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Dangote Foundation flags off food intervention in Lagos, doles out 80,000 bags of rice

The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), the corporate social responsibility arm of the Dangote Industries Limited, on Wednesday flagged off its food intervention programme in Lagos State, distributing 80,000 bags of 10kg rice to the state government.

The donation is for onward distribution to the vulnerable people in Lagos State in the spirit of the Ramadan festival and to cushion the effect of hardship and cost of living crisis in the state.

The distribution of the items was flagged off at the Lagos House where the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, hosted the President of Dangote and Chairman of the Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and his team.

Dangote was joined by his friend and associate, Mr. Femi Otedola, Chairman of First Bank Nigeria PLC, MD of the Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, Executive Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Fatima Aliko Dangote, among others.

ADF had flagged off the distribution of the food intervention in Kano at the weekend where over 120,000 bags of the same 10kg rice were doled out.

The donation of the 80,000 bags is in addition to the 12,500 loaves of family size bread distributed daily in the state.

Alhaji Aliko Dangote stated that the Dangote Group had always extended its support to the vulnerable during the Holy month of Ramadan fast for the past 30 years in line with the dictate of the holy month of Ramadan to reach out to the less privileged and the vulnerable groups.

He said the Dangote Group through the foundation had decided to expand the food intervention programme to mitigate the hunger and the cost of living crisis in the country.

According to him, the foundation plans to distribute 1m bags of 10kg rice to all the 774 local governments and 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT.

He said before the end of Ramadan, the foundation would have reached all the 774 local governments in Nigeria, adding that it is the determination of the foundation to reach out to as many people as possible to mitigate the hardship among the vulnerable people in Nigeria.

Dangote said, “Our tradition of Ramadan food distribution programme has been focused on the Muslim community. We recognise that the current circumstances where a significant proportion of Nigerians across the nation are experiencing severe hardship due to the prevailing hike in prices of food require that we broaden our programme to cover the communities of all the faiths and that is the reason why we bought over 200,000 metric tonnes of rice which is a million.

“This distribution is in demonstration of our commitment to supporting our communities in line with our core values and spirit of the holy month of Ramadan. This is another demonstration of our commitment to uphold the values of compassion and solidarity that are at the core of our humanity.”

Dangote stated that Lagos remains one of the most populous and vibrant states and the state holds a special status in the heart of the Dangote Group.

He commended the state government and the traditional rulers in the state for their support which has contributed significantly to the successes of the Dangote Brands.

The State Governor hailed Dangote for choosing to be different by supporting the efforts of the state government in mitigating the hardship in the land.

According to him, the vulnerables are usually the most affected in times of hardship as being experienced in Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu stated that it is the duty of every government to rise to the occasion in a difficult time like this, saying the food intervention programme of the Dangote Foundation is a commendable initiative that has demonstrated that the group shares in the plight of the people.

“We thank you for coming to support us. You have taken your time to be part of this initiative to reach out to the less privileged and the vulnerable people who are at the bottom of the pyramids.

“There is a lot of global disruption in the world. We have challenges and people shouting about the high cost of living in Canada, in the UK, we have the Gaza crisis, the Russian-Ukraine war. We are not alone in this. It is a tough time to be in a position of leadership but we know this challenge is temporary.”

He called on other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the gesture of Dangote in reaching out to the vulnerable people and supporting the efforts of the government to mitigate the current crisis.

The governor stated that the state government had put in place a series of multi-sectoral interventions like the Eko Food Initiative, the reduction in transportation fare, the free health screening and free delivery in state hospitals, among others aimed at cushioning the effect of the current economic hardship.

“I want to thank Lagosians for their patience, for their demonstration of high level of resilience in the face of the difficulty,” he said.

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