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Aliko Dangote Foundation, ADF, has reiterated its readiness to empower additional 106,000 women across four states in Northern Nigeria, to the tune of N1.1 billion before the end of 2019.

A statement issued by APO Group on behalf of the Foundation, said the initiative was in continuation of its micro-grant programme aimed at poverty alleviation through economic empowerment of women.

Already the Foundation has commenced the identification of eligible beneficiaries, towards the implementation of the programme across these states and “will be actively targeting and empowering 23,000 women in Sokoto, 34,000 women in Katsina, 21,000 women in Kebbi and 28,000 women in Zamfara,” the statement said.

The Dangote Micro-Grant scheme launched in 2011 in Kano State is a N10 Billion project, targeting indigenous and vulnerable women nationwide and is being gradually implemented to cover the 774 Local Government areas in the country.

“So far, 334,500 women and youths have benefitted from the programme across Kano, Jigawa, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Lagos, Nasarawa and Niger States.

“The scheme provides recipients with a one-time, un-conditional N10,000.00 cash grant to meet immediate household consumption and economic needs. As far as possible, participants also receive training tailored to bolster their income-generating activities which are critical for the welfare of millions of Nigerians.

Beneficiaries of this programme are evenly selected from the target communities with primary consideration for vulnerable women, food distressed household with infant or children under-five year old, disabled, divorcee, widow with multiple dependents, extremely poor residents in these communities,” the statement further said.

The Programme is implemented in partnership with States Governments to complement their economic empowerment and poverty reduction drive across the country. The Executive Governor of a benefitting state sets up a committee to oversee the implementation of the programme alongside Aliko Dangote Foundation in the state.

According to the statement, from 2016, the Foundation automated the beneficiary enrolment and payment processes. Also, in addition to the cash grants, beneficiaries were given mobile phones and SIM cards by the Foundation.

It disclosed that in the last two states, the scheme was implemented, the Foundation partnered with a leading commercial bank to open bank accounts and provide ATM cards for each beneficiary.