By Etuka Sunday
Federal Government has described as unparallel and enormous the intervention of the Dangote Group in the Health sector.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole in recognition of this fact, hailed the support and partnership with the Aliko Dangote Foundation, even as he sought further collaboration with the conglomerate in the areas of Nutrition and malaria eradication.
President of the Dangote Group Aliko Dangote has been advocating that the private sector operators in the country commit one percent of their profit annually to funding health care services.
The Minister said the partnership with the Dangote Group is crucial in view of the inadequate funding in the healthcare sector, adding that Mr. Dangote has enormous influence in the sector.
The Aliko Dangote Foundation has been championing the eradication of Polio Virus in Nigeria, a statement from the Dangote Group said.
The Minister added: “My message to the President of Dangote Foundation is to sincerely appreciate his unparalleled support to the health sector and to urge him to champion the drive to secure private sector funding for the health sector. Generations of Nigerian children yet unborn will ever be grateful to him and the Foundation.”
He said: “It is worthy of note that as I mentioned earlier, Dangote Foundation and BMGF have contributed immensely to the reduction of inaccessible population in Borno State by one third within a period of six months through funding of the two key programme innovations to reach trapped populations know as Reaching Every Settlement (RES) and Reaching Inaccessible Children (RIC).
“The duo are very influential in the public health sector in Nigeria as the President of Dangote Foundation and the Co-chair of BMGF have direct access to the highest level of political leadership. The duo in February 2009 successfully mobilized the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to sign a commitment to support polio eradication with funds and oversight. That commitment, popularly known as ‘Abuja Commitment’ was revalidated in January 2016.”
Only last week, his philanthropic arm-the Aliko Dangote Foundation- was rebranded and endowed with $1.25billion, making the Foundation the largest private foundation in sub-Saharan Africa. It would focus on health, education and economic empowerment among other things.
Commenting last week on the difference between Dangote Cement CSR and Aliko Dangote Foundation, the CEO of the Foundation Zouera Youssoufou said “all projects of Dangote Cement CSR are located in communities in which they have factories, and such CSR initiative include community relations, health, education, employment, infrastructure, water, electricity, roads and buildings (schools, hospitals).
“Aliko Dangote Foundation projects and funds are allocated based on need such as health (including nutrition), education, empowerment, humanitarian crisis and disaster relief,” she stated.
The Foundation is currently building the biggest maternity wards in Aminu Kano specialist hospital and state of the arts Surgical Operating Theatre and Diagnostic Centre (SDC), at a cost N7 billion, which will soon be completed.