of the money should be used to supply building materials and within two weeks, all the materials were ready,” he added. He revealed that most of the beneficiaries were widows and children, adding: “We call it Dangote Village because it is a self-sustaining community with their own schools, clinics, mosques and means of livelihood,” he said.He thanked all the donors, and added that Borno State was now opened for investors, saying the state was now peaceful.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Professor Baba Gana Umara, said 95 per cent of the beneficiaries were widows whose husbands were killed by Boko Haram terrorists.
Umara, who is also Chairman, Distribution Committee of the Dangote Village, said the criterion for allocating a flat to the beneficiaries is that such beneficiary must be a widow with no fewer than five children.
While commending Dangote, he said the reconstruction effort was now ongoing and that the infrastructure deficit was still huge, adding that the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and World Bank had estimated that the infrastructure deficit caused by insurgency in Borno alone amounted to $6.9billion.
Responding, Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency, Ya Bawa Kolo, expressed appreciation to the Foundation on behalf of the IDPs.Managing Director/CEO of the Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, said the Foundation would not rest on its oars in supporting victims of insurgency, while the beneficiaries commended the foundation for the gesture.