The Aliko Dangote Foundation on Monday inaugurated the Dangote Village built for the Internally Displaced Persons in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The Dangote Village is a self-sufficient set of 200 housing units worth N2bn, with school, hospital, irrigation farms and poultry farms, among others, to enable the occupants to eke out a livelihood, according to a statement made available to our correspondent by the ADF on Monday.
Dangote also gave each of the beneficiaries N100,000 to start a new life.
Speaking during the inauguration, the Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote, said about N7bn had been donated by the foundation to support displaced persons affected by the Boko Haram crisis in the North-East.
Aside the N100,000 given to each of the IDP beneficiaries, Dangote also pledged that the foundation would take care of teachers’ emolument for five years and share in the burden of the ongoing educational revolution launched by the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima.
Dangote commended the governor for running the state efficiently and paying workers’ salaries despite the security challenges in the state.
Shettima said the intervention by the Aliko Dangote Foundation was unprecedented and gargantuan by a single organisation, describing the foundation as the fourth arm of government in the state.
The governor described the Dangote Group as the single largest employer of labour outside the government in Nigeria.
“In every clime and in every dispensation, there are three layers of government: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. I dare to add that the fourth layer in Borno State is the Aliko Dangote Foundation. For the past seven years, the foundation has been consistent and hearkening to the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state,” the governor added.
He said the Dangote Village provided by the foundation, though very massive, was a tip of the iceberg compared to what the ADF had done to support humanitarian relief in the troubled North-East region.
“When Aliko Dangote came in 2016, he quickly pledged N2bn. We requested that half of the money should be used to supply building materials and lo and behold, within the span of two weeks, all the materials were ready,” he added.
The governor stated that it was the support from the foundation that enabled most of the displaced and malnourished victims of Boko Haram insurgency to survive.
According to him, it is crucial to acknowledge the generosity of Dangote. He said as far as he was concerned, Dangote was the world’s biggest philanthropist.
Shettima said that most of the beneficiaries were widows and children, adding, “We call it Dangote Village, because it is a self-sustaining community with its own schools, clinics, mosques and means of livelihood.”
The Chairman, Committee for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Prof Baba Umara, said 95 per cent of the beneficiaries were widows whose husbands were killed by the Boko Haram terrorists.