Dangote Foundation massive food donation to Lagosians excites Sanwo-Olu

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has applauded the generosity of Dangote Foundation for donating 80,000 10kg bags of rice and 4,500,000  loaves of bread to residents of the state, to cushion the effect of economic hardship.

Sanwo-Olu also called on the private sector and well meaning Nigerians to join hands with  Lagos state as well as federal governments to ameliorate the pains of the vulnerable through such interventions.

The governor spoke at the official flag-off of the Aliko Dangote National Food Intervention Programme in conjunction with the Lagos state government’s distribution of 80,000 10kg bags of rice to vulnerable residents in Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu, at the event held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, applauded the foundation for the Food Intervention Programme.

 “Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian that has chosen to be different;  you have choices but you have made the right one which is caring for the vulnerable.

“I appreciate Mr. Aliko Dangote for extending his kind gestures to the people at the bottom of the pyramid and we are grateful for supporting us in government.

“There is a lot of global disruption in different parts of the world, and it is a tough time to be in a position of leadership,” he said.

He said that his administration would continue to explore various strategies to ameliorate poverty through Eko cares, improve economic empowerment and give the people opportunity to grow.

While encouraging other wealthy Nigerians to emulate Dangote, the governor said the distribution of the rice would support the initiative of the state in addressing the effects of the economic hardship.

Chairman of the Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said the gesture was necessitated by the prevailing high cost of food in the country.

He said that all 36 states were to get their fair share of the one million 10kg  bags of rice through partnership with Non Governmental Organisations and faith based groups.

“We are distributing 80,000 10k bags of rice in Lagos and 4,500,000 loaves of family size bread in Lagos, which will begin daily,” he said.

According to him, there will be daily distribution of 12,500 loaves of bread.

“The distribution of rice is another demonstration of our commitment to upholding the values and the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan.

“Over the past 30 years, the foundation has been able to provide support and assistance, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, to the needy among us.

“This of course is one of the tenets of our faith which emphasises charity and encourages responsibility to the community, and this is not only Ramadan but it coincides with Lent.

“Our traditional Ramadan food distribution has been focused on the Muslim community but we recognised the current circumstances where a significant proportion of Nigerians are facing severe hardship.

“This informed this gesture. This is why we are extending the Ramadan initiative to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” he said.

Dangote said it was to reaffirm the foundation’s commitment to supporting the people in line with its core values and the holy month of Ramadan.

 “We are flagging off this programme in Lagos today as we did in Kano on Saturday, and our goal is to ensure that before the end of Ramadan, we would have reached all the 774 local government areas of the Federation.

“This distribution of rice is another demonstration of our commitment to upholding the values of compassion and  solidarity that is the core of humanity.

“Through the distribution initiative, we are trying to reduce some of the burdens faced by humanity across Lagos.”

He urged them to remember the less-privileged during the fast.

He urged the well to do individuals and corporate organisations to follow suit.

Also the daughter of Aliko Dangote, Amina, said that the philanthropic gesture had become a trademark of the Dangote Group.

“The rice would  be distributed  to the very needy ones at this tough times across the 774 local government and LCDAs across the country.

“We have been doing this for a while but we didn’t  publicise  it because our chairman  believes  this is between him and God, but this year we decided  to publicise it so that we can encourage  and inspire others to do same,” she said.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture,  Abisola Olusanya, said that the donation to the People of Lagos by the foundation was coming at a good time.

She said that was so, with the situation in the food ecosystem, noting that the administration had been doing a lot through the Eko Cares in ensuring the downtrodden were being taken care of.

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