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Palliatives: Dangote donates 80,000 bags of rice to Lagos residents

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 … Sanwo-Olu says Dangote prioritize Nigerians’ welfare above profit

The Aliko Dangote Foundation, (ADF) has flagged off the distribution of 80,000 10kg bags of rice to the vulnerable in Lagos state.

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: L-R: General Manager, Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA), Adenike Oyetunde-Lawal; One of the beneficiaries of Aliko Dangote Foundation National Food Intervention Programme; Group Executive Director, Commercial Operations, Dangote Industries Limited, Fatima Aliko Dangote; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote; during the Lagos flag-off of Aliko Dangote Foundation National Food Intervention Programme in Lagos on Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

President of Dangote Group and Chairman of the foundation, Aliko Dangote, noted that the gesture is 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.

Speaking at the flag off in Alausa, Dangote, said the distribution of the 80,000 bags of 10kg rice is another demonstration of the foundation’s commitment to upholding the values of compassion and solidarity that are at the core of humanity.

Noting that the distribution of the rice is in addition to the daily distribution of 12,500 loaves of bread in Lagos, Dangote stressed that with the initiative, the foundation aspires to ameliorate some of the burdens faced by vulnerable communities across Lagos State.

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In his remarks, Governor of Lagos state,  Babajide Sanwo-Olu, applauded the many initiatives of Dangote to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians, while praiseing him for showing compassion to the needy in the society.

L-R: One of the beneficiaries of Aliko Dangote Foundation National Food Intervention Programme; Group Executive Director, Commercial Operations, Dangote Industries Limited, Fatima Aliko Dangote; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote; during the Lagos flag-off of Aliko Dangote Foundation National Food Intervention Programme in Lagos on Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

Sanwo-Olu said the gesture of distribution of 80,000 bags of 10kg rice shows that the leadership of the Foundation prioritize the welfare of the people beyond the pursuit of profit and accumulation of wealth.

The Governor said: “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.

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While encouraging other wealthy Nigerians to emulate Dangote, the Governor said 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,” he said.

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L-R: Non-Executive Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Emmanual Ikazoboh; Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya; Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Abimbola Salu-Hundeyin; MD/CEO, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote; Group Executive Director, Commercial Operations, Dangote Industries Limited, Fatima Aliko Dangote; Lagos State Chairman House Committee on Agriculture, Hon. Emmanuel Olotu; Trustee, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Hajara Adeola; and Chairman, Geregu Power Plc, Femi Otedola during the Lagos flag-off of Aliko Dangote Foundation National Food Intervention Programme in Lagos on Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

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.

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Group Executive Director Commercial Operations at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Fatima Aliko-Dangote, noted that the flag off in Lagos is 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 publicize  it because  our chairman  believes  this is between him and God but this year we decided  to publicize  it so that we can encourage  and inspire others to do so.

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“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 noted that Lagos state holds a special place in the hearts of the Group, hosting two of its major investments – Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Dangote Fertiliser Plant.

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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.

“At the heart of the Aliko Dangote Foundation lies a deep-seated belief in the importance of nutrition in human capital development. We understand that access to nutritious food is not only a basic human right but also a critical determinant of good health and well-being. By providing these modest bags of rice to those in need, we are not only looking to alleviate immediate hunger, but also investing in the long-term health and prosperity of our communities,” he added.

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L-R: Group Executive Director, Commercial Operations, Dangote Industries Limited, Fatima Aliko Dangote; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote; and MD/CEO, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou; during the Lagos flag-off of Aliko Dangote Foundation National Food Intervention Programme in Lagos on Wednesday, March 27, 2024

While commending Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu as a Governor with a penchant for overcoming adversity and enormous capacity in handling emergencies, Dangote urged other well-meaning individuals and corporate organisations to emulate the efforts to support the less privileged in the communities, especially during Ramadan, which is a time of self-reflection, empathy, and charity.

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