In another rare gesture from a private sector operator to help government in the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in parts of the insurgency ravaged areas in the North East, the Aliko Dangote Foundation has concluded preparation to commission a multi-billion naira housing estate.
The commissioning of the 200 housing units for IDPs in Borno which has been slated for later this month according to the CEO of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou is coming even as the Foundation has also completed the construction of a state-of-the-art hostel in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
The 10 block of hostel has the capacity to accommodate 1,440 students conveniently. Mrs. Youssoufou who made the disclosure at an event in Maiduguri, Borno state stated that the housing units is one of the many critical interventions the Foundation had mapped out for execution in the North Eastern part of Nigeria to restore life to the area and help IDPs live a normal life again.
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State while reacting to this development said Mr. Dangote is the single largest benefactor of the IDPs after the Federal and state governments. The Governor stated that Mr. Dangote’s contribution does not only stop at feeding and clothing the IDPs which he has been doing over the years, it also stretches to resettling and rehabilitating them, a feat no other private organization has been able to match.
Just recently the Aliko Dangote Foundation flagged off its 2018 Ramadan Food distribution in the state with the distribution of food items worth N150 million to some 200 households from Dalori Community in the state. The items include: Rice, Sugar, Salt, Spaghetti, Semolina, Wheat Meal, Maize and Millet.
On the 10 blocks of hostel constructed for the ABU, the Group Executive Director, Stakeholders Management and Corporate Communication of the Dangote Group, Engr. Ahmed Mansur, said the Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Chairman of the Foundation was not resting on his oars, as he plans to up his stakes in the act of philanthropy.
The Ahmadu Bello University is the biggest university in sub-saharan Africa, and topped the 2018 ranking of Nigerian universities. Engr. Mansur said no date has yet been fixed for the commissioning of the newly built 10-blocks of hostel and that Group has and would continue to contribute enormously to the educational sector in Nigeria.
He quoted Mr. Dangote as saying that Dangote Group had spent well over N4 billion in building classrooms, scholarship programmes and upgrading infrastructure across various University among others.
“We have just recently commissioned the Dangote Business School in Kano, the only Business School in Nigeria that is well equipped. We will also be commissioning similar projects in University of Ibadan, we have done quite a lot in the education system and we are looking to do more.
“Investing in the young people to us means, we are all working together to build a better Nigeria. In equipping Nigeria youths and prepare them for the 21st century challenges, we established the Dangote Academy in Kogi State, which provide specialized training and management skills for the youths particularly considering the large man power needed in the manufacturing industries,” he said.
He added: “Our ultimate goal is to promote rapid industrialization of Nigeria, using our own local talents.”
National President of the Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association, Professor Ahmed Tijani Mora who expressed gratitude for the students’ accommodation further described the President of the Dangote Group Aliko Dangote as a ‘dedicated philanthropist.’
He said the intervention by the Foundation was crucial and timely as the University’s infrastructure was already overstretched. It would be recalled that only recently, the Foundation donated a well-equipped secondary school valued at N120 million in Lagos.
The Foundation donated a World Class Business School worth N1.2bn to the Bayero University Kano, while building another one in the University of Ibadan, which is due for commissioning too. Funding was also provided for the construction of a 500 capacity student hostel complex of the University of Science and Technology, Wudil in Kano.
The Aliko Dangote Foundation has instituted several scholarship schemes in its business units across Nigeria. Only last week, the Foundation donated 150 fully equipped patrol cars to the Nigeria Police to aid in combating crimes.
Mr. Dangote had said that the motivation behind his public spirit gesture was because he does not only want to be “known as the Africa’s Richest Man, but the biggest African philanthropist. I will continue to use my resources and my voice to help shape a better Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.”