The new students hall of residence was commissioned to commemorate the 41st convocation of the University
LAGOS, Nigeria, April 29, 2019 – Africa’s foremost businessman and Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has made yet another critical intervention in the educational sector when he donated fully equipped 2,160 bed space hostel complex to the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria at the weekend.
The students’ halls of residence comprising of 10 blocks of 360 rooms built at a colossal sum of N1.2billion is coming after similar gestures to Bayero University, Kano and University of Ibadan, where the business mogul donated multi-billion Naira business school complexes respectively as part of his contribution to the educational development in the country.
The new students hall of residence was commissioned to commemorate the 41st convocation of the University during which the university authorities reciprocated the act of philanthropy by conferring on him and the renowned labour leader, Hassan Sumonu, honourary Doctorate Degree. Also 15,787 graduating students were also awarded various degrees.
The President of Dangote Group on the occasion explained that he was moved to build the structure having realized that the student population at the universities have recorded significant increase without a corresponding growth in terms of infrastructure lamenting that the situation has remained a subsisting and growing major challenge as Nigerian public universities continue to grapple with under funding.
“Thus, I will like to use this opportunity to enjoin the Federal Government to consider allocating special funds to the universities to enable them to improve on research and upgrade their infrastructure. Such special intervention has become imperative given the perennial funding challenges facing our universities”, he stated.
Dangote posited that the Federal Government alone could not shoulder the entire burden of funding tertiary education due to competing needs of other sectors that also demand priority attention. This is where Public Private Partnership (PPP) can and should come in to fill the gap.
He then enjoined the private sector to adopt a new approach towards supporting the federal government in tackling the funding deficit in the higher institutions of learning.
Said he: “I strongly believe the private sector must go beyond just the payment of the 2% Education levy and be ready to join hands with the State and Federal Governments in expanded funding for tertiary education in Nigeria. This will ensure that our institutions of higher learning are positioned to produce graduates who can transform this nation.
“If there are two things that I am passionate about, they are education and entrepreneurship. I believe they go hand in hand. Some years ago, as Chairman of the National Committee on Job Creation, my committee strived to fashion out strategies for integrating entrepreneurship into our national educational curriculum, in line with what obtains in the Western world.
While expressing his gratitude on the award conferred on him, Alhaji Dangote described ABU as “an institution famed for its incredibly thorough academic tradition, the quality of faculty, and the enriching experiences of life within its walls. Today, the university has lived to its billing as a melting pot for ideologies by honouring a renowned socialist and champion of employees’ rights, Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu and Myself, for being a leading capitalist and investor in employment generating enterprises.”
Dangote noted that “It is also with a deep sense of fulfilment that today’s occasion is also being used for the commissioning of 10 blocks of student hostels which consists of 360 fully equipped rooms with capacity for housing 2160 students, built at a cost of N1.2 billion donated by the Aliko Dangote Foundation to Ahmadu Bello University, (ABU) Zaria.
“Our intervention is designed to lessen the plight of students who suffer acute accommodation challenges within the campus. We have brought similar intervention to University of Ibadan (UI) and Bayero University Kano (BUK) amongst other institutions”, Alhaji Dangote stated.
While commending him, Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State who officially opened the hostel said Mr. Dangote’s philanthropic spirit should be emulated by others who have been blessed by God.
A visibly elated Governor, who is an alumnus of the University, said both government and the private sector can partner to lift the educational sector in Nigeria pointing out that if not for the efforts of the university management, the institution was already dying.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Ibrahim Garba who was very excited at the magnitude of the structures said the University is the largest in West Africa and described the Aliko Dangote hostel project as a “big relief,” saying lack of adequate accommodation is one of the nightmares of the university.
He told the audience that Alhaji Dangote’s kindheartedness to the university was is immeasurable, saying of the 50,000 students of the university, the institution could hardly accommodate 10,000 and that the new hostel was the first addition after 40 years to the hostels built by the university.
While commending the Aliko Dangote Foundation, Director Physical Planning and Municipal Services of the University, Engineer Muhammad Aminu Sambo, said: “This is a big relief because the university has limited accommodation in relation to the numbers of students admitted every year. This is one of our nightmares.”
He commended the Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation and urged all able Nigerians to emulate him and intervene in the educational sector.
National President of the Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association Professor Ahmed Tijani Mora had recently noted that the contribution of the Aliko Dangote Foundation to the educational sector and more importantly to the school was unprecedented. He said it was in this regards that the University Alumni Association recently conferred a Corporate Award on Aliko Dangote.
It would be recalled that Alhaji Dangote through his Foundation had only recently donated a World Class Dangote Business School worth N1.2bn to the Bayero University Kano, and built another one in University of Ibadan worth N250M. he also donated N200 million to Katsina State University.
In the same vein, funding was also provided for the construction of a 500 capacity student hostel complex at the University of Science and Technology, Wudil in Kano state. The Foundation gave N118 million for a squash complex project at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka main campus and another N50 million to the University of Port Harcourt.
Expressing the motive behind his educational intervention across the nation, Alhaji Dangote had said: “I do not only want to be known as the Africa’s Richest Man, but the biggest philanthropist. I will continue to use my resources and my voice to help shape a better Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.”
Christmas: Sahara Group Promotes Clean Shopping
Lagos, December 2019- Gifts, concerts, traveling, time with family and friends, a break from work/school and mouth watering delicacies are usually what people look forward to at Christmas.
One activity people can’t seem to avoid this period is shopping. Whether it’s for new clothes or gifts for loved ones, Christmas shopping can be both thrilling and overwhelming at the same time, not only for us, but for the environment as well.
In line with its commitment to spearheading climate protection across the globe, Sahara Group is using this exciting period to encourage everyone to shop smarter and cleaner, not only during this season, but to make it a lifestyle.
Before making any buying decisions, ask these two important questions:
1. Is it necessary?
Temptations abound during the holiday season and they come in all forms, from alluring adverts to eye-popping shopping deals. If you don’t slow down to ask yourself if you really need an item before purchasing, you could end up hurting your wallet and the environment.
To avoid this, take stock of what you already have and more importantly what you haven’t used in the last year especially with things like clothes, shoes and toys for example. It is best to plan to give out items that can be re-used and make a mental note of the things you don’t need to avoid unnecessary consumption and expenditure.
Next, have a holiday spending action plan/budget consisting of the following steps:
i. Decide on how much you can safely spend in total.
ii. Make a list of the different items you intend to purchase and put them into categories like groceries, clothing, gifts for family and friends, etc. Make sure your list is prioritized.
iii. Decide on how much you intend to spend on each category based on your total budget.
iv. Divide the amount in (iii) by the total number of items for each category.
v. Accept this amount as the maximum you can spend on each item.
Now, take this plan with you wherever you go to help you stay on track of your holiday spending. There are lots of free spending apps that can be downloaded to help you stay on top of your expenditure on the go. Try as much as possible to stay within your budget and you’ll find yourself making smarter and easier shopping decisions.
2. Is it kind to the environment?
Christmas is a season of excesses – excess buying, eating, decorating, and even partying. Just as everything else is in excess during the holiday season, so is waste. From the excessive plastic shopping bags associated with increased shopping during this period, the duplicitous gifts, to the copious gift packaging and wraps, the environment surely feels the impact of the season. While these activities can’t completely be avoided, we can make them more sustainable by reducing plastic waste.
Jute bags are an excellent alternative to plastic bags. Unlike plastic, jute is biodegradable and does not pollute the environment. It is firm and durable, and can be washed and reused as many times as possible.
The Green-Life Initiative, which was launched by Sahara Group with one of its objectives being to promote sustainable living and reduce the harmful impact of human activities on the environment and to help combat climate change, has introduced recyclable jute bags as one of its ‘weapons’ in this fight as a means to educate and raise awareness on the simple “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle” mantra.
By simply switching from plastic to recyclable jute bags when shopping this season, you are creating a cleaner, more sustainable environment by reducing the Green House Gases (GHG) emissions and contributing your quota towards combating climate change.
Christmas is a season of giving, so now is the perfect time to give back to the earth by reducing plastic waste by taking on biodegradable alternatives like jute bags.
It is very possible to have a memorable Christmas without breaking the bank and depleting the environment. Follow the tips above and let it be your special little gift to yourself and our planet!
Have a joyous Green Christmas!
World Food Day 2019 – Our Actions are Our Future
About 820 million people on earth do not have enough food to lead a healthy, active, life. Food and Agricultural Organization reports that 257 million people are starving in Africa.
Some of the factors causing hunger include poverty, conflict, climate and weather, and lack of investment in agriculture. To create worldwide awareness for those suffering from hunger and encourage us to tackle global food insecurity, October 16th was marked as World Food Day.
World Food Day is held annually on 16th October. It is celebrated by different people around the world who come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger. The day also marks the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945. Each year, World Food Day adapts a different theme. For 2019, the theme is “Our Actions Are Our Future, Healthy Diets For A #ZeroHunger World.”
This year’s theme emphasizes the need for a healthy diet to in order to secure our future. Food security is not just about having access to food, but having access to healthy food.
Despite 820 million people not having enough to eat, about 2.1 billion people are obese. Dietary choices and lifestyles have caused an increase in obesity around the world. This year’s theme calls us to not only take action towards #ZeroHunger, but to make sure our diet is healthy.
For this year’s World Food Day, Farmcrowdy visited Victoria Island Nursery and Primary School, Eti Osa LGA. There, we educated the children on agriculture, World Food Day, and the role they can play towards achieving #ZeroHunger as well as activities they can engage in to stay healthy.
Present at the school was our Co-founder, Temitope Omotolani. She spoke to the kids, telling them about World Food Day, the importance of a balanced diet, and gave tips on some actions they should take for a better and healthier future.
We also engaged in aerobics with the children and gave them tips on what actions to take towards #ZeroHunger. We will also inform the children on their dietary choices and how the products they consume individually can enable change.
Farmcrowdy is also proud to announce that our production arm has obtained the Veterinary Health Certificate for Trade of Meat. This means that beyond the food on the table, we ensure that the processing aspect of our foods are done under safe, hygienic conditions for healthy meals.
As we mark this year’s World Food Day, what actions will you be taking towards #ZeroHunger? Share in the comment section.
Global humanitarian crisis: How will the world react?
The world is witnessing an unprecedented level of humanitarian crisis that requires global attention and action. According to the United Nations Refugee Council, more than 70 million people have been forced from their homes globally, usually as a result of armed conflict, disease, natural disasters and violent persecutions. Altogether, more than two thirds (67 per cent) of all refugees worldwide came from just five countries: Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Somalia. In addition, 60 per cent of preventable maternal deaths happen in settings of conflict, displacement and natural disasters.
From every indication, the tipping point has been surpassed and what the world needs now is a reaction by way of collaborative interventions involving global leaders, Public-Private-Partnerships, Development Agencies, Multilateral Organisations and the Civil Society.
Sahara Group has through the Sahara Foundation, invested in education, vocational skills development and healthcare for people who have been displaced from their communities.
In Nigeria, Sahara Foundation currently supports pupils and students in the North-East of Nigeria with an all-round educational scholarship that covers educational materials, medical care, housing, feeding and clothing. The scholarship recipients are victims of the insurgence. The intervention seeks to create learning opportunties for young Nigerians towards human capacity development. In 2019, Sahara Foundation plans to double the number of scholarships for primary school pupils while also creating a new programme that will target tertiary institution students in North- East, Nigeria.
In a similar vein, Sahara Foundation has also provided humanitarian support in Zambia through the construction of an outdoor kitchen for displaced young girls who are housed by the Vision of Hope (VoH), Lusaka. VoH is a care home for young girls who are victims of violence in their home countries. Currently about forty six young girls from neighboring countries are housed in the home and the intervention provides the girls with the skills and tool to get better, develop vocational skills in etiquette, catering, hoteling, and hospitality management which will in-turn drive self- reliance.
In 2018, Sahara Foundation’s humanitarian interventions in Ghana directly benefitted twenty (20) men and women in Temale. The beneficiaries were trained in entrepreneurship and construction of rain catchment which is used to trap water runoff. The trapped rain water can be stored for use in homes, schools and community health centres especially when there is no readily available source of water.
As World Humanitarian Day is marked today, Sahara Foundation joins the world in calling for more action towards humanitarian support, especially for millions of people who have been displaced from their homes and communities. As sustainable development drivers, Sahara Foundation remain committed to collaborating with regional and global stakeholders to restore hope and help millions of people get another shot at realising their dreams.