By Biodun Ayeni
Impressed with the philanthropic activities of the Dangote Foundation to improve the human condition in Africa and the rest of the world, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, yesterday in Abuja commended the Chairman of the Foundation, Aliko Dangote and urged him not to relent because posterity would be kind to him.
Ki Moon, who is on a two day working visit to Nigeria described the philanthropic activities of the Foundation as a ‘dedication to humanity’ that is commendable.
Speaking with Nigeria’s Business and philanthropic leaders in Abuja at a meeting hosted by the Dangote Group yesterday, the UN Secretary-General said he was impressed by the contributions of Dangote and appealed to other leaders to emulate him to make the world a better place.
He said: “Let me thank Mr. Aliko Dangote, our host for bringing us together. I appreciate the 40 per cent strong support you have given me as a key member of the Steering Committee of my Global Education First Initiative, and your dedication to humanity through the Dangote Foundation.”
He said “Nigeria can spark the race to the top and demonstrate to the region, and to the world that a pathway to sustainable development is possible.”
In his remark,Aliko Dangote , president of the Dangote Group, said the Dangote Group is not resting on its oars in the areas of philanthropy because he owes his wealth to the society that has been kind to him.
Dangote who expressed disgust at the level of poverty in Nigeria, especially the fact that more than 60 percent of the population in the North East of Nigeria are in severe poverty, lamented that it was only Nigeria that recorded economic growth without reduction in poverty.
He therefore called other investors to join him in changing the lives of Nigerians and other African people and join hands with the United Nations to actualise its various social and economic reform programmes in Africa.
Dangote said his Group was supporting the government in growing the real sector of the economy.
“The business community is very supportive of what government is doing and it is our hope that economic growth will recover very soon as a result of
these measures,” he said.
He added that: “I believe that supporting social and economic change through social investments and interventions that improve the lives of the less fortunate will make a positive difference in the growth of my nation.”
Amina Muhammad, Special Advisor to the UN Scribe on Post 2015 Development Planning said the UN is collaborating with key stakeholders and the Nigerian Government to stake up it work in the country.
She said some of the gains of the UN efforts have been wiped out in the North East part of the country