Dangote Foundation Triggers N15bn Food Programme, Shares 400,000 Bags Of Rice To Ogun Host Communities

Captions: From left, Head, Social Performance, Dangote Cement Ibese plant, Ademola Ojolowo; Aboro of Ibeseland, Oba Rotimi Mulero; a beneficiary, Pa Adams Babatunde, and Manager of the partnering Kokun Foundation, Isikhuemen Akuekegbe, during the rice distribution at Ibese in the Aliko Dangote Foundation’s National Food Intervention Programme

The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) says it has started distributing 400,000 units of 10kg bags of rice to residents of its host community in Yewa land in Ogun state under its N15bn National Food Intervention programme.

A statement by the Dangote Group recalled that Chairman of ADF and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, launched the food intervention programme in Kano in March, promising that the Foundation will distribute over one million 10kg bags across the 774 local government areas of the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, FCT in Nigeria at a cost of about N15bn.

The statement said 17 host communities of the Ibese plant of its cement manufacturing arm, along with Itori, Igbogila, and Ilaro received their share.

Beneficiaries in Ibese and Araromi, it said, for example, were accredited and received a bag each at the palace of Aboro of Ibeseland, Oba Rotimi Mulero, with the traditional ruler expressing gratitude on behalf of his communities for its benevolence at this time of economic challenge.

The gesture, he stressed, would benefit many households where staple food like rice has become scarce, even as he likened the initiative to Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), introduced by the military government of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo over 46 years ago to revitalize agriculture and ensure food availability to all Nigerians.

According to Oba Mulero “the rice gift is very impressive, given the current situation in the country. We really appreciate him. What he has done can be likened to Operation Feed the Nation of those days. That is what I will call it. He has done well to decide to feed the people. Everybody is vulnerable now in this country.

“What Alhaji Dangote is doing is worthy of emulation by other well-meaning Nigerians. When food is out of the equation, (it) is easy to solve. We are using this opportunity to thank him for this gesture. You can see the way my people are happily receiving it. We pray to God to continue to uplift him.”

Also, the Aboro of Ibeseland commended Dangote for his job creation efforts through investments, noting that the rice distribution exercise is like the icing on the cake since the cement plant has absorbed some indigenes of the host communities.

The palliative, he believes, would go a long way to cushion the effect of the economic hardship in the country, even as he pledged the support of his people to ensure that the company operates in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility so that it can continue to benefit the host communities.

One of the beneficiaries, Odunfa Ayodele Adams, an indigene of Ibese, on behalf of others expressed appreciation to the foundation for the gesture- the first of such in the community, praying that God would grant Alhaji Aliko Dangote long life to do more for the society.

Meanwhile, the group also assured that those of Ijebu-Igbo, host communities to Dangote Granite Mines, will soon receive their allocation, adding that bags meant for the area has been delivered in preparation for distribution.

It would be recalled that Alhaji Dangote, while speaking during the flag-off ceremony of the programme, said the initiative is a crucial step towards alleviating the ongoing economic challenges faced by the country.

He also emphasized the importance of compassion and generosity, stressing that all stakeholders must play a part in supporting the government to alleviate hunger in the land.

“Our distribution of rice symbolizes our commitment to upholding the values of compassion and solidarity, which are at the core of our humanity. ADF has decided to spearhead the food intervention programme,” he said.

On the modalities for distribution of the rice, Dangote said: “the modalities for the programme involve collaboration with state and local governments as well as local community partners to ensure effective delivery of the rice to the most vulnerable across the country, regardless of state, tribe, gender, religion, politics, or other attributes.”

Caption: Some of the Beneficiaries after collecting their bags of rice in Ibese.

Also speaking on that occasion, the Chief Executive Officer of the ADF, Zouera Youssoufou said the rice distribution is in addition to the Foundation’s daily bread relief programme. The programme has every day in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020 produced and distributed over 32,000 family-size loaves of bread across Kano and Lagos States.

She said: “It is noteworthy that Dangote’s efforts in nutrition strengthening in Nigeria extend well beyond the foundation’s food relief programmes and nutrition activities. The Dangote Group has been actively investing in food fortification across the Nigerian food industry, with its iodized salt, vitamin A fortified sugar, while researches are on-going into micronutrient fortification of staples like rice, wheat, and bouillon cubes”.